Just a few hours before Kendall Jenner was named ‘Fashion Icon of the Decade’ by the Daily Front Row, she was strutting her stuff down the New York Fashion Week runways for the likes of Alexander Wang and Tom Ford. Not a bad life to lead, we think. Yet bagging herself such a prestigious accolade on September 8th saw her faced with a showering of criticism, namely because 10 years ago, she was just 11 years old…
Noticeably, this is the first time the Daily Front Row – a fashion industry publication based in New York City – have run this award. Previous honours at the annual Fashion Media Awards have been largely publication based, from Fashion Magazine of the Year to individual prizes like Publisher of the Year. So not only did Jenner come as a surprise as winner of this title, but, the fact that such an honour was added to the event in the first place. So yes, there are no comparable recipients behind the model, but this did not quell social media to make comparisons anyway. Many users on Twitter were quick to offer the likes of Rihanna, Beyoncé and A$AP Rocky as deserved winners, while others were simply commenting on the fact that the Kardashian star only started modelling at the age of fourteen.
So you’re gonna give kendall jenner the fashion icon of the decad award ? Y’all must never heard of Asap Rocky, Rihanna or Naomi Campbell
— Norah (@TheNorinoir) August 30, 2017
imagine thinking kendall is the fashion icon of this decade when rihanna exists pic.twitter.com/qKCo5Nv0qn
— dee (@slytherindany) September 9, 2017
Kendall Jenner won fashion icon of the decade and hasn’t even been in fashion for a decade.
— Talia (@talia_adler) September 10, 2017
Indeed, I was quick to jump on the band wagon of disapproval. For me, the time span of this award was the main issue, and my quick association to Kendall’s fame with Keeping Up with the Kardashian’s certainly went into the mix. The clothes she wore on the show in her pre-adolescent years were just like any other eleven-year-old American girls’ clothes, nothing inspirational or remotely different. Moreover, I always seem to conclude that Jenner wouldn’t be in the position she is without her sisters.
I encouraged myself to think differently however. Listening to spokespersons from the Daily Front Row and their justifications behind Jenner’s win were as I thought, a lot of influence revolved around her social media following. A defense for the Daily voiced their reasons in a statement to the Huffington Post:
‘We’re living in a digital decade and Kendall is the ultimate style influencer. [The] digital generation more than ever turns to social media to learn what’s next and Kendall has 83 million devoted Instagram followers, many of whom emulate her style…
‘A fashion icon is someone who influences the look of a generation and Kendall has been making a huge impact on their style.’
Thus, it is clear this digital decade business is key. Jenner is unquestionably a leading representative of the millennial driven social media platform, or what Vogue term ‘The insta girl era’. Yet Kendall doesn’t have the largest following. Notably her sister Kim is 19.8 million instagram followers ahead, Ariana Grande holds 113 million and Selena Gomez leads the race with 127 million. So visibly there are other motives behind why the Daily honoured her with the fashion icon label.
Jenner was signed by Wilhelmina Models back in 2009, and since then, her career has escalated rapidly. Just a year later she was snapped for Teen Vogue and from 2014 has been in leading catwalk shows. Yet just like any other model, Jenner still undergoes the rigorous body assessment scrutiny processes. Though Jenner’s casting video for Victoria Secrets was not revealed like Gigi’s, Australian Vogue released the following information in an article on rejection from the fashion show:
‘Being cast one year doesn’t guarantee you’re cast the next. Every model – unless you have an ‘Angel’ contract – has to audition, no matter how many times they have walked previously’.
Therefore, it does seem like Kendall is the same as everyone else in selections, no matter how much experience she has under her belt.
Equally, though not a respected designer as such, Kendall did launch her own collection with sister Kylie, and she stands as the third highest paid model in Forbes’ annual rankings.
Therefore, whether you taking a liking to Jenner or not, we cannot doubt she has drive and works hard. And yes, while we still might remain confused about how her style ten years ago was iconic, she certainly has advanced the fashion scene and online media.
What is your take on Kendall Jenner’s latest accolade? Let us know: