15 years ago, all a model had to do was show up and look pretty. But in today’s social media-saturated world, a great pair of legs and killer cheekbones do not a supermodel make. More and more, a model’s earning power is derived not only by how many shows she walked or magazines she covered, but how many Twitter followers she has, according to the AP.
Name recognition has always been a powerful asset in a model’s career, but whereas in the past the public mostly got to know the industry’s biggest players through countless covers, campaigns, gossip columns and paparazzi photos, today’s social media has enabled models to make names for themselves. Now, any business-savvy model can get her name out there–and control her brand–through Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook.
The new crop of social media friendly models–like Coco Rocha, Doutzen Kroes, and Karlie Kloss–may even see the return of models to the covers of magazines–or at least making some headway on the celeb covers that are de rigueur–said Wilhelmina president Sean Patterson. “With fan sites, blogs and Facebook, all of a sudden you can follow a model and know who she is,” Patterson told the AP. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that having a big social media fanbase can bring instant buzz to any brand that hires the model. “I imagine, for example, that Victoria’s Secret likes that Doutzen (Kroes) has so many Twitter followers and that she tells them, ‘Watch the Victoria’s Secret show I’m in at 9 p.m.”
Of course, it isn’t just brands and agencies that are benefitting from the new trend: Models are relishing their newfound power and voice. “Because I have a voice and I’m sticking to having that voice, I feel like I have extended my career,” Tweeting-machine Coco Rocha, told the wire. Model Heide Lindgren agrees: “You can make yourself into more than a model this way…It introduces me to a new audience, and it might be more people seeing my posts than something that’s in Vogue.”