In an excellent cover story by Emma Bazilian, Adweek looks at millennial models and their use of social media.
Here are our highlights:
Dubbed «the Instagirls» by Vogue, these millennial models have achieved success both in the realm of high fashion and the commercial world—a rarity since the supermodel era of the ’90s. These days, some models are just as likely to be found on the Paris runways as in the pages of a celebrity weekly or Taylor Swift’s latest Instagram post—or in Kloss’ case, on the cover of Vogue with her good friend Swift.
«Social media has allowed these girls to have a voice and a platform and not just be some random, anonymous model,» says Teen Vogue editor in chief Amy Astley, who recently chose Hadid to appear on the March cover alongside fellow newcomer Binx Walton. «Young people today are totally open to a self-invented person who uses technology to launch their career and put their message out there,» the editor adds.
«If a model happens to come with a few thousand or a few million followers, that’s amazing for brands,» notes Harper’s Bazaar executive editor Laura Brown. «Especially if you’re a brand that wants to target a new, younger demographic, you’d have to consider [hiring] those girls in a second.»
«There are tons of examples of successful working models who don’t have a big Instagram following and aren’t interested in social media,» adds Teen Vogue’s Astley, «but it’s becoming something more and more that the ad clients are looking for—and all the girls know it. The game is definitely changing.»
It’s not just the newcomers who have benefitted from this social media revolution. «Girls who have already had success in modeling have been clever about leveraging social media to make themselves known outside the small world of high fashion and expanding their careers, because the high-fashion career can be a short one,» says Astley.
«Cara’s a gorgeous girl, but her personality and her social media, that’s what made her, whereas I think Karlie’s just the sort of emblem of good health and girlfriendship,» says Harper’s Bazaar’s Brown. «They have their own little currencies on social media, and I think that they’ve become, at least to us, the sort of archetype.»
«What people want to know is, OK, what’s after modeling? And that’s forcing us to think about those things [even earlier],» Hadid reveals. «It’s not just OK anymore to model until you’re 25 and then stop and be a housewife.»