How a Rising Supermodel Got Big Without Social Media

Elyssa Goodman

After landing her first modeling gig, Fernanda Ly planned to leave home for a few weeks, but she ended up being gone for six months. 

According to Teen Vogue, which has the model on its December/January cover, Fernanda was discovered while at a shopping mall with her mom in her native Australia when she was still in high school. She submitted her photos with what the magazine says is her signature nonchalance, simply thinking modeling might be nice to try. Soon, though, she was getting more and more gigs, and one of fashion's most influential figures, casting director Ashley Brokaw, took notice. Brokaw, who was named "fashion’s most unlikely power player” by T: The New York Times Style Magazine, sent Fernanda's photos to Nicolas Ghesquière, the artistic director of Louis Vuitton. Ghesquière booked her for the brand's F/W 15 show soon after. 

That was when Fernanda left home, planning on being gone for only a short while, but she was in such high demand that she didn't get back for six months. Since then, she has been on the cover of Vogue Italia, featured in i-D and Love, and now Teen Vogue.

And this is all without social media: Fernanda wasn't even on Instagram until recently. This is such an anomaly in the world of social-media-famous models, where girls are encouraged to have an online presence so they can be seen and consistently book gigs. Some models have even begun to build their entire careers that way, so to have a model like Fernanda doing the exact opposite in our digital eragrowing a career by word of mouthis unusual. She developed a following this year, of course, but it's clear she's going to be a model to watch, on and off social media.

Scroll down to see shots of Fernanda in the latest issue of Teen Vogue.

Check out great coats like the ones Fernanda models!

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