Many in the modelling industry have taken their work home with them during the pandemic, taking more control of their image and their content. Here’s how some of the top models in the industry have steadily increased their online popularity and presence during the pandemic.
Manuel Bechter, the 28-year-old photographer and model from Austria, has made quite the name for himself using various social media platforms. Uniquely, his Instagram profile was the fasting growing profile in Austria in 2020, increasing by more than 900 thousand followers. It is also currently the most followed photography profile and overall one of the most followed profiles in Austria. Bechter’s online popularity skyrocketed to over one million followers and he became famous for his creative photo ideas and behind-the-scenes videos that he posts on his Instagram profile and TikTok account, as well as his Facebook page.
As a creative photography content creator, his social media following has grown extensively during the pandemic, not only because of his unique and creative photo ideas, which often involves using fire, water and the most unexpected props, but also because he made a point of it to share the ideas and tricks he and his team use to create their unique photos in his behind-the-scenes videos. Now people all over the world are imitating his photos and ideas.
Six months after the birth of her son, Gigi Hadid returned ready to work. Officially back on the runway, the Palestinian-Dutch model made her return opening and closing the Versace Fall 2021 show at the Milan Congress Center. The virtual pre-recorded show aired on YouTube amid the ensuing pandemic but to make the moment all the more special, she also shared photos of the start and end of the show on Instagram with her followers.
Hadid has amassed more than 65.2 million followers on Instagram over her career, and every one of her followers feel that much more included in that special moment in her life because she shared it, like so many of the other special life moments she shares with her fans.
Like Gigi Hadid, Kate Upton is also the mother of a newborn returning to the modelling industry ready to work. She recently made the decision to go makeup-free for PEOPLE’s 2021 Beautiful Issue and shared her opinions on makeup and the positive and negative aspects of using makeup with her fans. Although Upton took a break from Instagram for health and family reasons earlier this year, she returned to her 6.1 million followers recharged and ready to share with them some of the exciting projects she had in the works and the things she’s been up to at home during the pandemic.
German-born model Leon Dame’s first appearance on the runway in 2015 paved the way for a very successful career as several major brands immediately began booking him for their shows, for which he received significant online attention. It was not long before videos of his eccentric performances on the runway flooded the internet and garnered many comments praising and encouraging the young male model. When the pandemic ensued, Dame continued to work. In 2020, he modelled for several high-end brands including Fendi, Valentino, Boss, Balmain and Isabel Marant and more recently in 2021, he also modelled various designs for Hermes and Dries Van Noten.
Dame’s online popularity has consistently grown since the start of his career as a model, now with over 100 thousand Instagram followers and videos of his runway performances garnering over half a million views online, he seems to be taking every new opportunity in its stride.
The modelling industry steams ahead once again
Amid the pandemic’s travel restrictions and social distancing rules, the modelling industry has adapted and transformed the way they do things, from hosting virtual fashion shows to models using their online presence to provide their followers with insider tips and tricks so that they too can get the most amazing shots. The industry is changing for the better, with models, photographers and influencers all reaching out online to help each other and their fans.