Eighteen-year-old Molly Bair is proving to be the model of the moment. That’s more important than you may think.
“It models” usually fit into a Venn diagram of sorts: the dainty-faced runway waif (Kate Moss), the faultless Victoria’s Secret Angel (Kate Upton), and the impeccable genetic specimen who can go in between (Karlie Kloss, Gisele Bündchen).
But model Molly Bair doesn’t quite fit into those circles. Her look is so unique that no one can quite pinpoint what to call it—“unorthodox,” “insectile,” and “alien” have been some of the best attempts. The Internet has even colorfully labeled it as “resting bitch face.” (Bair’s retort: “If that’s your face, rock it!”) The model herself would call it more of an “ever-changing baby cat.”
Whatever it is—the furrowed brows, pursed lips, and gawky, clompy demeanor—it’s representing a new type of beauty never quite heralded in the fashion world. Perhaps, the best description is that it’s almost . . . modern.
“A lot of things about my body, I think, are actually really weird,” said Bair. “[But] I think it’s very important that we step away from the traditional model. I think that whatever impact I can make [is] showing that fashion doesn’t always have to be the typical face. Nothing against girls who look like that but I think that it would be awesome to accept people of all shapes, sizes, faces, and everything else.”
And so far, her plan is working. Since being discovered in 2014 (at the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, which she thought was a “total scam” until her mom googled the agency), Bair has become the utmost model of the moment. In this past month alone, she’s walked for Chanel, Dior, Moschino, Vera Wang, Public School, and Prabal Gurung. She’s an official Alexander Wang girl (“He’s pretty hilarious!” she says), and a Top 50 model on industry-stalwart site models.com. Plus, she’s got nearly 100,000 Instagram followers—not bad, considering her last name isn’t Jenner or Hadid.
“This community embraces what makes people special. They don’t want to take away what makes you special; they want to enhance it, which I think is incredible,” said Bair.
There was almost a sense of irony in her voice—embracement by the very industry that’s viewed as one of society’s cruelest. But in reality, the real world is where Bair found the most negativity.
“I didn’t have the typical womanly body that a lot of girls develop in high school,” she said. “I would let people get into my head. I really started to resent my body.
“Now, obviously, I’m happy,” she added.
You can tell. She lives in New York City with models from her agency whom she considers good friends, like the other trending model Alexandra Elizabeth. Her Instagram shows a high-fashion goofball—one that shares pics of her Marc Jacobs ads but also no-filter selfies in drugstore sunglasses or a rhinestone-emblazoned hat that says “Lil Hustla.”
“It’s super random,” she joked of her social-media account.
Molly Bair, letting her freak flag fly—and fashion’s all the better for it.
Model of the moment, 20-year-old Kendall Jenner’s rise to the top was meteoric. Having made no secret to her parents, Kris and Caitlyn Jenner, (and the world) of her modeling aspirations on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kendall has achieved her dreams and more. She made her catwalk debut for Marc Jacobs at age 18 for the label’s AW14 show, and has since walked for Dolce & Gabbana, Balmain, and even earned the honor of closing the Chanel Haute Couture show in Paris last year in a bridal suit. On top of all that, she’s the face of Estée Lauder and last year was given her Victoria’s Secret angel wings—making Kris one proud mama.
- Source: Vanity Fair Photo: Patrick Demarchelier and Shopyaho.com