Similarly to the Film industry, nepotism is a significant talking point in the fashion industry. Some of the leading high fashion models and designers come from notorious families. As the spotlight shines brighter on them, it has given them a platform to break into the industry with ease. Their following has grown enormously due to them being related to celebrities. Nepotism in the fashion industry includes Gigi and Bella Hadid, Lila Moss and Lily-Rose Depp, to name a few. The current state of the fashion industry beggars the discussion on whether nepotism is enhancing or destabilising the fashion industry.
What is Nepotism?
The definition of nepotism is “the practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs“. The models we see today hail from famous families. The right relationships have allowed them to obtain difficult jobs for an up-and-coming model without related links. These connections give them the advantage of breaking into the fashion industry.
The Benefits of Nepotism
As these individuals already have a substantial following, brands use this to their advantage. Models bring heightened attention to brand collections. For example, Kaia Gerber is the daughter of Cindy Crawford, and Georgia-May Jagger’s father is Mick Jagger. The media are more likely to focus on these models. Because of this, admirers of the girls will flock to a designer’s collection, increasing the brand’s global reach. Therefore, growing their popularity and making it beneficial for sales down the line.
Many famous models have also used their influential success for good causes. After Hailey Bieber landed modelling jobs using her family name, she began advocating for mental health issues. Stella McCartney’s father is a household name amongst numerous generations. She may have become one of the most prominent British fashion designers because of her dad. Still, her hard work has seen her push her brand towards a more sustainable lifestyle. A futuristic move that many designers have followed her brand towards a more sustainable lifestyle. A futuristic move that many designers have followed.
It’s Still A Problem
Nepotism can be an issue in all walks of life due to the unfair competitive advantage it gives. The fashion industry is traditionally competitive. People who fit the job description may always fall second to those with influential relatives or strong industry connections. Other growing models and designers in the industry suffer as jobs go straight to their famous counterparts. Whether through sheer hard work or a shortcut through their celebrity lineage, we cannot know how they honestly came to be.
An example of this issue comes from Kendall Jenner and her interview with LOVE magazine. Kendall said, “Since the beginning, we’ve been super selective about what shows I would do … I was never one of those girls who would do like 30 shows a season… The whole combination was very overwhelming, and I started to freak out a little bit and needed to take a step back.” Kendall faced criticism for this as she was privileged enough to take a step back from modelling as it was not her only source of income.
Many models go through the stress of walking shows back to back to put food on the table. Models solely rely on getting jobs and being booked and busy to make a living. So the fact that she could start and stop whenever she pleased was triggering for her colleagues.
Nepotism & Business
The new generation of consumers is looking up to child celebrities as the new faces of success. You can consider the children of stars as the new IT crowd because their influence impacts social media. Brands are using nepotism babies to their advantage. Making them wear their clothing attracts consumers to buy their pieces. As a result, the brand’s demand increases, generating more profit. As for the new emerging talent in the fashion industry, it has become a situation where privilege has overtaken talent. Unless you have a name in this industry, you’ll work twice as hard for that paycheck. So overall, is nepotism a rising issue in the fashion industry?
Nazifa is a fashion and style contributor for SSEDITORIAL Magazine, although she occasionally contributes to sseditorial runway and education. She regularly talks about all facets of the fashion industry, including sustainability, social issues, style, and fashion. She also enjoys going to art galleries and exhibitions when she has free time.