What’s the big deal with Kendall Jenner at fashion week anyway?
Before fashion week, I never would have believed that a Kardashian and I would inhabit the same world. But
this is New York and magical things happen here. For example, when I woke up and looked at my schedule on Tuesday morning and saw that I’d be backstage at Vera Wang,
Kendall Jenner did too. We even arrived within moments of one another. (It’s true—fashion has a way of bringing together the most incongruous of folks.)
But ever since
Jenner took to the runway last year in Marc Jacobs’ Fall 2014 show—in what was, presumably, a strategic if gimmicky PR move—she’s morphed from Kardashian tokenism to exuding coveted high-fashion appeal. She’s since walked everywhere from Dolce & Gabbana to Chanel Haute Couture, to coming full circle at Marc Jacobs again this season. But such is the pace of fast fashion, and her mere presence backstage now elicits the kind of Kraziness typically reserved for her namesake and not say, fashion figures. (Although the street style circus outside of the tents has long since conflated the fashion set with Insta-celebrity.) It’s not that Jenner is unworthy of her place on the runway; it’s just that she holds the interesting position of being a celeb-cum-model and subverts one for the other on cue. While
backstage at Diane Von Furstenberg last weekend, I approached an on-duty Kendall seated on the floor playing on her phone, as most models do when waiting around pre-show, to take a photo of her look—i.e. the hair and makeup styles created for the show. “No pictures!” her publicist instantly snapped back . This situation isn’t an anomaly, as many beauty editors will tell you that the army of handlers guarding Kendall from non-orchestrated journalistic exposure backstage is unique to Kendall. This type of security—of preventing press from entering the backstage area until Kendall has left the building—or is at least safely tucked away from photo-ops, seems counterintuitive to the very existence of a Kardashian. And perhaps—and just go with me on this—a fashion model? Isn’t the purpose of both undertakings
to be seen? There is of course the argument that every model has her moment, and this is just Kendall’s, in which case I should just sit down and wait for it to pass. Luckily there are enough Karlies and Darias with whom to populate Instagram so backstage reportage can indeed carry on. And isn’t that better than snapping a model who continually looks and acts like there’s somewhere else she’d rather be? Because if that’s the case, she could just go there. I won’t stop her.
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