How Kendall Jenner Is Poised To Be The World’s Next Supermodel
There were some eye rolls when Kendall Jenner initially expressed her desire to be a high-fashion model, but with Thursday’s announcement that she’ll be in Karl Lagerfeld’s spring 2015 ads, it’s clear the 19-year-old has the look the industry wants and is here to stay. While haters continue to hate, Jenner’s dedication and strategic career moves are further paving the way for her to become the world’s next supermodel.
The latest announcement comes just days after Jenner was tapped to be the new global face of Estée Lauder. And with the Lagerfield deal, there’s already speculation that a Chanel campaign is in the making for the teen, who has walked the runway for the French fashion house on several occasions. Securing these contracts, after nabbing an equally high-profile Givenchy campaign in June, has been the perfect end to Jenner’s freshman year on the catwalk. Anyone who doubted whether or not she could hack it as a high-fashion model is surely eating their words.
After signing with The Society Management, Jenner spent 2014 walking down the most exclusive runways in New York, Paris, Milan and London. According to the model, it took distancing herself from her famous family to do it. Jenner went as far as to ask her Internet breaking sister Kim Kardashian to not attend her shows when she first started out for fear it would detract attention from her own work. Like many supermodels before her, Jenner has even decided to drop her famous last name professionally.
Part of Jenner’s runway success comes from her willingness to transform herself into whatever the designer wants her to be. She understands that modeling is about more than looking pretty, and the fresh-faced star was nearly unrecognizable when she made her runway debut at the Marc Jacobs Fall 2014 show last February. While many naysayers saw her appearance as a cheap publicity stunt, Jenner was just getting started. Sporting a severe bob and bleached eyebrows, Jenner strutted down the catwalk with her breasts on full display in a sheer sweater, something she still doesn’t regret. Jenner opened up about the moment in a recent interview with “Access Hollywood,” noting, “Who’s going to argue with Marc Jacobs when he’s putting you in an outfit, you know what I mean? It was an amazing moment. And I do not regret it.” Jenner has a reputation among designers for being professional and hardworking. There have never been reports of diva-like antics that one might expect from a reality TV star whose career is gaining rapid momentum.
So far, Jenner has graced the pages of Vogue not once, but twice. Her sister Kim may have scored the coveted cover, but Jenner is clearly Anna Wintour’s darling. During a talk at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on Monday, Wintour praised Estée Lauder for choosing Jenner to be the face of its company. “What a fantastic decision that was!” she said.
What Jenner has in common with the fashion industry’s other in-demand models, including, Cara Delevingne, Gigi Hadid and Kate Upton, is a social media presence that is almost impossible to rival. Jenner currently has nearly 16 million Instagram followers, which is something big brands can no longer afford to ignore. Estée Lauder reportedly gained 50,000 new Instagram followers just days after announcing Jenner’s new role. Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing aptly called Jenner the “new pop-culture model,” telling Vogue she is “inspiring girls in the way Claudia Schiffer or Naomi Campbell did.” Those are some pretty big shoes to fill, but after a super successful first year as a model, it will be interesting to see how the fashion industry will be keeping up Jenner.