Meet Charlee Fraser: The Model Giving Aboriginality a Name on the Runway

By: Maria Montenegro & Valeria Ramos

With a total of 50 shows walked this season, Charlee Fraser is no longer an unknown name in the fashion world. Leading the current "Runway list" on, it seems like her face is here to stay as a casting regular. What makes Fraser so special is not just her stunning looks, but her role in the increasingly diverse group of models in the industry. Due to her awabakal roots, Fraser is the first Australian model with an aboriginal ancestry to reach the "international model" level, gracing two Vogue covers already, both of which were September issues.

Having been involved in several Indigenous school activities and community events from a young age, Fraser has "always identified as Indigenous Australian," and shares that these experiences impacted her in a positive way. "This allowed me to learn about my heritage and find pride in my Aboriginality," she shared.

 Fraser also opened up about the significance of representing her aboriginal roots throughout her career. "I don't have words to describe the amount of gratitude and appreciation I have for everyone in my life," she said. "Being one of the first (if not the first) to represent my heritage on an international level successfully, blows my mind."

So where did Fraser's career start? Well, like the majority of models, she'd been working for a while before her first big break, which came during the Fall/Winter 2016 season when she walked the Alexander Wang show as a semi-exclusive (this is actually listed as Fraser's first job on her portfolio). The Wang show not only marked a change in Fraser's career, but a change in  her appearance as well. The distinct bob she's sporting now didn't come with her from Australia, but was created by distinguished hairstylist Guido Palau, exclusively for the show.

While her hair was being chopped, she revealed to what was going through her mind. "I thought 'Okay, this is for Alexander Wang, this is for my career, it's going to be an amazing show. If they cut my hair, I'm definitely [walking]; it's not something that they're going to do and then a second later take you [out of the lineup].' And my agent was very supportive. He was like, "It's going to be amazing for you! Just be cool with it when it happens!'" And her agent was totally right. Now it seems like Fraser has been sporting the bob her whole life. Add her big brown eyes and Aussie accent to that, and she's even harder to miss.

Fraser was also one of the "81 Fashion Celebrities" who participated in the "I am an immigrant" video for W Magazine, along with big names like Natalia Vodianova and Mica Argañaraz. Fraser has since walked for major shows and landed campaigns for big brands like Giorgio Armani, Céline, Brandon Maxwell and Stella McCartney.

Although Fraser's ranking on "Social-Instagram" category isn't exactly record-breaking yet, during London Fashion Week, she became the model with the highest increase in followers, according to Instagram. While we all hope to see Fraser's following grow to the millions, we can't help but question whether she really needs it. Fraser is making a name for herself in the industry on her own merits. Her journey growing her career is reminiscent of models from the past, and we love it!

One goal on Fraser's career to-do list is "to be the first Indigenous Australian model to walk the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show." As her career picks up pace with every booking, we're calling it here first - it's only a matter of time before we all see Fraser strutting down the VS catwalk, sporting her now signature bob.