Model Names Reflect Diversity on the Runway

Model Names Reflect Diversity on the Runway

With the spring fashion shows in full swing — showing clothes for next fall, now that the winter has barely thawed — our thoughts turn to models.

We could care less about their figures or their style; what we’re interested in, of course, is model names. While Nameberry includes lists of Supermodel Names (where you’ll find lots more choices) and Supermodel Baby Names, we thought we’d look at the current crop of model monikers — a diverse set of fashionable yet uncommon names.

Abény Nhial

Abény Nhial is Australian by birth with South Sudanese heritage. She has been on several Fashion Week catwalks this year already — most recently, Kenzo.

Abény is a variation of the Yoruba name Abeni, meaning "we prayed for her and she arrived".

América González

Venezuelan model América González was initially planning to become a doctor, but changed course after she was scouted on Instagram. She's walked for most of the major players in fashion, including Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Versace.

America (and América) is most common in Central and South America, and is primarily used among North Americans with Latin American heritage. In the United States, the name America peaked in 2002 when it ranked at Number 410.

Arizona Muse

Model Arizona Muse was appropriately born in Arizona, but raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Speaking to Dazed Magazine, Muse stated, "My mum's English and she'd just moved there right before I was born. I guess she was really impressed by the desert and she named me Arizona! Muse is my dad's last name so that's that! I like it but it took a long time to get used to!"

Arizona is a cool cowgirl name most popular in 2020, when it was given to 151 baby girls. We could see it rising further in popularity now that unique place names such as Monaco and Malibu are being explored.

Muse has two children: son Nikko Quintana and daughter Cy.

Ash Foo

Ash Foo is a Canadian model who has walked runways for fashion houses including Dior and Hermès. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in her early 20s and underwent chemotherapy, leaving her with an abdominal scar and without her hair.

On her Instagram, Foo wrote, "But now when I look back at old photos and memories from before this transition, I don’t make out the girl in the frame. With the long hair and skin plain, boring without any intricate details. As if I was staring at a zebra without its stripes, or a forest without trees. Becoming conscious of the form I am truly meant to reside in this moment of life, I’ve never felt more myself."

Foo was born Ashley, one of the most common Millennial names. Ash is a rising nonbinary name, frequently adopted by people and bestowed on children of all genders.

Binx Walton

Born Leona Anastasia, Binx Walton was given her nickname by her brothers, in reference to Star Wars character Jar Jar Binks.

Binx has never ranked as a given name for babies, but it's among the most popular cat names — specifically for black cats — thanks to the character Thackery Binx in the movie Hocus Pocus. But we love Binx as a spunky nickname for either sex, perhaps short for Beatrix or Benedict.

Ida Heiner

Danish model Ida Heiner has one of the most fashionable names in her country of origin — Ida is currently the Number 7 girl name in Denmark, behind choices like Freja and Alma. In fact, Ida has long been a favorite among the Danes. It ranked at Number 6 the year Heiner was born and was the top choice for baby girls in 2017 and 2018.

Ida dropped out of the US Top 1000 in 1984 but is likely to reemerge in the next few years. Actress Jenny Slate welcomed a daughter named Ida Lupine in 2021.

Imaan Hammam

Born in the Netherlands to a Moroccan mother and an Egyptian father, Imaan Hammam has a classic Muslim name. The more streamlined spelling of her name is famously borne by the mononymous model Iman.

Imaan is Arabic in origin and means "faith". The Iman variation is a Top 10 girl name in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Loli Bahia

Loli Bahia is a French-Algerian model with a chic mini-name. Loli is typically seen as a nickname for the Spanish name Dolores, but it was most popular in France as a stand-alone name at the turn of the millennium. It peaked in 2002 when 21 baby girls were given the name.

Loli has never made the charts in the US, but at trends like La-La girl names and girl names that end in I forge ahead, Loli could be a name to watch.

Meadow Walker

Daughter of the late actor Paul Walker, Meadow Walker is making a name for herself as a fashion model.

Meadow was just another weird celebrity baby name when her parents chose it back in 1998 — that year it was given to just 38 baby girls — but these days it's mainstream. Meadow has been in the US Top 1000 since 2001, two years after The Sopranos debuted, and reached an all-time high in 2022 at Number 406.

Mona Tougaard

Mona Tougaard grew up in Denmark with an Ethiopian-Somali mother and Turkish father — a truly multicultural upbringing and name.

Most Americans are familiar with the Irish and English form of the name Mona, but it's also a common Scandinavian and Arabic choice (the latter pronounced more like MOO-na).

Nidhi Sunil

Actress and model Nidhi Sunil is a L’Oréal global ambassador and Vogue India's model of the year in 2021. She was born in the late 1980s, a time when Nidhi was a relatively common name for baby girls in India. Nidhi is a Hindi name and means "treasure".

Paloma Elsesser

American model Paloma Elsesser comes from a family with great taste in names. Her African American mother Anedra and Chilean-Swiss father George named their children Paloma Kai Shockley, Sage Gabriel Carlos Atreyu, and Ama Eliana Oshun.

Paloma is a Spanish name that means "dove", currently ranked at Number 957 in the US. It's currently popular in Portugal, where it ranks at Number 79.

Quannah Chasinghorse

If you don't know her name now, you will soon — Quannah Chasinghorse is a rising Indigenous model walking runways and appearing on magazine covers. She went viral with her Navajo-inspired outfit at the 2022 Met Gala.

Chasinghorse has Hän Gwich’in and Oglala Lakota ancestry, but her name originally comes from the Comanche Nation. Quannah means "fragrant" and was notably borne by Quanah Parker, a Comanche war leader.

Raynara Negrine

Raynara Negrine is a Brazilian model with a uniquely Brazilian name. Raynara is a variation of Rainara — a name practically unheard of outside of Brazil.

Rainara's origins are shrouded, but the name is thought to come from the Germanic name Reynard, meaning "powerful advice".

Rawdah Mohamed

Norwegian-Somali model, activist, and Vogue Scandinavia editor Rawdah Mohamed is a trailblazer. She's the first hijab-wearing editor of color at a fashion magazine.

Rawdah is the Arabic word for "garden", and a very significant name is Islam. Rawdah Mubarak, translated as "The Noble Garden" is the burial site of Prophet Muhammad.

Sora Choi

Korea's Next Top Model winner and international runway star Sora Choi has an intriguing multicultural mini-name. The Korean variation of Sora means "conch" and is exclusively feminine, while Sora is unisex in Japan, where it means "sky".

Tindi Mar

Tindi Mar is a climate activist and Mexican native model who splits her time between the runways and an autonomous ecological community in Guadalajara. Her surname, Mar, means "ocean", but Tindi is so rare, its origins are elusive.

Tindi has never been recorded on the American charts before, but as Mar introduces her name to wider audiences, some parents may adopt her stylish name for their daughters. Girl names that end in I are an emerging trend, and Tindi is a rare gem among them.

Toni Garrn

German model Toni Garrn was born Antonia, a longtime fashionable choice in Germany. Antonia is currently ranked Number 43 in Germany but left the US Top 1000 in 2016.

Short form Toni was last popular in midcentury America, with a peak in 1960. But with the emerging trend of Traveling Lite names, Toni may be worth reconsidering.

Garrn and her husband Alex Pettyfer have a daughter named Luca Malaika.

Vittoria Ceretti

Vittoria Ceretti is an Italian model and Vogue covergirl. Her name is a softer Italian variation of Victoria, which has been on the rise in Ceretti's home country since at least the 1990s. Today, Vittoria is ranked at Number 5 — and still rising — in Italy.

Here in the US, Vittoria was used for just 47 baby girls at last count. It's a romantic and feminine name with strong appeal, both in full or as a full form for the nickname Vita.


Vogue recently named Yseult — a mononymous French singer, and now model — one of the breakout models of 2024.

Her ultra-rare name is the French variation of Iseult — a name from Arthurian legend and later the German opera Tristan and Isolde.

Isolde has long been a Nameberry favorite. Could Yseult drum up interest in her fashionable variation?

About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top 2020s names, Gen Z names, and cottagecore baby names. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest.

Sophie Kihm's articles on names have run on People, Today, The Huffington Post, and more. She has been quoted as a name expert by The Washington Post, People, The Huffington Post, and more. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at Sophie lives in Chicago.