Fashion has long been a global industry with centers like New York, London, Paris, and Milan supported by a truly globe-stretching supply chain. But now, according to this story in the Wall Street Journal, the industry's modeling talent has gone global too.
Bianca Gomez, an 18-year-old model from Los Angeles, is rail-thin at 5′11″ with almond shaped green eyes, honey-colored hair and translucent skin. She attracted interest from famous New York design houses well before she’d arrived in town to audition for their runway shows. But in the brutal new calculus of high-fashion modeling, the odds of becoming a big-time mannequin have grown even slimmer. Competing with a deluge of fresh faces from Russia, Eastern Europe and Brazil, Ms. Gomez has faced many rejections. ...
The global economy is transforming the modeling world. Supply has soared, as aspirants from developing countries stampede into the field. At last season’s New York’s fashion week, the quintessentially American design house of Calvin Klein didn’t send a single American down its catwalk. Twelve of the 22 chosen were from Russia and Eastern Europe.
Hmmmm..... Seems to me modeling is just catching up with the realities of global talent. Calvin Klein's show sounds an awful lot like the National Hockey League where more and more players hail from Russia and Eastern Europe. And come to think of it, how does this differ from major league baseball which draws a significant fraction of its players from Latin America, Asia and elsewhere. Or Silicon Valley which depends upon a steady influx of talent from India, China and every corner of the globe.
Just another indicator that the world is flat, you say. But what's really going on here is the flip-side of flattening. Tom Friedman writes: "You no longer have to immigrate in order to innovate." But it appears you most certainly have to pick your butt up and relocate if you want to make it on the runway or get yourself in the pages of Vogue. The fashion industry is pretty darn spiky afterall.