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Girls-Next-Door Replace Edgy Models In Austere Times

The experts tell Kimberly Chou that when hard times hit, we consumers would rather gaze upon the girl next store than an "avant-garde spectacle." Magazine publishers and advertisers are delivering the goods just that way.

"Fresh faces, innocent eyes" make for a "more unassuming and simple canvas," says Tom Julian of brand consulting firm Tom Julian Group. Ymre Stiekema, a blonde, blue-eyed Dutch teenager who opened the spring/summer 2009 Milan show for Prada, is one example of the less-edgy look that you can expect to see more of during New York Fashion Week, which kicks off Sept. 10.

When the economy is booming, "we experiment a little more" with complicated looks and extravagant makeup and hairstyles, says Ivan Bart, svp at IMG Models. "Now the key for advertisers is to bring people into the store."



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