As if it weren’t bad enough that the idea of actual models on magazine covers has become nearly extinct by now, we’ve begun to see yet another trend that threatens the jobs of professional models: celebrities on the runway. Over the past few weeks, we’ve noticed several celebs take to the catwalk for Spring/Summer 2011 presentations. The Simmons sisters, Coco T (why?!), and Adrienne Bailon sported braided bangs and messy up-do’s at the Sashika show. A few days later, Cassie, Deborah Cox, and Serena Williams (who was handpicked to walk by Andre Leon Talley, himself) strutted their stuff at LaQuan Smith. And we can’t forget about Kanye’s ex-boo thang; Amber rocked a hot pink buzz cut and multicolor feather lashes at the Indashio show last week, and flew across the pond to take London by storm at the BodyAmr show this past Saturday.

From a marketing and PR stance, it makes perfect sense to use entertainers on the runway, especially for new designers. They already have a set following that will garner even more press attention and potential buyers. Plus, impressionable consumers are more likely to invest in a brand that they think one of their fave celebrities supports. But what does this mean for the agency-signed talent who do this full-time, attending countless go-sees a day, hoping to be booked enough in a season to pay their bills? Sure, some may argue that Amber, for example, was signed by Ford—but how did that come about in the first place? Let’s be real. At a time when we’re lucky to see at least one little brown girl walking in a show, can models really afford to compete with socialites, athletes, and pop-stars? I’ll let you all be the judge . . .

How do you feel about celebrities walking during Fashion Week?

-Chelsea Smith

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