Madonna and Justin Bieber Are Stealing Jobs from Hard Working Models

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Illustration: Joseph Larkowsky

Last night, as part of my quest for a better lifestyle after 2014’s debauchery and body battering, I went on my first ever sober evening date. No booze was consumed, I was elated. On my way home however, after checking Instagram, it felt as if I had fallen off the wagon pre-Prohibition and never managed to get back on. Was I drunk? Was I going insane? It turns out neither, and I realized it was actually true…

Lara Stone, model du-jour, was draped as luxuriously as a Prada mink stole over the body of teenage ‘heartthrob’ (using the term extremely loosely) Justin Bieber, sporting nothing much but a hint of denim and a body full of questionable artwork, lensed by indestructible duo, Mert and Marcus. Bieber had apparently been signed as the new face of Calvin Klein underwear and denim. God help us all.

Now, you don’t have to be a ‘Belieber’ to realize what a technically clever stunt this was from the branding team. Working with one of the world’s most talked about auto-tuned schoolboy, sweetheart Disney Prince looking. Screen-king turned DUI laden, protein shake guzzling, wannabe bad-boy extraordinaire, can only mean one thing; girls and flustered cougars alike are gonna wanna buy those pants.

The problem I have with this is that already, fashion is a cut-throat and demanding environment for some, mostly models, and the constant battles to land campaigns and deals to actually make a living means that modeling, as simple as it looks to outsiders, is one of the most brutal industries around. At least stock market traders already have money to throw about. Add to the equation that narcissistic (and again already extremely wealthy) celebrities, many of whom are trying to relaunch careers, are taking the jobs that are already very few and far between.

versacejosephlarkowsky
Versace illustrated by Joseph Larkowsky

Case and point made with the current Versace Spring 2015 campaign starring none other than the over-photoshopped singer Madonna. Donatella made a serious effort to push the idea of youth and new beginnings backstage after her show in Milan last September, but hiring a girl like Anna Ewers or Lexi Boling who do evoke a young Versace ideal would be a ludicrous suggestion when Madonna is trying to launch a new album. Since when did someone else’s advertising campaign become the new platform to sell your own garbage? The debate over if Vogue should sport more models than actresses on its covers is a mundane and pointless battle which nobody will ever win, but when Nicki Minaj, a woman famed for her Gluteus Maximus and pink wigs lands a campaign for Roberto Cavalli, you have to really reassess the situation. Same is to be said for famed (half for nothing) super couple Kimye landing the Spring 2014 menswear campaign for Balmain, with BFF Olivier Rousteing at the helm. I just cant imagine how they landed that! (If you think women’s modeling is hard, don’t even get me started on the world of the male model.)

One of the brands that is actually famed for using celebrities in their campaigns is Miu Miu, but unlike the tabloid hungry powerhouses, the cast is a little more unpredictable than the cover of US Weekly. Up and coming actress Stacy Martin was picked to front the Fall 2014 campaign, with previous faces including Lupita Nyong’o, Bella Thorne, newly cited Bond Girl Adele Exarchopoulos, and most frequently, Imogen Poots for SS15. These girls are not household names, but are trying to forge out careers for themselves just the same.

Fashion constantly batters us with a barrage of “new talent,” continuously reminding us that they are ‘investing’ and ‘nurturing’, all key buzz words in the world of convincing consumerism; however, I feel it’s time to hang up the tawdry celebrity, leave them for the covers of numerous glossies parading as fashion magazines, and give back the campaign to the model! After all, it is their job.