Stephanie Seymour v. Kendall Jenner: Supermodel Showdown

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 16:  Kendall Jenner walks the runway during the Michael Kors show as a part of Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week at Spring Studios on September 16, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 16: Kendall Jenner walks the runway during the Michael Kors show as a part of Spring 2016 New York Fashion Week at Spring Studios on September 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/FilmMagic)

When Stephanie Seymour called Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid  “bitches of the moment,” Kendall didn’t take it kindly, nor did Gigi’s mother, Yolanda Hadid. According to Kendall, Seymour is a “cyber bully” who should empower the new guard, rather than tearing them down. But this begs a larger question. What exactly is a “supermodel” and is Kendall actually on the list?

First, attaching the word “super” in front of “model” is a ridiculous trend that somehow stuck, and if you disagree, take a moment to put it in front of other professions. How about “superdentist” or “superaccountant” or “superlawyer.” It’s a coined, immature replacement for “top ten.” And if these girls are in fact the “bitches of the moment,” is that a bad thing? We could say the same about anyone in their prime. If the objection is to having a reputable family to pave your path, I’d argue that connections exist in every industry, and no one objects to the Hustons, the Barrymores, or the Fondas.

The only decent argument I’ve heard thus far was made by Rebecca Romijn, who said that social media status does not predict the ability to sell clothes. She also astutely argued that the industry should be in front of celebrity, rather than behind it. If models are fielded through an Instagram following, for example, and musicians are fielded through YouTube clicks, then is anyone doing any actual work prior to the public’s response? In short, it’s lazy vetting. Perhaps Kendall’s strong reaction to Seymour’s dig is a punishment that did not fit the crime, but the old guard better get on board. It’s a new game, and if you can’t play it, you will lose.

Rebecca Romijn v. Yolanda Foster: “Your Children Aren’t Supermodels”



After listening to Rebecca Romijn’s recent rant about Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid not being true supermodels, it suddenly occurred to me that the former model and Mrs. John Stamos missed her calling as a co-host of ‘The View.’ When asked for her opinion on the rise of social media supermodels during an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Romijn said:

No one has proven yet that numbers of followers translates to revenue. So it is frustrating. I know a lot of people — legitimate fashion people — can’t stand it. Hate it that these, you know, social media stars are now the supermodels in fashion. They are not true supermodels. And the thing is, I have always looked to Vogue magazine to lead the way, not be a follower. I rely on Vogue to set the standard, not follow what everybody else is doing. So I have been disappointed that fashion magazines have been supporting this trend of social media stars to set our style standards. But it will change; fashion always does. “

Needless to say, Mama bear and current cast member of ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,’ Yolanda Foster, responded harshly, saying, “They accomplished more at half your age in the fashion industry.” So is anyone right, and is it even worth the ruffled feathers? For starters, nepotism and connections run just about every industry, especially Hollywood. Without it, we wouldn’t have Drew Barrymore, Kiefer Sutherland, Michael Douglas, George Clooney, Anderson Cooper, Jane Fonda, Angelica Huston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey Jr., etc . . . In fact, from my limited armchair experience, all of my inner circle (outside of Tinseltown) landed their jobs through connections. But connections are only the first step in a long list of qualifications, and they would go nowhere without natural talent and dedicated work ethic. I’d give a list of many connected people in the industry that have failed to prove that point, but it would not be kind to do so. Rebecca does; however, makes a larger point worth nothing. Just because one has a flurry of followers, does not mean their presence alone will push purchases. It also is a slightly lazy choice on the part of the fashion industry, who is using the public to field their stars, rather than finding them on their own. If the vetting process starts with social media rather than an innate ability to scope talent, then you’re going to miss a lot of potential powerhouses. And that goes with any industry. Also, does their focus on their personal life cloud the consumer? Does it become more about the person than the collection? It’s certainly worth exploring, and I find it refreshing that Rebecca actually gave her true opinion, completely unafraid of the backlash. If we focus too much on politically correct talking points we will all be a bunch of robots.