Before now, models were widely perceived as airheads who are just supposed to look pretty in whatever design they are modelling, but in 2018, models are speaking up and effecting change around them and indeed globally.
At the Forces of Fashion Conference models Gigi Hadid, Ashley Graham, Paloma Elsesser and Kendall Jenner spoke to Vogue on how they are changing the world and their industry one at a time.
Gigi Hadid On Having Friends And Connections In The Industry
I know I’m not like the runway queen, but the connections and the emotional things that I’ve had with these designers is what’s kept me around. The friendships that all of these [newer] models are building and the connections, not only emotional but intellectual. [It’s] the conversations that we get to have with each other that are really broadening fashion. A lot of people would be surprised to see the warmth and support that we all feel for each other.
Ashley Graham On The #MeToo Movement
A lot has changed, people are much more mindful of when you’re changing, and if you’re naked on set, everything is very closed off so that you feel comfortable. I think also there still needs to be education around what #MeToo means, what the movement actually means. I’ve had people working on my hair say, ‘Oh I don’t want to #MeToo you.’ First of all, that is so insensitive and awkward. You don’t know what whose hair you’re brushing has gone through, and their experiences, when you say a disgusting comment like that. If you don’t really understand the #MeToo movement, go look it up. I mean, it’s literally everywhere now! I have to say that I am so glad that it happened because men are becoming more sensitive, and women are taking action and having those conversations.
Paloma Elsesser On The Need For More Representation In The Industry
We’re supposed to be the pillars of the actual norm in America. Ashley (Graham) and I are in the same industry, but we represent very different women, different identities, different experiences. Obviously we have a connection, but it’s hard when we’re supposed to represent all of those identities in one. That’s why it’s important that we need other identities incorporated into this imagery to make everyone feel validated in a real way that can shape the narratives for people to come. As women we all have traumas, and looking at things that we can identify with feels good. So it does feel powerful to be an agent in shifting that, but at the same time, there are girls who are bigger than me, girls who are darker than me, girls who don’t have thin faces. There are all of these experiences and we’re supposed to be responsible for it. That’s why tokenism is difficult, because it leaves people out.
Kendall Jenner On Her Style
I’m too lazy to get camera-ready all the time. Every once in a while, it’s fun obviously to get ready and dressed up. I tell my sisters all the time that I love it when they go out and they’re in their sweats and no makeup. I think that’s so refreshing.