Instagram. A personal obsession and debatably the most immersive social media platform in the digital age. In a world filled of noise and text, Instagram is an evolving platform where sharing your life is no longer just personal, it means business.
Former judge on the hit TV series America’s Next Top Model, Nigel Barker tells ABC, he knows from experience that models are increasingly being found on social media including the likes of Matthew Noszka and Winnie Harlow. “There is absolutely no doubt that models are being discovered through social media and that trend is going to continue. I know that magazine editors are scouring Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.” But in a world where industries are crowded with talented and experienced individuals, is there room for Insta-ntly rookie models?
Born and bred in Pittsburgh, Matthew Noszka used to work with his father in construction, now he works as a model for some of the biggest fashion labels in the world, modelling in New York Fashion Week. He’s one of many Instagram made models picked up by agencies looking for a fresh new face. Noszka was lucky enough to be signed with Wilhelmina Models, one of the largest modelling agencies in the world, with one of his first jobs modelling for Nike NYC. This kind of fast tracked career is one not common in the fashion industry, with models working overtime, years upon years to land high fashion jobs, and even longer for an appearance in New York Fashion Week. It appears even celebrities are open to the high fashion modelling world, providing of course, you have millions of followers. Kendall Jenner is somewhat of a rookie when it comes to the modelling industry, however due to her ties with the Kardashian family and her 36+ million followers on Instagram, Jenner has found herself modelling for brands Givenchy, Chanel and Balmain at New York Fashion Week. However, this has caused quite an uproar, and for good reason.
Imagine you are a model. You’re scouted by an agent that believes you have potential! You’re asked to move from your small town to The Big Apple with only $2000 in your savings. You’re asked to share an apartment with six other models, audition for countless castings, starve yourself on a new diet because your agent believes you’re “too fat”, constantly work out, then wait patiently by the phone to see if there’s a spot for you at NYFW. But who’s paying your bills? Who’s paying for your phone and your meals? The agency, and you’re left with tens of thousands of dollars in debt before you have even landed your first job. So, considering all of those factors, how would you feel if Kendall Jenner, multi-million-dollar heiress to the Kardashian throne, was modelling right beside you? I have one word— cheated.
Barker elaborates on the shift for ‘social famous’ people by stating that “models can take pictures of their life and Instagram them, and if we like them and follow them, the magazine is seeing that a model has hundreds, thousands if not, millions of followers, before they have even got a cover.” In an article from RelaxNews, Gigi Hadid, model and now famous for her connections in Hollywood, racks up ‘6 million followers — enough to put some big brands to shame. She’s walked for Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Jeremy Scott and Anna Sui last year [at NYFW]. Following her Instagram guarantees you a prime seat for this season’s shows.’
The fashion industry is notorious for it’s competitive and overpopulated nature but it seems the requirements for agencies have shifted. Models are now chosen on their social media presence, their execution of the perfect selfie, focusing less on the experience and dedication of an individual. This new recruiting strategy runs the risk of experienced models being pushed to the side while new comers snatch big roles.
Hi, I'm michael!
I'm 22 years old and obsessed with food and fashion-- especially sneakers.