The New Celebrity Models

If you look at any month’s covers of all the latest fashion magazines, often the cover model will be an actress. Models and top models grace the editorials and runways rather than receive the cover star position; however, celebrity children such as Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin and Yolanda Foster are now establishing themselves amongst the ranks of top models such as Karlie Kloss, Cara Delevigne and Chanel Iman.

From left: Cara Delevigne and Karlie Kloss; Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn, Chanel Iman; Caradelevigne, Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn
From left: Cara Delevigne and Karlie Kloss; Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn, Chanel Iman; Cara Delevigne, Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn (via Instagram)

The fact that you probably recognized at least at least one of the top model names is a recent development in the fashion industry. Before social medias such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, models were just pretty faces behind the pretty clothes in the eyes of much of the general public. Today, Karlie Kloss has 1.4 million followers on Instagram and Cara Delevingne has 1.5 million likes on her Facebook page. These numbers prove that top  models are becoming celebrities in the eyes of everyone, not just fashion industry insiders. To succeed as a model in industry, both talent and having a large social media following are now key.

So, where does the line begin and end between celebrities and models? No longer does there seem to be a distinction between the two but rather a definitive overlap that is necessary for success. In a recent New York Times article, Matthew Schneier commented, “As models have gone from muses to marketing partners, their social presences, global reach and audience engagement have become a more important part of their appeal.”

The appeal of celebrity children in the eyes of the industry is that they already have a strong social media presence and following. The celebrity-turned-models who last are the ones with talent. Kendall Jenner — like many other models — was discovered at the young age of 14 and since then has walked countless shows in New York, Paris, and Milan and has recently been named the new face of Estee Lauder. Her rise to fame came quickly but not without hard work. Her last name was both a blessing and a curse; people have several assumptions regarding Jenner due to her media presence. Nevertheless, with this presence comes an ease to market the brands and fashion houses they model for.

Top models such as Kloss, Delevigne, and Iman modeled for years before they were recognized by the mass media. Sure they were recognizable but putting a name to their faces wasn’t as immediate as it is today. Their success within the industry and the rapid progression of social media allowed for them to establish their presence outside of their immediate inner circle.  With talents such as theirs, creating a strong following on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram was a breeze.

 

Whether a model starts as a celebrity or becomes one due to their success, the line between fashion and celebrity culture are intertwined and will continue to be for a long time. If you haven’t already, check out their social media accounts. They’re just like us – give or take a few million followers.

Gabriella Bower is a staff writer. Email her at bstyle@nyunews.com. 

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