Archives: The Return of The Supermodels, Vanity Fair September 2008

| 22 May , 2011 | 1 Reply

It’s been some time since I’ve posted an archive post, but I came across this one and knew it had to be posted. Back in September 2008 Vanity Fair featured this editorial “The Return of Supermodels” featuring Naomi Campbell, Stephanie Seymour, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer and Christy Turlington photographed by Mario Testino with Carla Bruni on the cover.

These models were the first “Supermodels” and as Vanity Fair highlights back in 2008 they have returned, we have seen them return in campaigns, editorials and on covers, their classic beauty at the time is still as classical and in demand as ever. Why is that?

The concept of Supermodels, what does it mean? They are in high demand and can command big fees? They’ve got a constant posse of Papparazzi following them? They ‘sell?’ The fees today are much much bigger, and in between their comeback we see the rise and rise of the celebrity.  So does that mean we now have “Super Celebrities” in our midst?

Who’s a “Super Celebrity” then?  Angelina Jolie would be the Queen of Super Celebrities but who else? Julia Roberts is another one … and interestingly these two don’t ‘court’ the super celebrity stardom they have, they are focused on their familes and their jobs, there’s a distinct line in the sand for them. Robert Pattinson and Kirsten Stewart also fit the “Super Celeb” bill, they too don’t court it and are out of the public eye as much as they can be and have struggled with the ‘cult’ like following that has occurred since being thrust into the “Twilight” limelight.

But we’re now starting to see the ‘sellable’ value of a celebrity’s endorsement decline. How we shop and purchase is hugely different now, what we aspire for is different.  Who sells products well? Angelina & Julia sell movies well which is definitely their job but lines are blurred now that they are courted for campaigns and do they have that same power?  The newly married Duchess of Cambridge fits in here somewhere and we know she sells well, anything she wears is sold out within minutes of it being identified but is that because she’s not ‘selling it’? Has the ad campaign featuring Abbey Lee Kershaw who would be considered a “Supermodel” helped Portman’s gain traction with their sales decline? She’s absolutely stunning in the Tom Ford campaign, but he doesn’t need a face to ‘sell’ his products everyone just wants to buy into the ‘Tom Ford’ aspiration.

With model profiles getting bigger and bigger, (thanks to brands like Victoria’s Secret who ‘pimp’ out their “Angels” in big fanfares and any opportunity without coming up with anything ‘new’) they now blur the lines of being models / celebrity. Miranda Kerr blurrs that line, in part because of her celebrity husband Orlando Bloom but also as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. Models are on the red carpets mixing with celebs, they are just as in demand for photos on and off the red carpets as celebrities, the lines are now firmly blurred.

I don’t know what I think about it all, it’s definitely become a saturated market and lots of jostling going on … it will be interesting to see how it continues to play out and may be it’s time to consider getting ‘back to basics.’

And enough waffling for a Sunday!

Who’s your favourite “Supermodel” and/or “Super Celebrity?”

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