How Selena Gomez Became Fashion’s New Favorite Face – Vogue.com
One of the worldâs most-followed stars finds her place in the fashion constellation.
Selena Gomez met Nicolas GhesquiÃ¨re the new old-fashioned wayâshe got his email address from a mutual friend and dashed off a letter of introduction. âI was immediately intrigued by her spontaneity and curiosity,â the Louis Vuitton creative director remembers. âActually, he loved my song âGood for You,â â Gomez says. âThat was the real icebreaker.â Two years later, in addition to being a regular at GhesquiÃ¨reâs shows, joining him at the Met Gala this past May, and even sharing the cover of Brazilian Vogue, Gomez is now his latest campaign star.
And while a celebrity endorsement might sound like par for the course at a global brand, the relationship is actually more an affirmation that, at 24, Gomez is (finally) a full-fledged fashion force.
âLetâs just say I wasnât always the [designersâ] top choice,â Gomez says. Sheâs in L.A. during a brief respite from an 81-city tourâwhich includes costume pieces from Vuitton, Valentino, Rodarte, and Monse, the buzzed-about label by Oscar de la Renta alumni Laura Kim and Fernando Garciaâbehind her second solo album, Revival. Gomezâs offstage choices have been equally eclectic lately, from Victoria Beckham to Vetements, from Givenchy to London-based start-up Galvan.
Gomez brings her unaffected ease to each look, a certain agreeability that makes even the most complicated garment seem instantly wearable. âI like to find things that are unconventional and make them look classic,â she says, âbecause if Iâm forcing something, you can just tell.â Her stylist Kate Young, who has been instrumental in Gomezâs style evolution, put it this way: âVuitton especially can be trickyâitâs futuristic; it has straps all over it. But Selenaâs version looks young and cool and less conceptual. She makes fashion suit her demeanor.â
Whatâs more, she can share it. Gomez has more followers than any other person on Instagramâ90.6 million at press time, a few hundred thousand more than when I interviewed her two days agoâand holds the record for its most-liked photo to date. If there were a nation inhabited solely by @selenagomezâs followers, it would be the sixteenth most populous country in the worldâbigger than Germany or France. Small wonder that fashion brands came around.
Gomezâs success with social media, though, is inherently tied to her absolute relatability. Born to a sixteen-year-old mother in Grand Prairie, Texas, Gomez, until recently, still lived with roommates in Calabasas. She ate McDonaldâs with James Corden on her episode of âCarpool Karaokeâ; she loves David O. Russell movies. Sheâs also a Mexican-American icon, the inheritor of a cultural legacy that dates to Selena Quintanilla-PÃ©rez, Gomezâs namesake. Approachability has never been fashionâs first priority, but in an era that prizes reality over ceremony, her perceived normality goes a long way.
It makes Gomez almost unique among her peers with fashion followings. At five-feet-six, she is not a model-bodied glamazon like her best friend, Taylor Swift; nor is she a gender-bending firework like her fellow Disney alumna Miley Cyrus. She is neither a street-style supernova like Rihanna nor a scion of entertainment royalty like Jaden and Willow Smith. Itâs not only ironic that the most famous new face in the front row is also the most relatableâitâs also indicative of Gomezâs very modern (and very grown-up) kind of power.
Before we finish, she recounts a story from her Disney days. Aged sixteen, she met a single mother who had shepherded her four small children to the set of Wizards of Waverly Place at considerable personal expense. âShe told me, verbatim,â Gomez remembers,Â ââI need my daughters to see that they donât have to be blonde and blue-eyed to do anything they want.â And I remember being a little confused at the time,â she says. âI didnât realize it was significant.â She realizes now. Gomezâs most intriguing upcoming project is producing a new series for NetÂflix touted as the Latin version of Empire. Whatever will she wear to the premiere?
Fashion Editor: Sara Moonves