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Why Do ‘90s Supermodels Keep Slamming Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid?

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Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

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Man, those social media-savvy models just can’t catch a break. Despite snagging multiple campaigns, starring in music videos, dating boy banders, and amassing millions of online followers along the way, Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner still apparently haven’t reached supermodel status — according to the women who held that title in the ‘90s, at least.

In a new interview with Vanity Fair, original supe Stephanie Seymour had this to say of the two mega-famous young models: “They are completely different than we were. Supermodels are sort of the thing of the past. They deserve their own title. [Kendall and Gigi] are beautiful girls, and I support all of them, but they need their own title.” But here’s the kicker: Asked for title suggestions, Seymour laughed and offered, “Bitches of the moment!”

Seymour’s jab follows similar comments from another former Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue moder, Rebecca Romijn. Just two months ago, Romijn called out Vogue for promoting Kendall and Gigi so frequently in its pages: “It is frustrating,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “I know that a lot of people — legitimate fashion people — can’t stand it. Hate 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. 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.”

Catwalk icon Naomi Campbell shared the same sentiment on The Meredith Vieira Show last year. “I mean, good luck to them,” she said. "I just feel like my generation of women — like Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Claudia — we had to earn our stripes and take our stepping stones to get to where we have gotten. I kind of feel like, 'My God, we've worked so hard, and we are still working at it.' And then it just comes like that for them, but I sometimes believe easy come, easy go.”

Not every model over 30’s got beef with Kendall and Gigi, though. Last month, Miranda Kerr defended the duo against Romijn’s claims, telling the New York Daily News, “That’s not very nice. They work hard just like everyone else.” Meanwhile, catwalk legend Cindy Crawford defended the so-called “social media models” during a chat with at the Met Gala in May. “I'm so jealous, because I feel they have this direct way to communicate with their audience that my generation didn't have,” she admitted. “I think it's a responsibility, but it's also a great tool, because they really can be their own publicists. They can present themselves the way that they want to be presented.”

It’s worth noting, of course, that Crawford’s own 14-year-old daughter Kaia Gerber is making major waves in the fashion world right now, having snagged campaigns with Alexander Wang, Versace, and Chrome Hearts and editorials in Vogue Paris and CR Fashion Book. Also, that she’s got over half a million Instagram followers (and counting) to her name. Add that to the fact that she comes from a famous family, and it’s difficult to see how her situation is that different from Kendall's or Gigi’s — which might explain Crawford’s diplomatic viewpoint.

Update: Stephanie Seymour has issued a statement addressing her “bitches of the moment” quote in Vanity Fair through an Instagram post. She wrote, “I don't usually address rumors, but since feelings have been hurt I would like to set the story straight. At an event last week I was jokingly asked if the ‘era of supermodels’ was over, what should we call the new great ‘it’ girls?? There were no names mentioned, and NO ill intent involved. A supermodel is a supermodel. I respect and admire all these women in my industry, in particular Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner. Having been in the business over 20 years I know how hard these women work. Bravo to both Gigi and Kendall for their success!!”

A side-by-side of the two girls on different runways accompanied the message.