The new wave of supermodel

During the 80’s, before the explosion of social media, the term ‘supermodel’ was born. It was all about a flawless amazonian style body and a face to match. Women like Elle ‘the body’ McPherson set the standard meteorically high in the quest for physical perfection. However, since the dawn of Instagram the game has changed and the world has seen a fresh new generation of models appearing on the catwalk and gracing covers of iconic magazines. Rumour has it that many of these insta-famous faces are skipping castings and being approached by brands with an eye on social media, which is altering the way that brands construct their campaigns. Celebs such as the Jenner’s and Hadid possess huge social media followings and brands such as Balmain and Calvin Klein use them simply for their star status and ability to connect to a wide range of audiences. Such industry decisions have caused major controversy among the old school supermodels.

Whilst the legacies of Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Claudia Schiffer are still very much alive and iconic, we are starting to see an exciting new set of faces walking for the big labels, often including women who owe their celebrity status to a variety of different industries. Leading the pack of new girls is Kendall Jenner, who achieved celebrity status by belonging to clan Kardashian. This year she has been seen walking for Michael Kors Autumn 16’, Chanel Couture Spring 16’ and landed campaigns with Calvin Klein, Estee Lauder and Mango. With a huge 66.3 million Instagram followers she is bound to whip up some publicity for these brands.

The considerable split in the fashion industry caused by these new faces saw icons such as Stephanie Seymour lash out at Kendall and model friend Gigi Hadid, slapping the term ‘bitches of the moment’ on them in her public outburst that the pair had ‘no right’ to be considered super models and that they have copied the ‘original six’.

Are Naomi and Stephanie suffering from sour grapes? Are they threatened? They shouldn’t be, the world has moved on. They would do well to remember that Instagram is also responsible for the broadening of public perception of beauty and it is no longer the exclusive privilege of the very young. It’s time to shuffle along the bench for the new girls and embrace the knowledge that in 2016 there is no age limit on beauty, there is room for everyone.

Lucy Brown

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