Are Top Models More Valuable As Front Row Celebs?

Let’s face it: there are certain reasons designers pick models to walk the runway. While some of them are truly the perfect person on which to display their clothing creations, most of the time, they’re looking for the biggest names. If a designer can get Karlie Kloss to walk in his or her show, why would they pick some no-name model instead? Easy answer: they wouldn’t, unless these top models were more valuable sitting in the front row versus walking the runway. At least that's my current theory.

The media tends to care more about who is in the front row than who is walking in the show, with the exception of models who rarely make runway appearances, like when Kate Moss walked in the 2011 Louis Vuitton show smoking a cigarette (I think smoking is bad, but that was pretty epic). The media also cares when celebrities walk in fashion shows, like when Kylie Jenner was in Kanye West’s Adidas presentation. It was arguably one of the most talked about elements of his collection. But real models in real runway shows? No one even bats an eye.

However, if you have three top models sitting front row at a show, all of a sudden everyone cares. The most recent example of this was at the Topshop Unique RTW show in London. Cara Delevingne (who stars in Topshop’s advertising and has walked in previous Topshop shows), Kendall Jenner, and Jourdan Dunn were all spotted sitting front row. Which prompted me to ask: Why wouldn’t Delevingne be walking in the Topshop show? It seems like it would make sense for the star of the advertising campaign to open or close the show, but apparently that’s no longer the case. The only logical reason? Delevingne is more valuable to the brand as a celebrity in the front row than in the show. Guaranteed press.

The only outlier in this theory is Kendall Jenner. Technically, she’s a model, but in my opinion, she's only a model because she’s a celebrity. I assume that designers put Jenner in their shows for her social media presence. Not only will she share behind-the-scenes pics of the show, but media will be vying to get a backstage shot of the beauty. Jenner also gets attention for attending shows. So, either way, a brand wins. The real question is: do top models get paid to sit front row? My guess is yes, but perhaps we'll never know.

Here's a pic of Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevingne at the Topshop Unique Fall 2015 show.

Here's Kate Moss walking in Louis Vuitton's 2011 runway show, cigarette in hand, like a boss.

PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/Getty Images

Images: Topshop/Instagram, Getty