It's been more than three years since Vogue famously dubbed the next class of social media-savvy "It" models "Instagirls," and in that time, we've seen those pros — most prominently Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin and both Gigi and Bella Hadid — transform their enormous followings into lucrative, multifaceted careers. But are we nearing the end of the industry's fascination with such Instagirls on Instagram, the very platform that made them famous?
Maybe. That appears to be the case, according to engagement data provided to WWD by the platform. Instagram crunched the numbers from the last year, and found that fashion is the third most-followed account type for young people (meaning, millennials and Generation Z-ers) on the app, clocking in at more than 800 million people. And of those 800 million, 87.4 million may follow Jenner, and 38.4 million may follow the eldest Hadid, Gigi. But their followers aren't the most engaged — in fact, they didn't even make it into the top 10 for all of 2017. (Instagram defines "high engagement" as having "the highest percentage of interactions relative to number of followers.")
Of the top 10 models with the most-engaged followers in 2017, the closest thing to an Instagirl is Kaia Gerber, who ranks sixth, just behind her brother Presley Gerber at fifth. You can see the full ranking below:
- Julia Ratner (@dear.ratner)
- Mayowa Nicholas (@mayowanicholas)
- Paulina Frankowska (@paulinafrankowska)
- Léa Julian (@lea_jul)
- Presley Gerber (@presleygerber)
- Kaia Gerber (@kaiagerber)
- Yasmin Wijnaldum (@yasminwijnaldum)
- Vittoria Ceretti (@vittoceretti)
- Lauren de Graaf (@laurenjdg)
- Selena Forrest (@selenaforrest)
What's interesting to note is that this data follows suit with the broader industry trend we're seeing toward microinfluencers; just because a user has a crazy-high number of followers doesn't mean those followers are actively engaging with the user's content. Julia Ratner — who comes in at the top spot and walks for such big-name houses as Chanel, Valentino and Dior — has just over 39,100 followers, where Kaia has 2.9 million, but you better believe Ratner's followers are liking and commenting, comparatively, more than someone like Jenner's are.
So, are the Instagirls getting replaced? Definitely not. But as the industry moves on along, are we looking forward to a wnew generation of "It" models? Almost definitely.