From left: Kaia Gerber, Kris Wu, Cardi B, Cameron Dallas. Photo: Instagram
Sometimes we hear names being thrown around in discussions like the people in question are our next-door neighbours. And they’re usually not. Most of the time, they turn out to be major celebrities, industry icons, or… people we just should know about just because. And when we don’t, it begs the question: #whodat?
While we don’t always get why some people are so famous, we’ll at least try to understand. To make things easier for all of us, we’ll be compiling a list of the industry names to know to guide us all along times of confusion, and presenting it to you guys from time to time. A little bit of enlightenment (and fun facts) wouldn’t hurt now, would it?
When Burberry announced that the brand was releasing an exclusive collaborative collection with Kris Wu, we all heard a collective “#whodat”? Well apparently, 27-year-old Wu is a Canadian-Chinese performer who rose to fame during his 2-year stint with one of South Korea’s most successful boybands, EXO. After a scuffle with the band’s management that involved a lawsuit, he parted ways and sought to find his own success in his homeland.
Since then, the now solo pop star shone on his own, producing music and appearing in blockbuster hits over time. Despite his professional relationship with Pharrell Williams, whom he performed with at China’s 11 Day Tour this year, his music career could do with a little more polishing. But the success the movies he starred in so far more than made up for it, scoring #1s and top grossing box office hits in the China market and raking him some accolades along the way. He then ventured into the Western market, appearing in Luc Besson‘s 2017 sci-fi hit Valerian alongside Cara Delevigne, Rihanna and Dane DeHaan.
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With so much clout surrounding him, no wonder Burberry reached out to Wu – who walked the brand’s fall 2016 show – to lend his golden touch in producing the exclusive 19-piece collection. Beats by Dr Dre was quick to swoop in too, having him to front the headphone brand’s 2017 campaign, pulling him back to his roots as a musician and performer. Guess there’s more than meets the eye about this rising Chinese pop star after all.
When Bodak Yellow was all over the radio, it’s hard to believe that it was a chart-topping hit on the Billboards with its run-of-the-mill beats and badass albeit cliche lyrics. The song got stuck in our heads nonetheless, but we’re not sure if it’s because it was force-fed or because the tune was truly worthy of breaking Lauryn Hill‘s record as first solo female rapper to lead the charts with her 1998 smash hit Doo Wop (That Thing). If it’s not by Nicki Minaj or Lil’ Kim… Then who’s Cardi B?
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It’s a tale of “from rags to riches” come to life where Belcalis Almanzar, now known as Cardi B, from the Bronx is concerned. One of hip hop’s hottest names right now was once an employee at a supermarket, before turning to the strip club to pay her bills, escape poverty, and get out of her abusive then-boyfriend’s place. It wasn’t until 2013 where Cardi started getting attention on social media – namely Vines and Instagram – with what the media calls her “no-filter attitude”.
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She got a taste of the limelight after appearing on Love & Hip Hop: New York‘s 6th season in 2015 entertaining viewers with her crazy antics (more reality TV tabloid fodder), before departing the season after to pursue a career in music. While we still wonder how she made the charts, we must say her personality is made for the entertainment industry and we’re glad she’s out of that “abusive relationship”, making big bucks, and snagged a collaborative effort with shoe brand Steve Madden, and released another single Bartier Cardi. To think it all started out with social media.
Like Cardi B above, 23-year-old Cameron Dallas is no stranger to social media. If the number of following is a measure of success, the American internet personality (according to Wikipedia) sure is something, amassing over 20 million followers on Instagram and over 9 million followers on Vine. Good looks, good sense of humour or a good mixture of both? We’ll leave that for you to decide.
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Whatever it is, Dallas’ social media clout alerted the fashion circle and brands like Calvin Klein and Dolce & Gabanna were not afraid to reach out and have him to grace their runways and breathe new life to their shows. Pop star Charli XCX also featured him in her 2017 music video alongside DJ Diplo and K-pop idol Jay Park among others for her song “Boys”. He has since signed with IMG models worldwide and has gone from being just a random social media personality to a bonafide model. When is it our turn?
She took the fashion world by storm in 2017, strutting her stuff down spring/summer 2018 runways from Marc Jacobs in New York to Saint Laurent in Paris. But Kaia Gerber, daughter to legendary supermodel Cindy Crawford, is only 16.
Nepotism aside, Gerber’s ceaseless bookings are not for nothing – not only does the fresh face have the makings of a model with her long limbs and symmetrical face, she’s also quite a natural in front of the camera fronting campaigns for Miu Miu Eyewear, beauty and fragrance lines for Marc Jacobs, and most recently for Versace alongside other model powerhouses to name a few.
With all that and 2.5 million Instagram following under her belt at 16, we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on her future success in fashion.