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Actress Rebecca Romijn was once a Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model, but she's clearly not a fan of today's crop of "Insta Girl" supermodels.
Entertainment Tonight asked Romijn what she thought of models like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, who are known for their immense social media followings. Romijn didn't hold back in her response, even going so far as to call out Vogue for promoting these social-savvy women:
No one has proven yet that numbers of followers translates to revenue. So it is frustrating. I know a lot of people -- legitimate fashion people -- can’t stand it. Hate it that these, you know, social media stars are now the supermodels in fashion. They are not true supermodels. And the thing is, I have always looked to Vogue magazine to lead the way, not be a follower. I rely on Vogue to set the standard, not follow what everybody else is doing. So I have been disappointed that fashion magazines have been supporting this trend of social media stars to set our style standards. But it will change; fashion always does.
No proof that lots of social media followers translates to revenue, huh? Designer Calvin Klein made a similar statement two weeks ago about the strategy of picking Instagram superstars to rep campaigns.
But ironically, his own brand (which he sold in 2002) is an example of social media's incredible selling power. Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber have over 100 million Instagram followers combined, and their appearances in Calvin Klein's underwear campaigns not only raised the brand's profile, but also directly translated into sales. In 2015, Calvin Klein noted that the average unit retail results in its North American shops showed a 25 percent increase over the previous year (Justin Bieber's ads launched in January 2015).
Meanwhile, Rihanna (37.5 million Insta followers) is peddling Puma furry slides that sell out almost immediately. Even Gigi Hadid's street style moves product. "Having Gigi wear our jeans has increased our brand exposure dramatically," the CEO of newish jeans brand Parker Smith told Refinery29 earlier this month.