It happens in every industry. People are given jobs based on who they know. It’s all about connections. The fashion industry is no different. Many designers and models break into the industry because of their family connections. Namely Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham and Kendall Jenner. All of these women have families that are in the public eye which has impacted their chosen careers massively. But are these world famous fashion icons more than just women with impressive connections?
Stella McCartney is an internationally recognised fashion designer. In 2012 she was the creative director of the London Olympics for team GB. Stella is a lifelong vegetarian and therefore uses no leather or fur in her designs and her use of environmentally friendly materials earned her the green designer award at the ACE Awards. She has a very authentic style and in 2014 she launched her falabella handbag which is well known for its chain edging and it is one of her most successful pieces ever. She has won countless of prestigious awards including best designer at both the Elle Style Awards and the British Style Awards. So while Stella began her career known as the daughter of Paul McCartney she has most definitely earned her title as one of the best British fashion designers of our time.
Victoria Beckham first hit the headlines as a member of the British girl band, The Spice Girls. While she is known for her involvement in the pop group, she is probably best known as the wife of footballer, David Beckham. Following the band’s breakup in 2001, Victoria decided to turn her attention to the world of fashion design. She was already a fashion icon, and people envied her style and confidence but her VB Rocks collection with Rock & Republic really made people take notice of the fledgling fashion designer. The exclusive fashion line consisted of mainly jeans which caused Victoria to launch her own denim fashion label in 2006, dvb style. The label was a success and it earned recognition from all the top fashion houses and magazines in the industry. In 2008, Victoria Beckham launched another fashion label, this time not focusing on denim jeans but high-end fashion pieces. Well known figures in the industry began wearing her designs. Cameron Diaz, Julia Roberts, Jessica Biel and Beyoncé have all worn Beckham’s designs on multiple occasions. In 2011, Victoria won Designer Brand of the Year at the British Fashion awards which proved she had succeeded in becoming a respected fashion designer.
The fashion industry has been very competitive for both designers. But the competition between models can be even more intense. Kendall Jenner is constantly criticised for being a model because of her family connections. Kendall, the sister of reality TV star, Kim Kardashian and daughter of Kris and Caitlyn Jenner, has grown up in the spotlight on the hit TV show Keeping up with the Kardashians. She began modelling in 2009 when she signed with Wilhelmina Model Management and since then her career has skyrocketed. She is currently the face of Estee Lauder and Calvin Klein jeans. She’s walked for every major fashion house from Chanel to Givenchy to Marc Jacobs and Elie Saab. She recently received criticism for walking in the prestigious Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Many people believe she and Gigi Hadid were cast in the show because of their influence on social media and connections in the fashion industry. However, the girls were hugely successful in the show and proved they deserved their place on the glamorous catwalk.
These women all have famous family members. But it is their hard work and drive that has made them into the fashion icons they are today. It doesn’t really matter who you know if you don’t have the ambition to succeed. That is something that applies to every industry.
By Aoife McCormack