It was recently announced that Nogizaka46’s Nishino Nanase has been appointed exclusive model for female fashion magazine “non-no” (starting June 2015). News of fellow members Hashimoto Nanami and Matsumura Sayuri becoming exclusive models for “Cancam”(starting May 2015) and member Saito Asuka for “CUTie”(starting April 2015) also followed.
Within Nogizaka46, Shirashi Mai has already been appointed exclusive model for Ray magazine since March 2013. Ray will be recruiting ℃-ute’s Suzuki Airi as their next exclusive model next.
Besides these girls, other idol group members like ex-Morning Musume’s Koharu Kusumi and ex-AKB48’s Shinoda Mariko have also worked/are working for the likes of “CanCam” and “MORE”, as with idol members from E-girls.
Responses were mixed towards this trend of idols stepping in the modelling industry.
Amongst the Nogizaka fans, most were supportive of this trend, as it helps to distinguish Nogizaka46 amongst other idol groups, at the same time drawing the members’ high visual qualities to light.
However, there were also voices of dissent from female netizens, who believe that models should have a model’s physique, and that idols should just remain as idols.
In times when magazines are no longer selling, some believe that fashion editors have turned towards the wotas as their next target consumers in order to revive their sales. Contracting idol members with a stable fanbase could be a strategy in this case.
If idols are the ones who will save the printing industry, then why not really? I have always found it weird that Japanese magazines like ViVi like to use half-western models to appeal to the Japanese girls.