Kate Upton And The Return Of The Supermodel
By Vicki Hogarth for Huffington Post
In an era where Hollywood stars had supposedly stomped out the supermodel, a handful of girls have still risen to the ranks of superstars. Kate Upton, along with her contemporaries Coco Rocha and Cara Delevingne, have become brands in a time when models are accustomed to the idea of being seen and not heard on runways, while actresses and pop stars do the talking in magazine cover stories and international ad campaigns. The original six supermodels — Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, Stephanie Seymour, and Christy Turlington — may have created the concept of the supermodel, but Upton, Rocha and Delevingne are turning the idea of what “supermodel” means on its perfectly symmetrical head. The three new age superstars are actively crafting their own publicity campaigns and gleaning armies of digital fans with their every blog post, candid Instagram photo and witty tweet.
Kate Upton’s popularity is literally quantifiable. You can see it in the millions of YouTube views and Twitter followers she has accumulated since her now famous video went viral. Through her use of guerilla marketing, the traditional media came calling. First Sports Illustrated gave her the coveted Swimsuit Issue cover. GQ and Esquire soon followed suit. Then the unthinkable happened. Carine Roitfeld and Anna Wintour wanted to work with the model who had charmed the world with an iPhone and little bit of tech know-how. The evidence speaks for itself: the blonde bombshell is currently on the cover of Vogue's July issue.
Unlike Upton, Coco Rocha’s story begins in high fashion. The Canadian model got her start the old-fashioned way, as a teenage protégée to Steven Meisel. Now 24, the social media-savvy Rocha has amassed millions of followers on 13 different platforms, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr. While speaking at “Decoded Fashion,” a style and technology conference that took place at New York Fashion Week this spring, Rocha was asked about the key to her online brand’s success. “My content is from me. It’s not some PR firm that’s deciding to sell other things,” insisted Rocha to the audience. “It’s me and my voice and I think only I know it best.”