By jenni Sellan
Front Row, Vogue, highly coveted campaigns, lucrative collaborations and the Kardashians; the family that has commercialised fame and capitalised on fashions space in the most spectacular of ways.
Love them or loathe them, you know who they are, you know where they are and with 158 million instagram followers between them alone, “K” will now and forever stand for Kim, Kourtney, Khloé, Kendall and Kylie!
Notoriously famous for being famous the Kardashians have turned their fame and their name into a fortune and fashion is cashing in.
Celebrity in the modern age is a brand new game, and the power of social media in the digital age has created opportunities for an influence and reach beyond anything that we have witnessed compared to any other time in history.
A powerful brand presence carries with it the potential to open up a world of opportunity in arenas that were once the privilege of a select few, along with exposure to previously untouched markets resulting in increased product sales and market penetration.
This new social phenomenon has become big business and the heavy weights want in and perhaps more than any other industry, fashion, because it understands that when a certain Kim Kardashian says YES to Balmain, so do 52 million devoted followers. Cult following equals big business for fashion and it’s an investment the industry would be crazy to ignore. Will fashion tire of celebrity? Is it taking over the art form? Is it nothing more than a fleeting obsession? Two words. Money Talks.
For the Kardashians, there is no questioning that fame has been an open gateway into the world of high fashion, and this perhaps no more true than for Kendall, who at the age of 20 has a resume that reads like a seasoned super model.
Named in Model.com’s top 50 and among the 30 most influential teens of 2014 and 2015, Kendall is the second most followed model on social media and wait for it, the second most googled model in the world. She’s walked for fashion’s biggest names, including Balmain, Chanel, Givenchy and Oscar De La Renta, fronted covers for the likes of Vogue and Marie Claire and named girl of the moment by none other than Karl Lagerfeld. And of course there is that small matter of a contract with Estee Lauder!
For as many as there are loyal fans there are critics and of course many have argued that Kendall’s success as a model can be attributed only to a name and that hard work doesn’t even come a close second, (largely based on the fact that her rise to the top is one that typically takes many years of hard work and due diligence to achieve).
I wonder though if Kendall is simply doing what we all do to some extent everyday? The only difference being that this is version of normal looks a whole lot different to ours, because from what I can see, Kendall is maximising leverage and carving her way in an industry that has welcomed her with open arms.
Most of us trying to make a way for ourselves would kill for just one significant endorsement; we tag brands and celebrities in our social media posts in the hope of being noticed, acknowledged and elevated and aren’t we all looking for that perfect value exchange in business? That next meaningful connection that just might result in our own little piece of the fame and fortune pie? Tell me that you didn’t read that last sponsored post on social media guaranteeing you an increased following?
Are we not all taught to make the most of our circumstances, to take what we have and make it grow? Are we not encouraged to think about our future and to lay down foundations for the next season? Sure, it might not necessarily look like product endorsements or the holy grail of fashion and beauty collaborations, but the point remains.
We might not relate on a day to day level, we may think that their antics are outrageous and even shameful, but amidst all that we love and all that we loathe, take your cue unashamedly from Kendall and her famous siblings; diversify your channels of influence and carve your way through the industry that’s making a way for you; In the words of Amelia Earhart, “The woman who can create her own job is a woman that will win fame and fortune.