18 May 2011

Stick to Your Strenghts...

Gone are the days of the Super Model Era that had women all over the world wanting to look like Cindy, Naomi, Iman or Linda. Ever beautiful in photographs, which at the end of the day is what they are paid a hefty sum to do-make the product look desirable whilst looking stunning.  But they shone beyond just that. As a model, it is all about being a chameleon. Being able to adapt to any environment they are placed in. Today it is avant garde tomorrow it is minimalism. It could be an androgynous look a designer or photographer is after, or a sensual mystery woman.  Hours on end spent on a challenging set. With all that happens in and outside private lives, models still need to "bring it" to a job. And believe us when we say that it is not as easy as it sounds.  

But one of the most important things by far is promoting yourself as a brand that is here to stay. A personality of some sort goes a long way. Because the industry is so unstable, a career could end before it even begun. Eating disorders, low self esteem, depression, racism and detached personalities are one of the few from a list of issues faced by people in the fashion industry but are not portrayed as they are less than glamorous. Now almost every catwalk showcases at least one woman of colour be it Asian or African. It was only three years ago that Vogue Italia issued an all black editorial. And we are talking about the 21st Century. To date, people still turn up their noses when a male or female issues they are a model. Worst especially for male models, who are perceived as extraordinarily self absorbed individuals. 
And as if that is not enough, in prance the celebrity actors and entertainers, walking clothes racks, to take on a position that some models have worked extremely hard for. And all this in the blink of an eye. The likes of Keira Knightley and now Blake Lively for Chanel, Rihanna or recently Jennifer Lopez for Gucci or Justin Timberlake for Givenchy. In the future, will there come a time when there shall  be no need for models in advertising campaigns? Rather a famous actress or singer should take their place? Understandably there is a thin line between fashion and entertainment these days. Different art forms they are, but the intertwine all the same. It is one thing to dress a celebrity for a red carpet event or music video, but it is another to have them represent your brand in numerous campaigns or in the case of Chanel and Blake Lively, be the face of a brand. The point is, certain things should be reserved for a chosen few. Fashion advertising campaigns, so-called high fashion magazine covers and catwalk shows should be reserved for the professionals-MODELS. And vice versa, most models should stick to what they do best and not stray into acting or singing if the talent does not lie within.
That being said, when a celebrity is chosen from time to time, let credit be given to whom it is due. The people who are behind the scene and make magic happen-Personal Shoppers and Stylists.
Kirsten Stewart and Saskia de Brauw on Vogue covers

Freja Beha and Blake Lively in Chanel Advert Campaign 2011

Rihanna and Joan Smalls as the Face for Gucci

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