Where Have All the Models Gone?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Fall campaigns run the spectrum of many things that fashion companies want us to focus on--color trends, new silhouettes, the mystique of their brand, and, most importantly, the desire to spend your money with them. The ad campaigns do this by creating beautiful hair and makeup looks, cohesively edited and styled looks by a cadre of experts, eye catching graphics, and the all important brand logo. And now, and most importantly, by employing a celebrity. Um...where have all the models gone?!?

Its a sad fact that now you can't even buy a magazine with a fashion model on the cover, which is horrible to fathom to me. And now, you open said magazine and in the campaigns there is an overwhelming number of celebrities who are touting everything from fragrance to shoes to clothing. This is becoming even more a regular phenomenon. What happened to the suspension of belief and mystery of the fashion model? Do I need to apply an actual personality to the campaign who just becomes a running reminder of their latest musical or cinematic project to me? Is the choice of fashion models so slim that there aren't enough of them to employ in these campaigns? Have fashion models become too expensive to employ and the celebrity is the more economical representative ( I highly doubt it)? I applaud Vogue Magazine for going with a model (Kate Moss) on the cover of the September 2011 issue (a very long time coming) but not many other magazines have followed suit and the major campaigns fail as well by following the celeb-as-model trend. 
Yes, its nice to see Kate Winslet looking great but in three campaigns? Or Julianne Moore in another three? Drew Barrymore knocks it out of the park in the Neiman Marcus fall campaign but granted, she is an actress/model who has had success in her respective careers separately and not in concert with each other. Marion Cotillard also does a great job in her campaigns but she French and doesn't count (I'm kidding). And lets not even talk about the beauty campaigns, which has been over run with celebrities for decades now and seem to continue to give any new female musician or actress a contract at any given moment. Fashion models have been relegated to fashion shows and editorials, which yes, is the core of their work and where they really are the only pros who do that job and do it well, but who is to say that the next trend is to have the celeb in the ad campaign walk to runway next? This is the homogenization of the industry in the age of celebrity and I hope it doesn't go that route.

One of the best campaigns in fashion had to have been the Versace ads of the 90s that featured celebrities like Elton John or Madonna. Whats was great about that campaign was the idea (and fact) that the celebrity in the campaign was an actual customer of the brand and you knew it, believed it, and made you want to wear it. This same ethos even translated to the campaigns that featured the models of the time in the brands campaigns as well, making those featured models into Supermodels.  This held the allure of the brand and elevated it to status. I don't see this happening in today's campaigns and feel its become homogenized and very general. 

Its even more sad when you think about the state of the modeling industry, where to land a major magazine cover was an achievement and now its a rarity.  A top model is now lucky to get an editorial and even in that respect, its being dominated by a select few (of a happily diverse mix of) models.  But even still, models are in the job of inspiring us to explore our presentation of our inner selves and embody that, I believe. They capture, in that moment, what the brand's image and history convey, and present the objects of that brand in a distinct and different light than a celebrity does. 

Its time to bring back the fashion model. To the campaigns, to the magazine cover, to the forefront of the industry, and the front of our fashion minds often and again.



  1. Amen Girl! I agree, and have been saying the same thing for years! Why even bother with having big names in the industry, if they aren't gonna be working!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

A Fashionable Feel... All rights reserved © Blog Milk - Powered by Blogger