Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Want to rock the fashion world? Get a famous dad

Frances Burscough

If reality shows such as Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model are anything to go by, getting your foot in the door of the leading modelling agencies is a monumental task.

Even if you have a face to launch a thousand ships (and as many beauty products), a glowing complexion and personality to match, legs that go on forever, attached to a slender statuesque frame ... even then it’s not a foregone conclusion that you will make it past the threshold.

Having been a judge at fashion shows myself recently (who am I to judge you may well ask; and the answer is, well exactly ...) it's clear that the youth of today are more groomed, more physically-aware and more competitive than ever before. In fact, the current crop of teens who are coming of age are like an entire generation of catwalk wannabes.

There is, however, one way that will almost certainly guarantee you a prestige position on the world’s fashion runways, and it has very little to do with any of the above. At the recent collections in the capitals, almost every designer had at least one rock ‘n’ roll relative treading the boards and pulling in the paparazzi.

No experience is necessary. Fabulous looks and figure are desirable, but not essential. The criterion that will guarantee you a place is that you are the child of a world famous rock star. And, even better, if your papa was a Rolling Stone then go right to the front of the queue.

They may have been a real bunch of mingers, even in their heyday, and yet The Stones have sired no less than six 21st-century supermodels: Elizabeth and Georgia Jagger; Jessie and Leah Wood; and Theodora and Alexandra Richards, are all getting plenty of (job) satisfaction, having figured prominently in countless shows and glossy photoshoots recently.

Lily Collins is the daughter of Phil Collins — arguably the least attractive man in pop — but thanks to her model mother’s genes and her famous daddy’s surname, she too has made the seamless transition to celebrity showcase. Sure, she’s pretty enough, but success for her was never going to be “against all odds” was it?

Meanwhile, the Sumner sisters, Mickey and Coco — daughters of Sting and Trudie Styler — have both inherited their dad’s fame and their mother’s bucket-bake and yet they too are now sashaying down the catwalks with effortless aplomb.

While Kimberley Stewart (AKA Ruby) is arguably a bit iffy in the looks department, that didn’t stop her name from being added to the top model agency books or her face being projected onto countless glossy magazines. Who’s the daddy? Rod Stewart, of course. And when Pixie Geldof, daughter of Saint Bob, drags herself away from the party scene she too steps up to the stage for a blast of the fashion limelight.

But it’s not exclusively for the girls. Other up-and-coming rock progeny who have their sights set on the menswear collections include Natt Weller, the androgynous-looking son of ‘The Modfather’, Paul, and whose mum is a hip vocalist from The Style Council. He has featured on the fashion spreads recently dressed ambiguously like a woman and looking as cool as you would expect from such parents.

Merlin and Tara Ferry have their super-slick dad Bryan to thank for their smouldering looks and personal panache and are, naturally, very much in with the ‘in’ crowd. Then there’s Jethro Cave, the tall and willowy son of Nick Cave, who is proving to be hit at fashion shows, thanks to his tall skinny frame and his penchant for cross-dressing.

Who will be the next generation of fashionably famous progeny remains to be seen, but judging by their recent paparazzi appearances, I wouldn’t be surprised if Beyonce's baby Blue, little madam Suri Cruise and the hallowed Harper Beckham are already being keenly sought by some of the top modelling agencies.

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