Are hot models finally at the mercy of science nerds?
Researchers at Indiana University wanted to see if they could predict the industry’s “new faces,” so they crunched a bunch of stats from the Instagram accounts of 400 models from the Fashion Model Directory, which -- as Science Daily reports -- tracks “hair and eye color; height; hip waist, dress and shoe size; modeling agency and runways walked.”
Their findings were more than 80% accurate.
For the purposes of their study, they defined the models’ popularity by how many runways they walked during fall/winter 2015 fashion shows (which, of course, took place in 2014). The researchers then compared this set of data to the Instagram accounts of the “more established” models. And, not surprisingly, “a higher than average number of posts yielded a 15% higher chance of walking a runway.”
However -- and counterintuitively, perhaps -- the models’ chances of hitting a Fashion Week catwalk were 10% lower if she had more “likes.”
As study contributor Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia, a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research and an assistant research scientist at the IU Network Science Institute, said, "Traditionally, models don't interact with consumers; but now their online activity plays an important role in popularity and, ultimately, success."
Incidentally, this was not some Mensa member’s attempt to get a date with a runway stunner. The study was conducted for the purpose of “advancing research 'on the science of success.’” As USC computer scientist Emilio Ferrara explained, they “chose the fashion industry for this research because it represents a strong winner-take-all mentality.”