As the fashion world moves on to the last round of shows in Paris and begins to process all the trends seen over a month of shows, at least one takeaway from this fashion week cycle is that Kendall Jenner has been officially inaugurated into the industry. The 18-year-old model, best known as the second-youngest member of the Kardashian clan, walked the runway at Marc Jacobs (pictured above) and Giles Deacon, sat front row alongside Anna Wintour (pictured below) and finished her triumphant run with a Marie Claire Mexico cover, where she shared the spotlight with her sister Kylie. To some, Jenner’s ascent might seem surprising: the Kardashians are one of America’s guiltiest pleasures and hardly fashion insiders, more appropriate for walks through paparazzi-crushing stretches of Rodeo Drive than jaunts down the runway. But actually, if you think about it in a certain way, Jenner’s career path isn’t all that weird: there’s a long history of socialites-turned-models from Edie Sedgwick to fashion’s current darling Cara Delevingne.
What makes it unbelievable is the lingering feeling that reality TV is one of the last taboos in fashion—even McDonald’s, Spongebob Squarepants, and Budweiser currently sit higher on the fashion totem pole, like at Jeremy Scott’s now-ubiquitous debut collection for Moschino. Fashion, at times, feeds off of a certain kind of snobbishness that loves Oscar-nominated actresses but generally shuns mass-market favorites like Jessica Simpson, who’s such a style icon to America that she’s made almost a billion-dollar business out of it. And it looks like Kendall has made it through before older sister Kim, who’s spent her post-baby year knocking down the door of high fashion in a series of super stylish outfits. With the assistance of Kanye for a high-fashion makeover and new wardrobe filled with designs from his BFFs Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisco, Celine, Stella McCartney, Miuccia Prada, Kim has been trying to work her way onto the cover of Vogue. And why shouldn’t she? She’s a pop culture phenomenon with a massive audience, her own clothing line, and enough influence over the way Americans dress to make the bandage dresses, old Hollywood hair and clunky heels nationwide trends. In Kanye’s words, “There’s no way Kim Kardashian shouldn’t be on the cover of Vogue. She’s like the most intriguing woman right now. No one is looking at what [Barack Obama] is wearing. Michelle Obama cannot Instagram a [bikini] pic like what my girl Instagrammed the other day.” Kanye has a point though: there is an elitism in fashion and a paradox when it comes to reality TV. But with the recent fashion week success of Jenner, combined with fellow model Gigi Hadid—the daughter of one of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” who opened and closed Jeremy Scott’s show and landed the cover of the latest CR Fashion Book—it looks like the worlds of fashion and reality TV are bound to collide. At the very least, here’s hoping for a super dramatic kover of Vogue.