no one is with a cooler agency, or of the most famous celebrity family than kendall jenner. all of this is a PR dream. and while many dreams can come with their trappings, kendall and her team have definitely positioned her through hard work and the right bookings. many deem her as flat, say she is under developed. but, the point of fashion is to be fresh, to capture an innocence before it is tarnished- to capture youth and allow it to live forever through style and photography. the kardashian factor is inarguable. many expectations of models require performance, but some are reliant on luck. whether genetics, or a chance meeting with a scout- it’s all an alignment of energy and opportunity.
kendall, in the series she grew up filming, was seemingly a bit more reserved and shy. even in the episodes which showed her older sister kim kardashian encouraging her to model, she was seen rejecting forceable ideas of what models should be, or the rigor of certain routines. steadily, like many other developing models, she studied models of the past and even intentionally entered into fashion rather silently. she debuted on the runway for marc jacobs, which is how many other girls get their start to become a hot item and continued to flourish. her visibility within the hollywood scene has lent it’s power to her follow through success, but you can’t force someone to work as hard as kendall has. i say all of this to say that she has earned this cover. but now let’s talk some real shit.
let me tell you what this cover means for fashion. american vogue in particular is this heavily political publication entity that prides itself on being a leader. almost as manufactured as american politics itself- the decision for who lands the cover are strategically aligned with cultural impact, happenings in music and film- and then fashion seems to seamlessly hit in and around all of that to create the vogue image. many seem to forget that magazine covers were home to many great supermodels of the past. our celebrity obsessed culture created a shift that american vogue, in many ways, spearheaded. but now, with the hybrid editions of celebrity children landing fashion opportunities for their elevated cool factor, and blueprint of street-inspires-style; we are looking at the next generation. with models like gigi hadid and kendall now gracing the covers- we’re looking at the rebirth of the supermodel for the next generation.
while on the topic of model authenticity and earned respect, i think karlie kloss should have landed this cover before kendall. while i give kendall her respect and dues- karlie exists without a famous family and has crafted her success on thoughtful partnerships and intelligent choices, like a real business woman should. hailed as one of the top 30 models of the new millennium, kloss burst onto the scene through NEXT model management and quickly killed the catwalk for dior, oscar de la renta and yes, chanel. while there isn’t one designer runway she hasn’t touched- her slow burn success is what true models are made of. covers of italian vogue, regularly- karlie loss is and has been the one to beat, but no one was ever able to do so. a performer of theatricality and understandability through poise- kendall’s cover will act as a firestarter for the return to the covers for models everywhere.
a perfect blend of celebrity, modeling and that ever alluring vibe that fashion loves to create with the question, “who’s that girl?”- fashion is about intrigue. fashion is about creating new ideas, and representing women in all their glory, beautiful- either experimentally or transformatively. when done the right way, brands are built into the presence of these women, and while kendall may have secured the bookings- from the grit of the modeling industry, girls like karlie kloss are the real MVP’s. in 2015, kloss enrolled at NYU, after she had already killed the international fashion scene, to which she is still a booking staple. having begun modeling in 2007, kloss is now represented by IMG, is now 24 years old, hails from chicago and has been a leading example for young women everywhere. she created kode for karlie, a partnership with flatiron school and code.org, which supports young girls with karlie’s shared interest of coding in computer science and software engineering. karlie’s kookies was created to benefit hungry children around the world, and is a partnership through FEED projects. it’s time her success be seen more on the frontline and in a solo cover, for american vogue. she is about building unity and philanthropy around young women and embodies the true ideals of what it means to be an american. thanks for the lay-up ken, now karlie can get us a winning shot.
kendall shot by mert + marcus
styling by tonne goodman