Stephanie Christofferson, Spring 2015
While the rare supermodel may still exist, increasingly she is becoming irrelevant. Brands today are finding more success with using celebrities not only in their ad campaigns, but on the runway. To much acclaim, a couple of notorious characters from the Hollywood hit film Zoolander strutted the runway at the Valentino show this March at Paris Fashion Week; to a bit more mixed acclaim, Kendall Jenner of the Kardashian clan has begun to steal the spotlight in shows such as Chanel, Marc Jacobs, and Oscar de la Renta (to name a few). And celebrities aren’t just walking the runway; many are attempting to dominate it with lines of their own – from Victoria Beckham’s successful line to Kanye West’s decidedly more controversial one. We are living in the age of the actor slash singer slash model slash designer. While advertising has long been taken over by celebrity culture, now some of the tabloid’s most notorious faces are not only taking front row seats at fashion shows, but jumping out of their chairs onto the runway and behind the scenes.
This marriage of celebrity culture and the fashion world is controversial, to say the least. While some fear it to be a dangerous mix that may dilute the authenticity of fashion, others believe it to be a collaborative meeting of great artistic minds. Whether it is good or bad for the quality and integrity of fashion, one thing is for sure, it’s marketing genius. Slapping a celebrity’s image onto your brand was always a lucrative move, but now PR agencies are getting more creative. Having the next viral video revolve around your line seems possible only with the help of some very well-known faces, as the Valentino house seemed to know before anyone else.