Up-and-coming models often face major scrutiny from fashion critics and the media alike in shaping up to standards in the industry. However, one veteran supermodel has spoken out in support of these young women. Naomi Campbell, dubbed one of the “original supermodels,” recently told Remix magazine: “I think they’re great. I know all of these young girls, Instagram girls, and they’re all really respectful and sweet.”
Models like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid presumably fall into this category, as the two have massive social media presence on Instagram and also walk in Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows like Campbell did. The ’90s “it” girl has taken such a liking to them that she’s even willing to share some of her legendary expertise. “If I can ever help them, it’s a pleasure for me to do that. I’ve helped a few of them with their walks,” she shared.
This attitude starkly contrasts the pointed tone she took last year when discussing the rise to fame of the younger generation of “Instagirls,” with the challenges models her age dealt with in breaking in to the industry. “I just feel my generation of women, like Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Claudia [Schiffer], we had to earn our stripes and take our stepping stones to get to where we have gotten; to accomplish what we have achieved to this date,” she said during an appearance on The Meredith Viera Show. “I kind of feel like, ‘My God, we’ve worked so hard and we are still working at it, then it just comes like that for them.’ But I sometimes believe ‘easy come, easy go.’ So I am actually grateful for the way I had my career. I wouldn’t want it any other way. So that’s for them, this is me.”
It seems that Campbell has shifted her tone to focus more on the evolution of the modeling industry. “I think it is a change in the industry. It seems to be that there are so many more models now, and it is so much more competitive. It just seems to be that they come in and out much faster,” she told Remix magazine.
Campbell’s take is quite different from that of Stephanie Seymour, another “original supermodel.” The 48-year-old icon made waves when she candidly spoke about Gigi Hadid’s and Kendall Jenner’s celebrity at a gala in New York City earlier this year. “They are completely different than we were,” she said. “Supermodels are sort of the thing of the past. They deserve their own title. [Kendall and Gigi] are beautiful girls, and I support all of them, but they need their own title.” When asked what title she would deem appropriate for the young women, Seymour answered, “Bitches of the moment! That would be a good title for them.” Seymour’s interview prompted a rebuttal from Kendall and also Hadid’s mother, reality star Yolanda Hadid. Seymour later clarified her stance in a lengthy Instagram post and denied mentioning the young models directly by name.
“I don’t usually address rumors, but since feelings have been hurt, I would like to set the story straight,” she wrote in the caption. “At an event last week I was jokingly asked if the ‘era of supermodels’ was over, what should we call the new great ‘it’ girls?? There were no names mentioned, and NO ill intent involved. A supermodel is a supermodel. I respect and admire all these women in my industry, in particular Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner. Having been in the business over 20 years, I know how hard these women work. Bravo to both Gigi and Kendall for their success!!”
Another notable great that’s endorsed the current generation gracing magazine covers is Linda Evangelista. “They can give me advice,” Evangelista recently told People StyleWatch. “They’re so fabulous, they’ve got the world in their hands. They’re so aware and so in control — they’re just so fabulous.”
With or without the original six supermodels’ approval, Hadid and Jenner are set to walk in the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on Wednesday in Paris. Gigi’s younger sister, Bella, will also join them on the runway.