The names of the latest crop of up-and-coming models sound more than a little familiar.
Kaia Gerber — the 13-year-old daughter of Cindy Crawford — landed a spread in this month's Teen Vogue. Val Kilmer and Pierce Brosnan's teenage sons rock the wardrobe of Saint Laurent in the upscale brand's new campaign. In some of the latest Burberry ads, Posh and Becks' middle son, Romeo Beckham, once again stars in a campaign for the upscale British fashion house — a role he originally took on at age 10. His 15-year-old brother Brooklyn landed his first magazine cover back in April. Then there's Kendall Jenner (daughter of Kris Jenner and sister to Kim), Sailor Brinkley Cook (Christie Brinkley's daughter), Dylan Penn (Sean Penn and Robin Wright's daughter), and too many more to count.
Can it be that celebrity kids are just that good looking? Yes, but that's just one of the reasons companies want them as models.
Stacy Jones, CEO of Hollywood Branded entertainment marketing agency, which has worked with companies like Crayola and Club Med, explained to Yahoo that celeb kids are a no brainer for brands.
"In a time when celebrity endorsers are being paid an incredible amount of money, their children appearing as models in advertising offers brands a unique opportunity that can have big payoff," Jones said. "That opportunity is the ability to appear to rub shoulders with royalty, while still conserving some major dollars and appealing to a consumer audience already familiar with the name and look presented."
In other words, a lot of people are going to be interested in Ireland Baldwin's latest photo shoot, just to see how much she favors her parents, Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger, before the photos are even shot. She's been called Basinger's look-alike, so why even try to lure her famous mom?
Besides, Ireland is already a star herself on social media, with 216,000 followers on Instagram. Gerber, at just 13, already has 48,000 followers — not too shabby for someone without a driver's license!
"Brands love that factor [of a social media following]," Jones said. "Even if it means paying a little more for a glimmer of stardom versus just a no-name pretty face in their campaign ad."
Of course, today's models are not just pretty faces. They're personalities and brands; it's a trend that Anna Wintour herself spoke of during a May 2009 interview with the New York Times for a story titled "Actresses Are Edging Out Models on Magazine Covers."
"The public interest in models these last few years has not been as it was during the early '90s when Naomi [Campbell] and Linda [Evangelista] caused so much excitement," the editor-in-chief of Vogue told the newspaper. "And until models become celebrities again in their own right, I can't see them selling as well on magazine covers as actresses."
Celebrity is what sells. Not only do the sons and daughters of the famous have that Hollywood connection going for them, but they usually have inherited those Hollywood good looks as well. But there's something else, too.
"From day one, while under the watchful eye of the media and the world, children of celebrities learn how to present themselves naturally and are fully at ease in front of cameras, something foreign to most individuals, and a major advantage," Jones noted. "They also grow up in an adult world, able to hold their own with adults at an earlier age with poise. [They] exude a confidence in front of the cameras that likely took their own parents time to learn, and this ease makes them terrific subject matters."
Maybe that swagger and those good genes is what caught the eye of Hedi Slimane, Saint Laurent's creative director, when he spotted Dylan Brosnan on a Malibu beach, even though Slimane reportedly had no idea of Brosnan's famous ties at the time.
We're guessing he wasn't too disappointed when he found out.
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