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The new face of Louis Vuitton

"It's out with the old and in with the new at Louis Vuitton as 16-year-old student is named face of fashion label. By Deborah Arthurs"


A 16-year-old who won her modelling contract in a competition has been announced as the new face of Louis Vuitton.


Nyasha Matonhodze entered the modelling world just two years ago after winning the UK Elite Model Look competition in 2009.


The student was scouted in the street in her Northamptonshire home county by the model agency and invited down to London to take part in the contest.


The schoolgirl, who arrived for her first casting wearing her school uniform - experienced a meteoric rise through the echelons of the fashion industry, with an impressive debut season that saw her walking for shows including Louise Gray, Clements Ribeiro, Jonathan Saunders during London Fashion Week SS11 as well as Loewe, Emanuel Ungaro, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and Louis Vuitton in Paris.


And now, the industry newcomer models couture clothes from Louis Vuitton's latest collection in a slick advertising campaign art directed by the label's creative head, Marc Jacobs and shot by world-renowned fashion photographer Stephen Meisel.


Youth trumps experience in the latest campaign as the Zimbabwe-born student, along with a group of five young pretenders, replace their more mature counterparts as the new faces for the fashion house.



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The rest of the youthful line up includes models Zuzanna Bijoch, 17, Daphne Groeneveld 16, Gertrud Hegelund, 20, Anaïs Pouliot, 19, and Fei Fei Sun, 21 - who together have an average age of 18.


The girls take over from Kristen McMenamy, 46, Raquel Zimmermann, 28, and Freja Beha Erichsen, 23, who for the past two seasons have brought an elegant touch of maturity and sophistication to Louis Vuitton's campaigns.


Uma Thurman, now 41, and Madonna, 52, have also starred in past campaigns.


Of the new campaign, Louis Vuitton Artistic Director Marc Jacobs says: 'Steven Meisel and I met and decided we would do this wonderful story of beautiful vintage cars, little dogs and fresh-faced young women.


'It's a very classic scenario, and of course it suggests travel, but I think we gave it a fresh, modern and sometimes a little bit naughty, tongue-in-cheek spin.'



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The resulting nine images showcase the season's star accessories - among them shiny rubber boots, shearling officer's caps and glazed lambskin gloves - as well as new takes on the iconic Lockit handbag, including the Extraordinaire clutch in alligator with its diamond-paved padlock and handcuff.


'Who wouldn't want to be this gorgeous young woman in the back seat of this beautiful car?' Marc Jacobs says of the campaign.


'And wherever she's going, she's dressed in style this season by Louis Vuitton.'



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