Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Is there room for new blood in the fashion industry?

It seems everywhere I turn I see the same faces on walls, print, magazines, at castings, shows and even contests.   It's become the norm, that if a model is an established name/well known face she can pretty much walk into any casting or contest and expect to be in the top three at bare minimum.  Now, if more than one show up, the rest of us should pretty much just walk home as we are just background dancers to their Prima Donna performance.

Why is this so?  My limited experience and the word on the street says that up and coming designers are desperate for the marketing asset that an SL Supermodel can bring to their brand.  That of course, is a smart and sensible marketing strategy.  You need a good reputation fast so you hire a star to endorse your product.  I suppose that it's working, otherwise we, the general public and consumers, wouldn't frequent some of the lesser known shops.

This is not to take away from the incredible work that these Supermodels turn out.  I'm not implying that they are not deserving of their reputations or status.  On the contrary, I bow to their greatness and acquiesce to their supreme knowledge of styling, for it is them who inspire us to become better.

However, what I am questioning here today, is whether or not there is room for new blood in that category.  See, in RL, models AGE.  Where Cindy Crawford and Tyra Banks were once at the top of their game, now they work behinds the scenes, while newer, fresher faces are allowed the spotlight.

What happens in a world where there is no aging, and you can change your physical appearance at will to keep with the current trends?  Does this mean that the ones that are at the top, will never get old, will never be dated and can work as THEE face of SL for eternity?

Where does this leave the rest of us?  I have seen many try to become clones of the select few Icons of SL.  More and more schools teach models how to make their shapes mimic those of these models and some even suggest having their shapes made either in the image or by the star herself.  Are we to become interchangeable drones? Copies of copies of copies......of the original?

And there there are those of us who don't want to be like the others.  In a world that is sooooooo afraid to stray from what worked in the past, and is so focused on worshiping the ones that are the "standard," how do you make people take notice and SEE what's new and exciting?  Is it even possible, or has the fashion industry just become the next PREFAB?  Perhaps they will begin to make model templates and issue them at the schools, to make it easier to assimilate. Hmmmm, I think I now know what the Borg evolved into.


  1. Wow, got THAT so right. Where are the opportunities for the models who may not have that 8 foot, telephone pole frame, with legs that go forever? Some don't want it, and there should be a way for models who don't have "model" shapes to work more.

    Let the long knives come out....


  2. I couldn't agree with you more Morgain, I am tired of the same "super"-faces everywhere and will avoid certain agencies that use them like the plague. After all - the term supermodel so nineties lol as anyone with the slightest knowlege of RL fashion would know. As a designer I treasure fresh, diverse - and lesser known "names" in my shows. Rock on!

  3. This is why I use myself in my Ads... its so much simpler then waiting for an available model, and my model has a common shape, I made, I have a tooshie and curves... that doesn't mean my clothes wont fit other avis, its just the one I use.

  4. Pale rider I salute you for keeping it real

  5. Ladies glad to see I'm not a lone voice in the metaverse. :)

  6. Models age in SL too. They stop keeping up, they get worn out, the stress gets to them - there are many burnouts in our field. Also, the market asks different things now than it did when I started in 2007. If you lose touch, most likely you'll never gain it again. But I do agree in one point - some names keep popping up and always have. As a long time manager and mentor, I see many new models try to make it. I think there is room for new blood. The rules of the game are somewhat warped in that newer girls get stuck in a vortex of non-paying work, from minor "agencies" who don't charge designers for the job, and sometimes designers can't tell a good model from a bad one. This attitude of your work isn't worth anything has to stop. The competition is there, it should be for designers and agencies, not only models. Sometimes the young girls while skilled don't make it because of these mechanisms more so than because they don't have the name or the skills.

  7. You make a very good point Laura! I hadn't seen that aspect of it. I myself and many of my peers are very new to the industry so we don't realize what is possible in this career. Most of us have been led to believe that the payment is the free outfit we get to showcase for a designer. Though the great outfits ate an amazing payment, many of us spend a small fortune styling them in order to do our jobs in properly showcasing these garments without any compensation for it. It often feels like we are paying them for the privilege of working. Hmmm...I wonder if that is truly how it works or if we have been mislead.