The 1980's saw the Rise of the Supermodel, fabulously beautiful women such as Cindy Crawford, Kate Moss and Linda Evangelista, all of whom gained great power and recognition in the fashion industry. For the first time, the models were becoming more famous than the designers – and just as recognizable as many Hollywood stars. With this newfound stardom came a model's ability to control her career for the first time. No longer just living and breathing mannequins, models were charting their own courses – and becoming multi-tiered brands in the process.
Although the era of the true Supermodel has passed, the effect it had on the careers of many models – and the fashion industry as a whole – remains to this day.
Today, designers strive to be associated with the best, hottest faces. Models that capture the eye of a top designer can see their careers skyrocket, as they become the exclusive face of that line for years to come. And while giant supermodels no longer roam, this is truly an exciting time to be a model – with more web-based opportunities, thousands of new magazine titles in need of ads and a revitalized international fashion presence that provides opportunities around the globe.
And it is more important than ever that models increase their visibility across ALL entertainment platforms, as many designer now turn to A-list movie stars for many of their high-end shoots. The Vogue pages that were once the exclusive domain of top models are now filled with the likes of Nicole Kidman, Ashley Judd and Naomi Watts.
What does this mean to the career of an aspiring model? In one sense, there is more competition than ever in the world of modeling. But in another, more positive way, there are also more opportunities to really make an impact on the world of fashion and beyond.
Models in the 21st Century are more a part of the TOTAL MARKETING of fashion. So when you are linked to a line or a designer, it raises your profile and puts you more in demand. And the exposure models receive is now greater than ever. With the advent of reality TV and the celebrity culture, we are hungry to know more and more about the person BEHIND the look. And that means more chances to get exposure and get paid.
Note for a model just starting out: try and expose yourself to all aspects of the industry. This means understanding the world of fashion and how it is marketed. And more importantly, do not limit yourself. Once you have a good grasp on your modeling skills, explore other creative arts such as acting, singing, movement and film. As a model in the new world of fashion you are MORE than just a mannequin, you are an entertainer, a marketer, a real presence.
The model plays a greater role in the world of fashion today. Now get out there and take the world by storm!