In the era of fake news and headlines, one simply questions whether the fashion world — once known as the ultimate platform of originality and creativity — is no different and just produces clothing, campaigns and content equivalent to a racy headline. The fashion world has changed more than people have even noticed, and a lot of that is because of social media.
Just from analysing the nature of the supermodel in the fashion world, it seems that fashion has made many sacrifices to social media. This has progressed into the nature of nepotism, which makes it much easier to become a supermodel compared to 10 years ago, when being a supermodel was a tough, hard-working and long journey.
Models such as Kendall Jenner, Gigi and Bella Hadid, Hailey Baldwin and Kaia Gerber, who have risen to fame so quick, are the perfect examples of how social media, mainly Instagram, has killed the terminology “the supermodel.” This is not to state that any of these models are unworthy of being a model, but to question whether or not it is entirely fair to the models in the industry who do not have famous or rich parents. And if they even have a chance anymore.
Something as substantial to a model’s career, like a Vogue cover, happens almost instantly to these new nepotism models, when it could take up to 10 years for regular models. Not to mention, models like Imaan Hamman, who had a total of nine Vogue covers this year, aren’t even given the nomination for model of the year.
The reason fashion can be perceived as superficial sometimes is because of the people who populate it. One of the most saddening examples of the superficial and morally wrong natures within fashion formulates around the stigma that these Instagram models are supermodels, and therefore, they have certain expectations to live up to.
The perfect example is Kaia Gerber, the daughter of famous supermodel of the day Cindy Crawford. In an interview with the Edit, Crawford says that, “Today, models are expected to be so tiny, and I worry about that for her, because that was never my natural body type, and I don’t think it’ll be hers either, still, I’ll say to her, ‘Enjoy carbs while you can!’ Kaia’s blossoming into such a beautiful young woman, and I really want to let her shine.”
When we think supermodel, we think of the Kate Moses and the Naomi Cambells. Supermodels had a reign of talent, strength and attitude that brought leadership to fashion. These supermodels were moguls of the industry and represented the handwork that was put into it, and even though they weren’t always the most perfect role models, they weren’t supposed to be. They were supermodels, after all.
Now, the Supermodel has morphed into the Instagram model. This is likely because of the change of the fashion consumer and how much the fashion consumer depends on apps like Instagram. Now, the Instagram model lives in our phones, not necessarily on a runway, and builds on likes and followers. Whether this shift in models is perceived good or bad, it is completely revolutionary to fashion and has dictated it to shift from a niche to a mainstream.
Maybe fashion just isn’t about the art form much at all anymore, but rather the exposure. Magazines like Vogue now see golden opportunity in scandals and create further exposure in a way that no “fashion” magazine has ever done before. It’s now all about engaging in content at the most profitable time, regardless of anything else at all. In most magazines now, it seems that the roles of Editor in Chief and Advertising Manager are very confused, as are the roles of Supermodels and Instagram models.