The Most Surprising Runway Models to Walk Fashion Week Spring 2022

The industry’s experiment with returning to a (largely) IRL fashion week season has so far

The industry’s experiment with returning to a (largely) IRL fashion week season has so far gone surprisingly smoothly. That’s true of both the street style outside the shows and the casts on the runways, which are again playing host to unexpected celebs and “nodels” of note. In New York, the makeshift catwalk of Batsheva’s restaurant showing alone played host to not only Saturday Night Live stars Chloe Fineman, Heidi Gardner, and Ego Nwodim, but also parent-child duo Busy Philipps and Birdie Silverstein. Less than a week later, the spring 2022 edition of London Fashion Week—typically smaller than its New York counterpart, but this time just as robust—closed out with guest appearances from Tayce and Janaya Future Khan. As for the rest of Milan and all of Paris, we’d be content enough with both Dua Lipa and Lola Leon at Versace alone. Given all that, though, you’d still better keep an eye on the runways—or allow us to do so for you. Stay up to date with all of this season’s surprise cameos, here.

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It took three years for Lola Leon to return to the runway, finally following up on her 2018 Gypsy Sport cameo with a show-stealing appearance in Rihanna’s latest pre-taped lingerie spectacular. No one could have predicted that less than 12 hours after Savage x Fenty Show Vol. 3 officially premiered, the 24-year-old—who happens to be Madonna’s daughter—would again grace the catwalk. Then again, who could ever turn down Rih or Donatella Versace?

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Donatella Versace has been loud and proud about the fact that she’s a full-on Dua Lipa stan. The fact that the pop star not only joined made her runway debut, but also soundtracked the show, is a true testament to the pair’s bond. Clearly, the feelings are mutual. The iconic designer has convinced Lipa to both dye her hair red and make her runway debut.

Unlike most of his peers, the revered photographer (and longtime W contributor) Juergen Teller occasionally steps in front of the lens. And whenever he does, he has yet to disappoint outfit-wise—or lack-of-outfit-wise, in the case of his JW Anderson lookbook cameo.

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Janaya Future Khan joined longtime supermodel Guinevere Van Seenus on the COS runway in London, marking the activist and Black Lives Matter Toronto cofounder’s Fashion Week debut. (On the heels of a Calvin Klein campaign at that.)

Courtesy of Osman and Richard Quinn

The Welsh drag queen Tayce had a banner London Fashion Week, sporting no less than three looks at Osman (left) and nabbing the closing slot. Less than 24 hours later, he joined Lila Moss in trying out bleached eyebrows for Richard Quinn (right).

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Tayce’s fellow RuPaul’s Drag Race UK finalist Bimini Bon Boulash also walked for Quinn in a purple coat and highlighter-yellow thigh-high boots.

Photo by Slaven Vlasic via Getty Images

Kate Upton has been almost entirely off the map since becoming a mom in 2018. Her return to modeling at Tory Burch’s New York City showing was not only notable in and of itself, but marked what could be a new era of her career: It was only the third show that the 29-year-old model, who broke out with a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover in 2011, has ever walked to date.

Courtesy of Willy Chavarria

New York City’s iconic Astor Place Hairstylists blessedly lives on—and in fact has taken on new life as a Fashion Week venue, thanks to Willy Chavarria. Among those he assembled on the makeshift runway was the designer and adult performer Boomer Banks, who heralded the showing as a “stunning display of Hispanic culture.”

Saturday Night Live favorite Ego Nwodim made her runway debut at Batsheva in a dramatic wig that could have easily been part of a bit, a season after notably posing in the label’s lookbook.

Chloe Fineman joined Nwodim in making the leap from lookbook (in her case, Christian Cowan) to runway at Batsheva. (And further upped her fashion cred just a few days later with a red carpet appearance at the M

Did someone say SNL? Heidi Gardner was in good company—and a tad bit more recognizable than her costars hair-wise—at Batsheva’s

Busy Philipps barely even registered her own appearance on the Batsheva runway. From the sound of her Instagram, the actor only had eyes for…

…Birdie Silverstein, whom she referred to as the “mini icon I birthed out of mine own uterus 13 years ago.”

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Maisie Wilen has long been a favorite among the Kardashian-Jenners, but it wasn’t until this season that the label’s designer, Maisie Schloss, tapped a celebrity to model her latest.

Forget front-rower Kylie Jenner: Leyna Bloom, the Port Authority star who’s made history as the first trans woman of color to appear in Sports Illustrated and to walk the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, was the real star of LaQuan Smith’s showing at the the top of

Photo by Frazer Harrison via Getty Images

Has Azealia Banks had controversy after controversy over the past years and years? Absolutely. But not even one of those debacles stopped the crowd from erupting into cheers when she closed out Kim Shui’s celebration of Asian creativity at the newly reinvigorated New York Fashion Week venue Spring Studios.