The recession has had some pretty obvious effects on the fashion industry. Designers dropped out of fashion week, labels have closed, and mega sales are a regular occurrence as stores try to stay afloat. One unforeseen consequence of the economy is that blond models are getting most of the work in editorial shoots and ad campaigns.
Instead of sticking with the recent trend to use quirkier-looking girls, blond-haired, blue-eyed models are getting booked left and right. When there’s money at stake in a tough economy, no one wants to be blamed for making risky decisions that fail. According to Storm Models managing director Sarah Doukas, who discovered Kate Moss, “Ultimately, blonds are a safer bet for clients who want to hedge their bets. Plus when we’re constantly surrounded by bad news, that blond stereotype is zingy and upbeat.” Her agency and Premier Model Management have seen increases in the number of requests for blond models.
This reasoning may be why girls like Lily Donaldson and Toni Garn are getting so many jobs, and why Claudia Schiffer is back in business with Ferragamo and YSL ads. Even Gap’s spring campaign featured only blonds and a few minorities. Flip through the pages of Vogue or Elle and see how many pages feature flaxen-haired models. Then cry a little for all the brunettes who aren’t getting booked. [The Times]