Kate Upton, Models, and Social Media

Photo: Mario Testino

Photo: Mario Testino

In an incredibly well-written analysis for Vogue, writer Jonathan van Meter talks with Kate Upton, Liu Wen, and Joan Smalls about how models are using social media to their advantage - but do selfies really sell and are models actually moving merchandise? 

"Is fashion, at least as it is presented on the runway, really still doing this? The no-personality, samey-samey thing? Is it any wonder so many models have taken to Twitter and Instagram and Facebook and Tumblr to establish themselves as actual humans, with quirks, style, and interests all their own? . . . For models these days, social media offers the promise of a different kind of career: one that is more connected, more fulfilling, and, if they are lucky (and want it), lasts longer than three or four years. [However], putting yourself out there as a model now means exposing yourself to an unprecedented level of scrutiny and criticism. Many models no longer read the comments on their feeds. And can you blame them? Scroll through and see if you feel better about humanity."

Even though Kate has reached a huge level of success, especially due in part to her use of social media, she's still figuring it out - as are Liu Wen and Joan Smalls.

Kate: "People think I am an expert on social media, but I am still trying to figure it out, too. How much do you want to put yourself out there? . . . Now I overthink it. Like, ‘Ugh, are people going to understand this joke?’ Before, I had no filter because I had, like, 100 followers.”

Wen: "Before, on Instagram, only a thousand people like me. Right now it’s 280,000. I am very happy about that. Chinese people have a word. We say, Not you happy—you have to make everyone happy. To share the happy. That is very important.”

Smalls: "You have to kind of detach from what people think of you,” says Smalls, “because sometimes it’s just too hurtful. Opinions are like belly buttons: Everybody has one.”

Despite the fame and additional publicity, does posting selfies really move merchandise? 

"'Interestingly enough, no,' says [Amber] Venz [Founder of RewardStyle]. 'It's really the personal-style bloggers who [are] excelling as far as driving revenue for the brands.'"

Read the full article here  

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