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The Revenge Of The Blips

Who will Blip? Who will Blur?Who will Blast?Who will Blip? Who will Blur?Who will Blast?

Blip. That's the sound she makes across the fashionscape , an extremely brief episode of noise emitted in that one great first season of hers. Blip . Her little squeak lasts about as long as a strobe or a flash in the studios of Meisel or Mert n Marcus or Inez and Vinoodh, or any of that select group of 8 photographers who eat the majority of the advertising and editorial work every season. They'll shoot her once. Or twice. For a multi-girl Balenciaga ad, for US Vogue or Vogue Paris. But she will bore and then she will never be rebooked. She might have a lifetime of lesser bookings but they will be solidly sub-blue chip. We shouldn't sob. A blip could still make 250K a year in that back catalog work, picking up a Numero here or a Pop there to still seem slightly relevant. But maximum relevancy? Long gone.

And so that is what we'll call that kind of model now. The Blips. There's no need to be cruel enough to name names but we all know exactly the kind of girl we're groaning about. The 80's/90's gave us supermodels. In the 00's girls could still ride the horse of longevity into iconic status. Think Natalia and Daria and Raquel. And now this era of ours, the 10's, is simply for Blips. Staring at the shortlist of this season's Top 10 Newcomers, gut instinct is signaling that there's going to be a lot of blipping in these ranks. This is not to cynically damn this mob of freshly scrubbed newcomers to oblivion. It is simply to acknowledge that somewhere along the model-tracking line, the game has changed.

Runway. It used to mean something. It once was a prestige platform, a kind of auditioning space for new girls to show what they were made of before an audience of the very top editors, stylists and photographers as well as the directional designers canavassing for fresh inspiration. The track had a logic and meaning, from which you could deduce and calculate a likely index of success. The opening slots and exclusives of coveted and precious, a first exit in that space meant a star was born. That is until Prada itself (for we must imagine Prada an entity, and a very mercurial one at that) seemed to grow annoyed with all this pedestrian star-is-born drama and swung as randomly and mercurially as it wished. To the point that its Fall 2011 campaign featured 4 girls who not only did not set foot on a Prada catwalk, these girls had hardly set foot outside the little farm towns and villages they seemed to have been gleaned from. Beyond Prada it is the tone, everywhere on every runway. Every designer is doing as he or she will with these roaming bands of awkward new girls and every show increasingly a hermetic and self-enclosed statement of a single designer's current whim. There's very little connection or continuity. One moment the system emits an Arizona Muse and then the next it does not. The fact that Arizona blasted into stardom and did not blip is very much due to Arizona's will and Next's management smarts, not to some pre-set formula of success. Opening slots and after that closing slots now mean nothing whatsoever in the scheme of things. Exclusives are hardly a commitment to a career. They are frankly, a well played game of oneupmanship with the model's career being the last thing on the list of concerns. The look or the importance of the outfit probably being the first. As such I'm hoping this post is a pre-emptive strikes to bookers sending emails touting that Girl X just closed YSL. Yeah ...and...?

In many ways the designers have succeeded in a steady policy of returning fashion modeling to its pre-supermodel mores. Back then there were runway girls and they were a distinct and separate breed from the editorial and campaign super-stars. When the naughty conspiracy of Versace/Meisel/Lagerfeld and a clique of super-smart managers like Gerald Marie and John Casablancas converged on Linda, Christy, Naomi and Claudia to make an event of editorial stars stomping the runway, it seemed that momentum would last into eternity. But that strategy has been steadfastly erased season after season by very smart designers who are certain in their stance that all they need that very long and sleek girl to do is walk to the end of the catwalk, turn and exit in The Look. Nothing more. No Name. No Fame. Blip.

I've frequently said it in interviews that the supermodel died because of the beat down she used to give to clients. She took it there and now it has been taken back. That clique of very bad and very brilliant girls gave Fashion some of its most stunning and emphatic imagery but they were also spoilt young girls who behaved as all spoilt girls were wont to do. Well Kate and Kristen and Carolyn are emeritus now ...almost like ancestral aristocrats of model privilege. But for new girls looking to test the limits? In this our modern day of an over-flowing model market with its ceaseless scouting (for casting directors are scouts too now) the supply so exceeds demand that for a girl to transcend the blur and blip she will have to necessarily be an extraordinary model.

The modeling industry has always been driven by a battle for balance of power and once post-recession clients snatched all the power, they weren't going to give it back. It remains in the interest of the power brokers to retain control using that cynical strategy of one-minute models .And of the marketing device that is Top 10 Newcomers, the truth is only 2 or 3 of those girls can ever find relevancy. Being a runway powerhouse doesn't guarantee a compelling presence in a picture. You never had to be that photogenic to book a runway show anyway and a very great model manager taught me the trick that "the body comes first". That's the fact. The bodies are coming first with personality and presence running distant seconds and thirds.

That is not to say that there is not brewing in the margins, some unlikely girl brimming with presence and personality and the ability to take historic fashion pictures. In scanning for a Top 10 Newcomer maybe the new trick to celebrate girls with some awareness of their career opportunities. At this point Joan Smalls gets a spotlight and a drum roll. But how do you tell from a picture or a runway walk if the girl can stand up to further scrutiny? At the end of the day its all gut instinct and passion. Would you have bet on the iconic possibilities of Lara Stone 3 years ago? Lara was a Top 10 Newcomer way back then and star quality married to genius management has taken that girl very far. Trick is , if there is a "The Next Lara" in this year's pack, she's going to look at first glance, like a Blip. Which is why maybe we should never underestimate anything with a flash of brilliance.

The Bookers

Too many childish bookers do inundate clients with needless reports and updates and that does lessen the girls profile- I dont need to see that so and so has just shot a group story for Dazed and Confused, or Vogue Sposa or is part of a 4000 cast in a Marc Jacobs show.. I mean we already know whats going on. But the amount of propaganda emails is absurd. We the client dictate, and that's the bottom line.
There are only a few emails that aren't put into the trash immediately and they are from the serious agents that have taste and avoid the mayhem:
Anyone from IMG, Marilyn, DNA, NY Models, Trump, Women/Supreme, Silent, Next, One and now Elite (as Louie will take that agency back to the top now that they have cleaned house. Louie will turn that place out!!) are always welcomed and I will also review submissions from Paul at Fords.
I just think the bookers (not mentioned) need to be more selective as they really ruin a girls image when they just randomly email out willy nilly and cheapen the girl.
Just my POV.

Agree on all with the

Agree on all with the exception of Elite cleaning house. They had their house cleaned for them when everyone good quit and joined other agencies. Yes, Louie will turn the agency back in the right direction editorially. No question there but for how long? Hopefully Elite New York will be bought by and run by Elite Paris that plus strong editorial again with Louie there and Elite would be tip top. But to be clear Elite experienced a full on nuclear meltdown and not by choice!



I don't think Wayne wrote this to write off the new girls as

everyone is saying.

He leaves this entry with a positive note *not* to write off a new girl as we may never know what comes in the future.


I'm proposing my theory that the "blips" are becoming "blurs" because nowadays most models *can't* model. They can't pose and they can't walk. There's no charm. They're just tall and skinny. And nowadays we pass gaunt faces as "good bone structure."I don't think half of these girls were meant to model but they're in the industry.
I can only name a handful of girls who have broke out in the past 2-3 or 4 seasons who really have a charming quality and know how to "work it" or "make it work" for themselves.

I also think the scouting has become too predictable. Like I said above...we just mistake tall, skinny/prepubescent bodies and gaunt faces as model material. All the supermodels of the past had it rough in the beginning because they weren't so predictable and most people didn't think they would make it.

remember jasmeen bleeth

remember jasmeen bleeth ,katusha ,beverly peele jenny shimitsu they modeled there asses off

Oh Wayne, Gurl Please write

Oh Wayne, Gurl Please write a comeback I'm dieing to hear your read to these bitches coming for you... I just know your response will be Epic

I agree with a lot of the

I agree with a lot of the things I read above, but I don't see anyone doing anything to help change the unfortunate situation that fashion is in right now. Someone needs to grab bitches like Nian Fish and the top castings directors and even the agents that are responsible for taking on new models and share ideas with them. I feel like if girls like Sabrina Nait (who is very reminiscent of the legendary Yasmeen Ghauri) actually got more attention and was casted into the right shows, and when she has the oppurtunity to do these shows she'd actually model down the runway and gave a little turn, a few poses a smile.. then I feel that this industry would start to become a much more pleasant field to be involved in. But until then, all were going to be doing is looking at the typical blank tad pole models being deer in the head lights for another decade. smh


Problem is people over paid

Problem is people over paid for models in the past and didn't get their money's worth. Plus designer fashion is just not making the kind of money it used to make. The trickle down effect is if the consumer is not buying clothes then there's no budget for models so you use cheaper models. That's it.

Wow! This is spot on and so

Wow! This is spot on and so enlightening. Sad but true . The industry is scared of supermodels. Love the beat down reference. I see you Naomi! Ha ha!

Says he who usually

Says he who usually 'worships' Givenchy casting and lifeless newcomers on Vogue Italia Covers.

The Non-descripts

I understand the designers wanting to have complete control over their fashion, but the current modeling situation is simply heinous to watch. All these random girls, hoofing it down the runway with dazed, haggard, and homely expressions on their non-descript commodity faces really detracts from the clothes. Fashion has always been about fantasy, and when you place an anorexic/bulimic pale and awkward girl in 6 inch heels and send her tripping down the runway with fear and confusion in her eyes, the fantasy disappears and everything in point: the Versace Spring/Summer 2012 show. What we have now are simply ragged clothes hangers that can barely stand under the weight of the clothes...

i just love how hypocritical

i just love how hypocritical you can be =) and yet you´re right

Hypocritical is right. It's

Hypocritical is right. It's more than anything that has made the girls so disposable. Top 50. Daily Duo. Model Of The Week. Top 10 Newcomers. Jesus. It's like you're on a mission to post every single fucking model in existence. Worst of all you guys feed the mother agencies this illusion that they know more about managing a girl than we do. It's just too much too many girls, too much . No one is more cynical than you. You walk around acting like you're so sweet and nice but you are one of the most evil cunts I've ever encountered in fashion and thats says a lot. I've seen the way you hype and then dump girls as if it were a game. Girls cry when they come off the Top 50. I mean look at amazing girls like Coco who are nowhere on your rankings. I don't think you're really human. I think deep inside you people hate models. The way girls get cancelled and dumped after weeks of doing looks is so disgusting. So it's just really ripe when you complain about your blips. You should look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself why.

"You walk around acting like

"You walk around acting like you're so sweet and nice but you are one of the most evil cunts I've ever encountered" I second that!

Can't stop laughing. This

Can't stop laughing. This shit right here is twisted! Fashion High School.

I can only speak for me but

I can only speak for me but I've never found him to be nasty at all. I don't agree with all the Top 50 but I think he does a really tough job well. ? What's that got is like Wikipedia for lazy people who can't be bothered to look up anything or figure out anything for themselves. The problem is all these amatuer bookers who don't know a single thing about maintaining a girl. They have no eye and no taste. The one thing you're right about is that Casablancas and Gerald Marie and Eileen Ford were tough business people with sophistication and they brought that to the modeling industry. The day agencies start giving bookers IQ tests is the day these girls stand a chance.

"The day agencies start

"The day agencies start giving bookers IQ tests is the day these girls stand a chance."
I like this thought. Agents and directors need to take responsibility for the problems in our industry. Start by cutting off supply. Stop providing your clients 10 fresh faces each season. Make your scouts work harder to find those gems with sophistication and stop pleasing overly controling mother agents. The model business has become like a roulette. The more you play it, the more you find yourself trying to please all the different relations at the same time. And it will drive you crazy.

And i agree with whoever

And i agree with whoever brought up the MDC top 50 and MOTW thing... It's useful on one part for the business, for the other part it's another medium to be abused by the followers. Modeling is a great job but the fashion business is abusing their models. If you truly care about them, use your voice and make a change by setting new standards and ideals. Thank you.

My, oh my.

To be fair dearest, it is a modeling news website and what would news be without a SCOOP (i.e. new girls breaking on the scene). Tears aside, a girl can't rely solely on being a nice girl to keep her on the Top 50. I think that's Wayne's point. All these lists and news stories give these girls a platform for recognition, sometimes it's pure hype. But, the most intriguing thing to watch is what these girls and their management do with that publicity. How to get to the next level after say a Balenciaga exclusive, so that the girl becomes a commodity. No use resting on your laurels, when everyone else around you is werqin' for dear life.




Taste is a dictatorship.

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