Miu Miu’s star-studded cast may have captured the industry’s attention, thanks to appearances by the likes of Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Taylor Hill, but among the household names was another model whose career is just as representative of the current mood: Jasmine Sanders. An alluring social media sensation from South Carolina, Sanders has 1.4 million Instagram followers hanging on her every update for her @golden_barbie account, which reads something like a crash course in how to create an engaging feed (hint: lots of gym selfies). One part glamorous updates with celebrity friends like Kylie and Kendall Jenner, one part gym-spiration diary interspersed with both memes and flaw-free selfies, Sanders’s channel is addictive fun. But let’s get back to those selfies for a minute. “I honestly started using Instagram for their filters,” says Sanders. “I would upload just to steal the filter and later delete, until I noticed that people actually started liking my posts and my style. I’ve always had a feeling that social media would be a great outlet to share my genuine thoughts and feelings, but I never expected my following to be like this.” Sanders credits social media with giving models a real voice. “Social media allows us to show everyone that there’s more beyond the supposed glitz and glam of the industry. We have the power to share what we truly love and what makes us happy.”
And what about that handle? As it turns out, “Golden Barbie” is a nickname that she’s had since childhood. “I had a teacher who used to call me Goldilocks in school because of my curls, and my friends used to tell me I looked like a life-size Barbie,” says Sanders. “One day, my sister and I were playing around with silly usernames for social media, and we put the two together. ‘Golden Barbie’ had a ring to it that I liked, so I stuck with it. I’m actually thankful my following knows me as Golden Barbie, versus some of the other names we suggested!” Looking at Sanders’s doll-like features, it’s easy to see why the moniker stuck, and it only takes a click on the corresponding #goldenbarbie hashtag to catch a glimpse of Sanders’s online popularity, with countless imitators, fan accounts, and makeup tutorials dedicated to her look.
But making the step onto one of Paris’s most-watched runways was more than a booking—it was the culmination of over a decade’s worth of work in the industry. Sanders, who started modeling at age 13, has worked with the likes of Ralph Lauren and Nike, but Miu Miu’s runway marks a possible turning point in her career. Embodying both the data-driven engagement focus of the social It-girl models and the multiculturalism that defined Fall’s key castings, it seems that Sanders has tapped into the zeitgeist.
So how does it feel to be having what they call “a moment”? “I’ve been modeling for 11 years now,” Sanders says, “and I feel that everything happens full circle. At times I felt as if models would never grace the covers of magazines as they once had, but now we are getting another shot at having command, and I feel we are taking full advantage of this moment.” Miu Miu offered Sanders her first Parisian catwalk, a chance to work with supermodels, and one of the high points of her career. “I can’t even put my feelings into words! I had every emotion going through my body before hitting the runway,” says Sanders. “To be among so many amazing women and to walk for such an amazing designer literally took my breath away. It still feels like a dream, and I have yet to wake up!” With the added buzz and a slate of new projects set to launch later this year, Sanders is ready for everything the future holds. “I love modeling, and it never gets old to me. New doors have opened for me and I’m running through them! Look out!”
[By Janelle Okwodo] [From Vogue] [Read More]