When COVID-19 struck, the fashion industry practically shut down.
We’ve all heard this story before– brands scrambling to reimagine their presentations, adapting months of work into digital look books and video shows. The Spring/Summer 2021 season was marked by laggy livestream links and innovative press kits. One thing we didn’t exactly expect was celebrities-turned-models for entire collections.
This week, Givenchy dropped nearly a hundred images of a-list celebrities and recognizable supermodels donning Creative Director Matthew Williams‘ debut collection. Up-and-coming models were buried under sultry photos of Kylie Jenner, Travis Scott, and CR star Kim Kardashian West.
While Givenchy aims to be cutting edge with it’s full-fledged star spotlight, celebrities in fashion isn’t exactly new. The first traces of star power and designers can be traced back to the 1850s with Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind branded gloves, bonnets and shawls being sold. By the 1930s, designers often partnered Hollywood starlets on screen. By the ’50s Audrey Hepburn was the unofficial face of Givenchy, becoming the maison’s first celebrity brand ambassador and working with Hubert de Givenchy throughout her career. Givenchy’s little black dress became a cultural icon for decades to come after appearing in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
The ’90s and early 2000s brought the height of celebrity campaigns, with actors pulling their weight against top supermodels of the time. Designers realized they could capitalize off their clientele’s love for Hollywood. By featuring a-list stars of the time, brands cemented themselves as the height of fashion and style. There’s nothing more ’90s than Mark Wahlberg and Kate Moss’ infamous Calvin Klein ad.
Nearly thirty years later, creative directors are tightening their grip on the minds of consumers, replacing up-and-coming models with reality T.V. stars.
Keeping in line with being the first brand to earn the celebrity stamp of approval, Givenchy named Ariana Grande as the face of its label in May 2019 as an homage to the late Hepburn. That same month, Keanu Reeves was named the face of Saint Laurent. Cardi B’s Balenciaga billboard went live in Paris a few short months ago– proving the tactic isn’t dying off by any means.
If anything, designers are looking towards the horizon of Gen-Z culture, hiring younger celebrities to pose for their campaigns. YouTube sensation Emma Chamberlain has been spotted at several Louis Vuitton shows while Celine named teenage TikTok idol Noen Eubanks as the latest face of it’s campaign in December 2019.
The pandemic has only pushed the idea of stars promoting their favorite brands. Who can forget Jacquemus’ #JacquemusAtHome campaign filled with celebrity cameos? The designer’s bright and youthful Spring/Summer 2020 collection endorsed by Rosalía, Steve Lacy, Rosalia, Bella Hadid, and Barbie Ferreira kickstarted quarantines’ FaceTime photoshoot boom.
Givenchy’s newest social media campaign is just the latest iteration. Scroll through the label’s social media and you’ll find stars like Laura Dern, Naomi Campbell, Kaia Gerber, Playboi Carti, Lil Miquela, Kehlani, Kendall Jenner, and J Balvin to promoting the label’s Spring/Summer 2021 presentation. Celebrities-turned-models wore full-looks exactly as they appeared during William’s digital lookbook.
For supermodels like the Hadid sisters, Kendall Jenner, and Kaia Gerber, it’s the best of both worlds. For those not blessed with rich parents or massive social media clout, the adapting designer landscape can be a bit nerve wracking.
Low-profile models conditioned for the catwalk after many seasons of expert training are still being booked. Designers remain committed to in-person shows, despite the pandemic. If this latest fashion month is any indication, runways won’t turn into red carpets anytime soon, but the change seems to be creeping around the corner.
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createdAt:Tue, 20 Oct 2020 14:46:09 +0000
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