Supermodels Think Instagram Models Are An Embarrassment

There seems to be a dust-up between supermodels and current Instagram models that is not going away. In fact, more models in both categories are weighing in. While it seems to be generational and professional, supermodels Alek Wek and Rebecca Romijn are sharing their thoughts that the term “model” means more than uploading images on your phone.

Recent supermodel news has not been so flattering, as former supermodel and now mom-of-two male models Stephanie Seymour and her sons have all been arrested over the last year for run-ins with the police, according to the Inquisitr. Stephanie Seymour was arrested for drunk driving, her son, Peter Brant Jr. was arrested for assaulting a police officer while trying to get on an airplane drunk, and son Harry Brant tried to stiff a cabbie, and ran away from the cab, drunk and high, before being rounded up by police. It’s obviously been tough being a model in the Brant family.


Alek Wek, a supermodel who was born in Sudan, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York, thinks that many of today’s Instagram models want to run before they can walk, says Page Six. Wek, who has walked for labels like Chanel, Gucci, Dior, and YSL is making clear that modeling, and rising to the top of her profession is work.

“I think the fashion industry has gotten to a place where it is embarrassing. When I think of ‘Instagram models,’ I say you have to take baby steps. You cannot just walk straight onto the runway. When I was working, there was no digital. We actually worked, we used Polaroids.”


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Wek is suggesting that anyone who makes a duck-face selfie now seems to use the term “model” as a defining label.

“Anything that those girls get for instant gratification, [they’ll] have to pay for it later.”

The career might seem, and sound, glamorous, but those who believed they have earned the title supermodel seem to be calling out these young upstarts.


Even those who have actually walked a runway are being targeted by the old guard, including Rebecca Romijn, who calls models like Kendall Jenner and GiGi Hadid “social media models,” aka Instagram models, says Entertainment Tonight. ET asked Romijn what she thinks of models like Jenner and Hadid who are better known for their social media presence than their work on the catwalk. Romijn says that many fashion professionals hate the Instagram model phenomenon.

“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.”

Romijn says she has been truly disappointed that legitimate fashion magazines have embraced some of these unproven flashes in the pan.

“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.”


But Hailey Baldwin, no doubt one of the “Instagram models” that these supermodels are referencing, has a response to those who have blazed the trail, says Us Weekly. Hailey Baldwin says that there is room for everyone, and the path they take to the catwalk or the covers of magazines is irrelevant.

“The older supermodels sometimes don’t agree with the fact there is a new generation of models. We’re not saying we’re supermodels.”

Certainly, the supermodels are likely thrilled about being called “older” as age often is the death knell for models of any kind. Hailey Baldwin is gracing the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Australia‘s November issue, and claims that she is simply having business success.

“I’d rather people look at us as businesspeople, and, yes, modeling is our business right now, but we’re not trying to take anybody’s spot, and we’re not trying to discredit the past.”

Hailey Baldwin, whose Instagram page has 7.9 million followers, posts pictures of her in various modeling poses, often with her famous friends, at the pool, on yachts, and in hot spots all over the world.

But the old guard is not ready to hand the reins over to those coming to modeling straight from social media, and will likely continue to turn up their noses at the idea.

Do you think it matters if you are famous for walking the runway, rather than famous for your social media presence (famous for simply being famous)?

[Featured Image by Vittorio Zunino Celetto/Getty Images]