Models take advantage of the benefits of social media. Alicia Powell reports.
With the start of Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week in New York just around the corner the biggest names in fashion are starting to arrive. Among them are those dubbed the "Instagirls" -- a term first introduced by Vogue magazine to distinguish a small number of models who enjoy a massive social media following. And that presence is attractive for brands who are guaranteed to reach a certain fanbase, explains stylist and fashion commentator Mary Alice Stephenson. SOUNDBITE: Mary Alice Stephenson, stylist and fashion commentator, saying (English): "Nowadays people are booking models for not just how they look but for their following. Instagirls, it is a new phenomenon, and it is also the age of personality. Right now, clothes just don't sell themselves, people want to see the personality behind the clothes. It's a way for supermodels like Cara Delevigne or Gigi Hadid to show who they are inside and out." Among this elite group of models is 19-year-old Gigi Hadid, who is the newest face of beauty brand Maybelline New York and also works with American clothing brand Guess, and luxury fashion house Tom Ford. Hadid is also featured in Sports Illustrated magazine's 2015 swimsuit edition. SOUNDBITE: Gigi Hadid, model, saying (English): "I think it has been a huge, probably the biggest impacter in my career. I think a social media presence has not only shown me to designers but also given me a bigger fanbase and those kind of work off of each other. If you have a big fanbase companies want to work with you because that gives them a bigger fanbase and when you work with big designers you get a bigger fanbase." Some other "Instagirls" are Kim Kardashian's half sister Kendall Jenner, who has over 36 million followers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook combined and Chinese model Fei Fei Sun who has around 250,000 social media fans. On February 12 most "Instagirls" will strut their stuff inside the tents at Lincoln Center were 76 of the 94 official shows will be held. SOUNDBITE: Catherine Bennett, senior vice president and managing director of IMG Fashion Events Catherine Bennett, saying (English): "We are the most international diverse fashion event on the globe. We've got designers from over 19 countries coming. We have three principals venues in this complex that become really the world's stage for designers debuting collections to some of the most established names in the industry." Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week will run from February 12 until February 19.