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13-08-2015
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Return of the Supermodel?
A couple of years ago, people were constantly bemoaning the lack of "supermodels" as the runways were populated by girls that all looked the same, and whose names no one remembered. Everyone was reminiscing about the olden days of the "supermodels", where models were as powerful, influential, and famous as actresses were.

Do you guys think the "supermodel" phenomenon has returned with this generation's age of social-media models, ala Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss, etc? These girls are all known by name, are constantly being featured in the media, and are commanding solo magazine covers.

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13-08-2015
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Yes. Gigi, Kendall and Cara are a sign of the time, unfortunately. And that time is not a particularly memorable, strong and creative one for me.

Bland times breed bland personalities. These girls don't breath life into a show, or a campaign, or an edit, or inspire designers and photographers the way the Supers-- and that includes the ones that came after Christy, Naomi, Kate, Nadja-- like Kristen McMenamy, Karen Elson, Guinevere Van Seenus, Amber Valletta, etc. I think all those women are able to play larger-than-life characters through fashion.

These new ones can't even look different from one shoot to the next, so other than being popular, there's no star-quality to them. But to be fair, they're not entirely to blame, since those extravagant, otherworldly shows are a thing of the past and models aren't required to portray characters anymore...

Hopefully this bland period with these bland versions of Supermodels that's dominated high fashion will pass soon.

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13-08-2015
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No, it's the boom of the "celebrity-model". Celebrities and children of celebrities, turned "models".

Supermodels were regular girls who became mega famous in one's own right. They achieved celebrity on merit of being a sought after fashion model, not the other way around. Now it's sought after for being a celebrity either through social media, or nepotism.

However, girls such as Karlie, Jourdan, Joan, Liu etc have worked hard to achieve being known around the world. They are regular girls, from humble backgrounds, who had a good body of work even before people knew who they were.

What makes women like Linda, Naomi, Christy, Gisele, Natalia, Lara etc etc so great is that they went from having limited opportunity, living normal lives, worrying about doing well in school, to having their lives change over night and now having all these great things happen, through hard work and being great models.

Kendall Jenner could have been ANYTHING. She had all the opportunity in the world. The best colleges, any career she wanted to have. But she chose to be a model. WHY?! Modeling is where you start and branch out. Why would she choose to take jobs from girls where booking a Balmain exclusive could pay rent for the year! Booking a Givenchy contract could have helped the parents back home.

It's a cop out to have all the opportunity in the world, and choose to become a model because of the lifestyle. Kendall didn't have to live in a models apartment, or genuinely work hard to get booked. She got to where she is through name and contacts.

I only respect the girls who went from nothing and work hard for their Chanel handbags.


Last edited by SpeakThatJDunn; 13-08-2015 at 03:24 PM.
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13-08-2015
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^^^ If you feel someone has to come up through the system by struggle and work their unknown a*ses to the bone in order to earn the title of "Supermodel", then you're entitled to that opinion. I disagree.

There are no prerequisites to becoming a famous, top model. Naomi was plucked out from obscurity at the age of 14 and likely has never known anything but the life of a famous, pampered model from that time. As much as I may not prefer Kendall or all these celebrities-as-models, she's as much qualified to be a Supermodel as any other model. Because she came from privilege she doesn't deserve to be a successful model is kind of a harsh judgement call.

The modeling world has always been unfair and unpredictable in who will become a successful and famous professional model. I've seen so many beautiful girls and guys fall by the wayside no matter how hard they work because, either their agency just isn't supporting them as much, or their look isn't what may be in demand of the moment, or simply through circumstances that are beyond their control, and that includes luck.

You may be a huge fan of Jourdan, but she's as dead in the eyes to me as Kendall, always having the same expression from shoot to shoot. So as far as I'm concerned, she's not "deserving" of her Supermodel status as Kendall-- or she is, because she's just as popular, famous and successful. It all comes down to preference, and the powers-that-be want Kendall as much as they want Jourdan. Boring girls to me, but they're as much Supermodels of the times as Christy, Naomi, Lara, Nadja and Kristen are.

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13-08-2015
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IMO, the REAL supermodels were a selected clique of models. They were different but we couldn't imagine them not together. They changed the whole business by imposing their personalities. When I think of supermodels I think of Naomi, Christy, Linda, Cindy, Kate, Gisele. They were showstoppers, powerful women with incredible beauty.
There are too many models ATM to name some of them supermodels. And the term is used so many times that it is slowly losing its prestige. New faces are called supermodels nowadays so something is wrong
Kendall, Gigi, Cara are celebrity-models not supermodels. The first two only have been in the HF industry for a year... So far, they have been successful but who knows if their career will last more than five years. IMO, they haven't proved that they deserved the "supermodel" title. Kendall's career is the weirdest, every designer or photographer who uses her has to justify itself for using her. (don't know if someone will understand me on that one haha)
It's a different story for models like Karlie. She had a good start and since then it worked pretty well for her. She just happened to be here when the instagirl became a thing and her friendship with Taylor accelerated the process of becoming a celebrity model. But like a lot of other models, she wasn't a celebrity before becoming a high fashion model unlike the two I mentioned above.
We had the Supermodel era, the heroin chic era, the baby doll era, etc. Now we have the Instagirls/social-media era. Each model belong to an era and only one. Each model has her story and career so comparing them is useless.
So no, for me the supermodels aren't a thing anymore.

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13-08-2015
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I see it differently. Gigi, Cara and Kendall are It Girls even if Gigi has the potential to be a serious "respected" model.

What defined the "supermodel" era was their ability to "control" the industry, to inspire and to create conversations beyond the fashion industry.
The Linda, Naomi, Claudia...etc. walked the same shows, were loved by all the designers (From Rei, To Miuccia and from Gianni to Karl), all the photographers (from masters Avedon & Newton to Ritts, Testino & Meisel). They created a whole energy around them.
For a young designer, having one of them doing your show was a sign of future success.
And of course, they created discussions about feminity, sexuality, body, power & beauty.

With the Kendall and others, i don't see it. They are not embraced by so many designers or photographers, they don't defined our era of fashion in terms of actual fashion. They are just fun girls who are having fun and taking all the opportunities to live their fun life. Modelling for them is as glamourous as any pages of Vogue.

If you ask me who are the supermodels today, i will answer you: Joan, Anja, Daria W, Liu, Natasha, Karmen, Karlie, Suivi, Lara, Isabeli, Raquel or even Lindsey. These girls may not be as famous as the Gigi and all but for me what is important to make someone a "supermodel" is the body of work, the longevity and the capacity to inspire the creatives.
Today, fashion is more global than ever. Everybody is informed and thanks to social media, someone like Natasha who is not as active as 5 years ago is very popular. The same for Daria. As people are very nostalgic, they can shine today because people will always enjoy seeing old Versace, Chanel or Balenciaga videos. They were all there.

While having Kendall on your show is good for publicity, it will never have the prestige or the impact of having Anja doing your show. Anthony Vaccarello is a good example. He literally owes his career to Anja.

For me it's ridiculous to try to recreate the phenomenom but those girls i cited are for me the closest we can be to the supermodels.

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13-08-2015
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IMO the only supermodel of the last 10 is Karlie. She started 2007-2009 her resume is impeccable from covers,campaigns and multiple Contracts.

cara is already done with modeling. The work she did was not enough for me to consider her a supermodel.
Kendall? Not impress by her body of work. Let's also along will take her to be bored with modeling.
Gigi I feel she have potential as long as she also doesn't get bored working in the industry.


Who else?

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14-08-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lola701 View Post
If you ask me who are the supermodels today, i will answer you: Joan, Anja, Daria W, Liu, Natasha, Karmen, Karlie, Suivi, Lara, Isabeli, Raquel or even Lindsey. These girls may not be as famous as the Gigi and all but for me what is important to make someone a "supermodel" is the body of work, the longevity and the capacity to inspire the creatives.
Most of them are not supermodels at all. And if you use those criteria, than a lot more models would belong in that line up.

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14-08-2015
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I can only see Anna E, Joan S and Karlie Kloss being supermodel ( but mostly Karlie) when all said and done.

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15-08-2015
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If you ask me, I think Karlie has potential to be regarded as a supermodel. Or rather, magazines are breaking their backs to sell her to the general public as one. I'll always say this, the moment a model exudes a certain winning confidence, garners support from top players in the fashion industry, fluctuates between commercial and high fashion modelling, dabble a bit with mainstream music artists and mainstream movies, the tabloids etc, and the moment someone beyond the fashion industry can name a girl solely based on her picture, she's a supermodel. I think we almost saw that with Kate Upton and she certainly had enviable inducements (Steven Meisel/Anna Wintour/movie role etc), but her underwhelming body of work in the high fashion world excluded her from the 'supermodel' title, I think.
It's important to bear in mind which era the Kates and Naomis functioned in. Trying to contrast or even elevate these contemporary 'social media' models to the level of Kate, Naomi, Cindy is like apples and oranges to me. The standards simply isnt the same. Political correctness and the current 'outraged society' plays a big role here. Let the likes of Kate/Naomi/Linda/Cindy start their careers in this social media age, and see how they fare. Naomi's aggression and relationship with Mike Tyson would certainly count against her, Kate's drug scandal would ruin her career, Linda would be deemed greedy and materialistic for her 10K comment, and Cindy's 20yr age gap with her Richard Gere relationship would always be a point of discussion. So it actually seems like it's way more challenging to create a supermodel now, than it was 20 years ago.

I wonder what it's like for younger members, the ones introduced into fashion with Kendall, Gigi and Cara dominating the headlines. Could it be that for them the fascination with these girls is the same as it was for us with Kate/Naomi etc back then? I'm not particularly fond of these girls, I actually despise all three girls because I feel they get ahead based on connections, but that's just me. Yet, I can still sort of see why young people warm to them, becuase it's evident we do not seek the same values like the newer generation. The way I see it, there's a strong emphasis on personality here. It's what ultimately sets them apart from one another. Cara's uncensored mouth and antics can be comical and possibly be considered brave and daring, Kendall seems very 'girl-next-door' plus there's a strong familial angle with her, and Gigi is just temptress hot with some attitude to boot. But the one aspect they all have in common is that they're approachable/relatable and in your face 24/7. Our supermodels never really needed to appeal to the 'girl on the street' or toe the pc line, because that 'celebrity/civilian' divide was almost cherished and outrageousness was the norm back then.


Last edited by Benn98; 15-08-2015 at 07:50 AM.
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15-08-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lola701 View Post
I see it differently. Gigi, Cara and Kendall are It Girls even if Gigi has the potential to be a serious "respected" model.

What defined the "supermodel" era was their ability to "control" the industry, to inspire and to create conversations beyond the fashion industry.
The Linda, Naomi, Claudia...etc. walked the same shows, were loved by all the designers (From Rei, To Miuccia and from Gianni to Karl), all the photographers (from masters Avedon & Newton to Ritts, Testino & Meisel). They created a whole energy around them.
For a young designer, having one of them doing your show was a sign of future success.
And of course, they created discussions about feminity, sexuality, body, power & beauty.

With the Kendall and others, i don't see it. They are not embraced by so many designers or photographers, they don't defined our era of fashion in terms of actual fashion. They are just fun girls who are having fun and taking all the opportunities to live their fun life. Modelling for them is as glamourous as any pages of Vogue.
I agree with this.

The It Girls don't have the résumés to match most top models, let alone supermodels. Most of them are only truly supported by a small group in the industry which is most evident during fashion week or campaign season. They are still more famous for being on tv, hanging out with Justin Bieber, etc. than being models. Modelling is more like a glamourous bonus and an extension of their existing lifestyles (jetting around the world, dressing up, taking photos).

The real top models don't have the fame to match the supermodels, even with social media or dating a celebrity. They just aren't omnipresent among the non-fashion public like Cindy, Naomi, Kate, etc. were during that time. I don't think that says anything about the current models, it is just that things have changed.

The supermodel era was a moment in fashion that can never truly be repeated due to unique circumstances. This is true of most moments in society and culture. Even if we say that the word has evolved into something different, the original era was so significant that comparisons are inevitable and the new will always fall short of the original.

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15-08-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benn98 View Post
It's important to bear in mind which era the Kates and Naomis functioned in. Trying to contrast or even elevate these contemporary 'social media' models to the level of Kate, Naomi, Cindy is like apples and oranges to me. The standards simply isnt the same. Political correctness and the current 'outraged society' plays a big role here. Let the likes of Kate/Naomi/Linda/Cindy start their careers in this social media age, and see how they fare. Naomi's aggression and relationship with Mike Tyson would certainly count against her, Kate's drug scandal would ruin her career, Linda would be deemed greedy and materialistic for her 10K comment, and Cindy's 20yr age gap with her Richard Gere relationship would always be a point of discussion. So it actually seems like it's way more challenging to create a supermodel now, than it was 20 years ago.
Excellent point, and very true. The same could be said for pretty much all art and entertainment industries.

While I'm certainly not opposed to what social media has to offer - it's an integral part of our here and now - I do think it's a bit sad that it's created a social climate of having to be "on guard" at all times. It creates an environment in which no one can be candid or honest and anything said or done can be taken completely out of context...so far as even to destroy someone's entire career and reputation. That I don't like, because the result is celebrities, models, actors, etc. all with this glossy veneer, but no vulnerability, no personality, no grit, no honesty.

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16-08-2015
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IMO the only true current supermodels are karlie Kloss and Joan Smalls. They are both incredibly successful in all avenues of fashion as well as outside of it. Karlie has an incredible resume of both high fashion and commercial campaigns, contracts with L'oreal and ex VS angel, ventures with FRAME jeans, eyewear with Warby parker, Karlie's Kookies, music videos with the biggest popstars, and major mainstream magazine covers: American Vogue x2, Self, W, Lucky. All of which are usually reserved for celebrities. She's also known by name outside of fashion.

Joan's resume is also equally impressive with major ad campaigns for HF brands as well as commercial brands. She holds multi year contracts with Estee Lauder, Prabal Gurung (3 years, spread out). Ventures with True Religion and her own lipstick collection with Estee Lauder. Appearances in music videos, hosting gig with Karlie for house of style, well known by name outside of fashion, even if less so than Karlie and has covered the biggest US magazines: Vogue, Elle, W, Self, Lucky...

The other girls, while incredibly famous, are lacking either in resume or outside ventures. Then you have girls like Natasha, Lara, etc who are all VERY successful HF fashion models but that's it for them. They're aren't known and they have nothing going on outside of being booked for shows, campaigns, eds. They're also lacking the ability to book the biggest covers that often go to celebrities...


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16-08-2015
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There are no supermodels anymore, in my opinion. I think it was more or an era in modelling and yes, call every new model who has booked a few campaigns and walked in a few top shows a "supermodel" but it really doesn't mean anything.

It's like naming the next up and coming British model as "the next Kate Moss". Doesn't mean anything.

I think there are a lot of top models around, but no supermodels.

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18-08-2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anlabe32 View Post
Most of them are not supermodels at all. And if you use those criteria, than a lot more models would belong in that line up.
In retrospect you're totally right. They are topmodels.

But maybe it's time to stop trying to revive some moments in fashion. It's almost impossible to believe how those girls were exposed back then. From the "Fashion Cafe", to the songs, to the articles about them, to music videos.

We will always find girls who are having a similar trajectory but it will never be the same.

I really don't think that it's the return of the "Supermodel" but we are in the era of "It Girls". It's all about short careers and major exposure.

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