by Christina Rodriguez

The coveted positions of fashion magazine cover models and editorial spread models have traditionally been reserved for established models and celebrities handpicked by editors. However, we may see social media influencers encroaching on this exclusive territory.

While letting influencers curate major fashion magazine issues may seem outlandish now, it’s not hard to imagine a future where this could become a reality. Influencers have proven their power in driving trends, promoting products, and connecting with audiences. So, could they have what it takes to art direct major fashion editorials?

On one hand, opening up these prestigious jobs to influencers could democratize the fashion industry and bring fresh perspectives to storied publications. Influencers often have a strong sense of what resonates with their followers, which could translate into captivating, on-trend shoots. More diversity among models and subjects featured could also be a potential upside.

However, there are good reasons long-time fashion editors and creatives have earned these top roles. They keenly understand art direction, photography, styling, and what makes a compelling fashion narrative. They’ve established the visual language and aesthetic that followers expect from publications. Influencers tapping into this world may lack the specific expertise and historical knowledge needed to maintain the exceptional quality and thoughtfulness followers love.

Ultimately, magazines will likely aim to strike a balance, involving influencers as contributors while maintaining oversight and final curation from experienced editors. This could allow publications to tap into influencers’ audiences and modern outlooks while preserving the artistry and authority people look for in fashion magazines.

The next few years will tell how much sway influencers hold in the fashion world. But for now, magazine editors can rest assured that their jobs are safe, though they may involve collaborating with a new kind of tastemaker. The question is how influencers and established fashion experts can work together to shape the future of magazines while staying true to their identities and strengths.