They’re young, they’re talented and they’re on the brink of brilliance. To celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8), we present the remarkable ladies aged 25 and under who have made it onto our radar
BELLA THORNE, 17
Making her debut at just six-weeks in Parents Magazine, this one-time child model went on to enjoy a string of appearances on high-profile productions, including the likes of Entourage. Adam Sandler’s followers will remember her from last year’s Blended, while horror fans can look forward to seeing her in some nail-biters later this year.
SHAILENE WOODLEY, 23
She’s already won a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role alongside George Clooney in The Descendants. In 2014 Shailene broke the hearts of cinema-goers worldwide in the tearjerker The Fault In Our Stars, with many critics backing her as a future Oscar winner.
GREER GRAMMER, 22
Kelsey Grammer’s daughter started out by using her all-American girl next door looks on the pageant scene. Today she’s best known for her lead role in MTV series Awkward – and for her head-turning red carpet looks.
FLORENCE PUGH, 18
As the star of low budget but critically acclaimed indie flick The Falling, Florence is relentlessly ambitious. With a nomination for Best British Newcomer at the London Film Festival already under her belt, insiders tout this as the first of many to come for the burgeoning actor.
MIA WASIKOWSKA, 25
Breaking onto the world’s radar in 2010 with Alice in Wonderland alongside Johnny Depp, Mia has continued to share screen time with the best in the business. Reports claimed she almost quit Lawless due to Shia LaBeouf’s notoriously intense method acting, but luckily she’s stuck to it with future projects, including a lead role in the Western, Brimstone.
HAILEE STEINFELD, 18
True Grit (for which Hailee received an Oscar nomination), Begin Again, Hateship Loveship and Romeo & Juliet all put her on the map and now she’s bagging the bigger parts, most notably alongside eminent funny woman, Rebel Wilson in Pitch Perfect 2.
EMILY RATJKOWSI, 23
You may recognise her from Robin Thicke’s music video Blurred Lines. Despite having no acting experience, Emily’s pin-up status led Ben Afleck to cast her as his love interest in Gone Girl. But Ben’s had to step aside as she’ll soon grace our screens with (much younger) hunk, Zac Efron, in We Are Your Friends.
SOPHIE TURNER, 19
Fantasy drama devotees will have spotted Sophie in hit TV series Game of Thrones. But despite having already won the Young Artist Supporting Actress Award and the fact she has two films set for release this year, the English rose seems unfazed by her rapid trajectory, still citing acting as her “hobby”.
DAKOTA BLUE RICHARDS, 20
It wasn’t Nicole Kidman who stole the screen in The Golden Compass – it was a 13-year-old named Dakota. Going on to take a lead role in gritty UK TV series, Skins, it’s a combination of raw talent and cannily chosen scripts that have cemented her as a serious actress. Upcoming projects include comedy ChickLit as well as a role in theatre production Arcadia.
KIERNAN SHIPKA, 15
She started on a high aged just six in everyone’s favourite American period drama, Mad Men, with her enthralling performances seeing her steadily gain bigger storylines. The self-proclaimed style icon may have said goodbye to the character she’s grown up playing, but she won’t be turning her back on the industry any time soon having already filmed Fan Girl with Meg Ryan.
ELLA MCMAHON, 20
Better known by her stage name Elle Eyre, you’ll recognise her voice from Rudimental’s number one hit, Waiting All Night. The former musical theatre student released has also collaborated with Wiz Khalifa and Tinie Tempa. She released her debut single Deeper in 2013 and will be supporting Olly Murs in his UK tour this year.
ELLA HENDERSON, 19
Part of the fame-machine that is The X Factor, Ella’s first single Ghost has gone platinum in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Now the British songstress is not only enjoying the acclaim, but also the perks that come with it – she recently shared a private jet with Ed Sheeran. Now promoting her debut album in the US, 2015 is shaping up nicely.
Louisa Rose Allen, who goes by the stage name Foxes, rose to fame with the Grammy award-winning single Clarity in 2013. It was the singer-songwriter’s impromptu cover of Pharrell Williams’s Happy that gained her wider recognition, with Pharrell reportedly offering Foxes the supporting slot
on his tour.
ZANDAYA COLEMAN, 18
Best known for her character on the Disney channel’s Shake It Up, where she plays a backing dancer juggling rising fame with high school, fiction isn’t far from the truth as Zandaya was the youngest ever competitor on Dancing with the Stars at 16. A Hollywood Records platinum-selling artist, it won’t be long until this baby-faced performer makes the transition to fully-fledged singer.
BEBE REXHA, 25
Her biggest claim to fame is co-writing The Monster for Eminem and Rihanna. Originally intended for BeBe’s own album, it was adapted for Eminem instead when he fell in love with the hook. She was once lead vocalist for a band formed by ex-Fall Out Boy Pete Wentz, but she’s now focusing on a solo career.
SZA is the first woman to be signed by Top Dawg Entertainment, although this is an accolade she’s rumoured to dislike. The former marine biology student, who claims to have been fired from every job she’s ever had, gained a cult following with her self-released EP, S. After opening for Coldplay on their latest tour, she’s starting to appeal to the mainstream.
RYN WEAVER, 22
She’s been around a while under her real name Erin Wüthrich, but ‘Ryn’, as she now calls herself, only achieved global recognition when her single OctaHate went viral. The catchy tune, which she describes as a “sassy tantrum”, became the song of the summer with retweets from the likes of Hayley Williams and Jesse Ware. Her debut EP Promises is expected to be the start of something special.
OK, so she is 26 but only just. A singer, songwriter, dancer and ex-navy recruit, Kiesza (pronounced “Ky-zuh”) is a jack of many trades – and it’s clearly playing off. Her debut anthem Hideaway was the third fastest selling song in the UK last year, with the video receiving a whopping 153 million hits on YouTube, and she’s currently on tour in the US.
MAARTJE VERHOEF, 17
Walking a staggering 66 shows in spring 2015, the Dutch model, who stars in Valentino’s adverts, earned the title of the most-loved model of the season. With some days notching up five shows plus fittings in between, it’s little wonder that Maartje sights closing Hermès, the final show, as the highlight.
YUMI LAMBERT, 19
Belgian model Yumi gets her distinct look from her Japanese grandmother. She was personally chosen by none other than Karl Lagerfield for the Asian-inspired Chanel spring 2013 campaign, which signposted her as a fresh face of fashion, and has since walked for Dior, Prada and Miu Miu and Victoria’s Secret.
BELLA HADID, 18
Younger sister of model Gigi Hadid, and daughter of Yolanda Foster from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Bella is no stranger to life in the spotlight. The aspiring model is also a nationally ranked equestrian, a photographer and enjoys a popular social media presence.
JEAN CAMPBELL, 18
Lady Jean Campbell descends from Scottish nobility, as the daughter of the seventh Earl of Cawdor. She also has fashion in her blood, with mother Isabella Cawdor being the former editor of Vogue UK. Last year the ethereal beauty bagged a campaign for Burberry spring/summer 2014, as well as opening for ready-to-wear Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2015. We predict this is just the beginning.
KELLY GALE, 19
Kelly has spoken about how girls at school would hit her and film it on their phones. Referred to as the “ugly girl”, her classmates didn’t much like it when she landed her first modelling job with H&M. She’s walked for Victoria’s Secret and Chanel and shot her first campaign for Polo Ralph Lauren. Now who’s laughing?
MALAIKA FIRTH, 20
Encouraged to start her career by her mother when she was 17, the Kenyan-born British model later made a name for herself as the first black women in almost 20 years – after Naomi Campbell back in 1994 – to front a Prada campaign. Recently she’s bagged contracts with Chanel and Marc Jacobs.
CINDY BRUNA, 20
Before this educated beauty was scouted, she was a social and economic science student. In 2012 Cindy became the first black model to walk exclusively for Calvin Klein, but that turned out to be just the beginning. To date she’s walked over 100 shows, leading her to be heralded The Next Big Supermodel. Recently she took the spotlight together with wild child Cara Delevingne as the face of Yves Saint Laurent Beauty spring 2015.
IRINA SHARIPOVA, 23
With her career beginning with winning the title of Miss Tatarstan fin 2010, the russian beauty hung up her sash to walk for prestigious fashion houses including Chanel and Versace. Recently her career turned up a gear, opening the Dolce & Gabbana spring/summer 2015 collection during Milan fashion week.
HAILEY BALDWIN, 18
This up-and-coming model, the niece of famous actor Alec Baldwin, has already featured in the likes of Love and Tatler magazine, and is sure to gain interest as the new face of Topshop’s spring/summer 2015 denim collection. Her family connections mean she has a slew of famous friends, with recent rumours suggesting she’s dating Justin Beiber – gossip that she strongly refutes.
FRIDA AASEN, 20
Discovered by renowned model agent, Donna Ioanna, in a shopping mall Frida went on to appear in Carine Roitfeld’s CR Fashion Book and snap up campaigns for the likes of PINK by Victoria’s Secret, Tory Burch and H&M. The Norwegian beauty credits showjumping as the secret to maintaining her trademark physique.
DEVON WINDSOR, 20
This edgy model has walked for label elites Chanel and Prada, and counts the likes of Kendal Jenner, Selena Gomez and Gigi Hadid, as friends – she even holidayed with this glossy-posse in Dubai over New Year. As one of the new faces of Balmain’s pre-fall 2015 campaign, The Balmain Romance, you’re about to see a lot more of her.
BETHANY MOTA, 19
Bethany initially blogged as a way to escape the stress of bullying, and quickly rose to fame with her beauty tutorials. Rumoured to earn hundreds of thousands a year thanks to her millions of subscribers on YouTube, her online success has earned opportunities that include appearances on shows such as Project Runway.
ZOE SUGG, 24
Better known by her online personality, Zoella, this vlogger (video blogger to the unenlightened) is an authority on all things fashion and beauty, with over seven million subscribers to her main YouTube channel. She released her debut novel Girl Online last year but quit the Internet briefly after it emerged that she’d had substantial help from a ghostwriter.
TAVI GEVINSON, 18
What would the teenaged Internet posse be without Tavi? At just 11, she started the now revered fashion blog Style Rookie. Well known in sartorial circles, now the teen is diversifying and has already starred in the critically acclaimed Enough Said with the late James Gandolfini.
BLAIR FOWLER, 21
As a successful vlogger, Blair’s online tutorials receive more than a million views. Along with her vlogging sister, she’s been nominated for a number of Teen Choice Awards, including 2014 Choice Web Star-Beauty/Fashion. Recently she released a make-up line, Skylark, and a novel entitled Beneath the Glitter, marking her move into offline eminence.
MARGARET ZHANG, 21
Fashion blogger, model, style consultant, photographer, creative director and general purveyor of amazing-ness, Margaret is loved and followed by many. She’s merged talents with the likes of Louis Vuitton, L’Oréal Paris, and Swarovski, while her photography skills have gained her gigs with the world’s top glossies. All of this, and she’s also a law student.
TANYA BURR, 25
A digital and social media personality, the FROW regular has a following to rival A-list celebrities, with a not very modest 2.5 million subscribers to her YouTube channel. She’s even launched her own line of cosmetics and authored a book Love, Tanya.
KRISTINA BAZAN, 21
Heralded as one of the most influential bloggers in Switzerland, Kristina is rapidly becoming a worldwide name. The list of designers this 21-year-old has worked with would make any girl turn ten shades of green, and she’s the first international blogger to work with luxurious jewellers Cartier.
LISA MARIE JOHNSON, 18
Now an online celebrity, web series star and television performer, Lisa’s career began when her mother uploaded her talent show performances onto YouTube. Today the American teen is reported to boast over 39 million viewers and more than 700,000 subscribers. Her latest claim to fame was the lead role in a TV movie on Nickelodeon. Watch out Miley Cyrus.
BETH REEKS, 20
Winner of Most Popular Teen Fiction Watty Award 2011, Beth wrote her first book at the age of 15, which she posted online. Earning over 19 million views, a book deal was inevitable. Reeks, who writes under the pen name, Beth Reekles, is now the author of three books and is studying physics at Exeter University – just in case you thought she was slacking.
ADORA SVITAK, 17
Adora began her love affair with words at the early age of four. By just seven, she’d already authored a book, Flying Fingers, a compilation of short stories and literacy advice, and taught her first writing class to schoolchildren. (We know!) Through the years she’s gone on to write more books, lecture to students and adults alike, and has been cited as an activist for youth, feminism and liberal politics.
NEHA GUPTA, 19
At the remarkably young age of nine, when most kids are still playing with Barbies, Neha started Empower Orphans. The non-profit organisation helps orphans and poverty stricken children get access to basic necessities, medical care and education. In 2014 she won the International Children’s Peace Prize for her work with children in the poorest parts of India.
MICHAELA DEPRINCE, 20
Born in war-torn Sierra Leone, Michaela was an orphan until the age of four when she was adopted and taken to America. She passionately pursued a career in ballet from a young age, and her hard work paid off as she now performs with the Dutch National Ballet. The intrepid young dancer has also authored a book, Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina.
MADDIE ZIEGLER, 12
Remember Sia’s music video for Chandelier, where a little girl in a blonde wig dances like her life depends on it? That’s Maddie. As well as appearing in other popular music videos, she starred in TV series Dance Moms and recently released a clothing line, The Maddie & Mackenzie Collection, with her sister.
JULES SPECTOR, 14
The young activist made a name for herself online through her blog, teenfeminist.com, where she campaigns for gender equality. She’s now the Teen Advisor for GirlUp, a United Nations Foundation organisation. “Girls are going to change the world,” she said after starting her blog aged 13. “I promise.”
PETRA COLLINS, 22
This 22-year-old is quickly becoming illustrious in the photography industry with editorials for none other than Vogue Italia and Urban Outfitters. A bit of a wild child, having designed highly controversial and explicit T-shirts for American Apparel, she was deleted off Instagram for posting inappropriate content. We spot a Terry Richardson in the making.
LILIAN AFSHAR, 24
The Iranian beauty was born in London and has lived all over the world, including Vancouver and Marbella. Now the UAE is the base for her rapidly expanding designer brand L’Afshar clutches. Each one carries a distinctive mark – a scarab beetle and a dragonfly – highlighting her own balance of East and West. Now on its third collection, the accessories are stocked in high-end stores across the globe, including Browns in London.
HAYA MARAKA, 23
Cool oozes from Haya’s every pore. As a Dubai-born princess, she flies the flag for the UAE in New York, where she currently lives. The Bergdorf Goodman Ambassador is more than just a socialite and trendsetter – she’s also a writer, and is currently penning her second book.
SHEIKHA MADIYAH AL SHARQUI, 25
The daughter of the Ruler of Fujairah is steadily joining the major-league of the fashion industry. Sheikha Madiyah is a gifted designer, who launched her eponymous label after graduating from French fashion university, Esmod. The princess showcased her blend of modern and ancient at her her first fashion show in Dubai in 2013, and scooped the title of Fashion Designer of the Year at the Arab Woman Awards.
TALA SAMMAN, 24
The London College of Fashion graduate is the creator of fashion, beauty and travel blog, My Fashion Diary. Tala has collaborated with the likes of net-a-porter.com, Tom Ford and asos.com, and has been cherry-picked for designer campaigns including Jimmy Choo. She’s also interviewed fashion pedigree, such as Carolina Herrera and Michael Kors.
NADYA HASAN, 24
Nadya is the style icon behind the internationally known fashion and travel blog, The Fierce Diaries. The Dubai-based blogger, who has over 90,000 Instagram followers, is lucky enough to have worked on ten designer collaborations, and has promoted for brands including Mulberry. EW will be keeping a close eye on this Louboutin lover.
FOUZ AL FAHAD, 24
With more beauty tips than you can shake a M.A.C brush at, The Real Fouz (as she’s more widely known) has an agreement with a Kuwait based YouTube channel who is helping her release make-up tutorials. The beauty guru has hosted master classes at events around the UAE, and shares beauty and lifestyle advise in her weekly column for the Kuwait Times.
Words: Sarah Garden & Yasmine Khammash
Images: Getty and Corbis