She's walked in runway shows for every designer you can think of and fronted campaigns for the likes of Chanel, Prada, Fendi, Tiffany & Co and more. Yet, despite all this, Vittoria Ceretti may not be a name you instantly recognise.
While once, models could be plucked from obscurity and go on to become household names (Kate Moss was scouted at an airport for example, and Naomi Campbell was spotted while shopping in London) these days that is a relatively uncommon occurrence.
Today, many of the supermodels we know by name are second-generation celebrities—see Kendall Jenner, Gigi and Bella Hadid, and Kaia Gerber for proof—born to parents who are famous in their own right.
For someone like Vittoria Ceretti, who is from the town of Brescia in Italy, that can be a lot to contend with.
In an Instagram post this weekend which was later shared by Diet Prada, Ceretti spoke out about what is it like to work in an industry full of "nepo babies." The term, which is short for nepotism babies, garnered popularity earlier this year and refers to famous figures who are thought to have gained success thanks to their equally famous or well-connected parents.
"I just want to share a thought here because I can," Vittoria started. "I bumped into an interview of a so-called 'nepo baby' or whatever y'all call it."
She continued, "Let me tell you something. Yes, I get the whole 'Im here and I work hard for it,' but I would really love to see if you would have lasted thru the first five years of my career [sic]."
Ceretti added, "You have no f**king idea how much you have to fight to make people respect you. TAKES YEARS. You just get it by free day one."
In her post, Ceretti chronicled the typical experience of privilege in the fashion industry, saying that many models often wait hours for a fitting or a casting, only to have a nepo baby model "walk past you from the warm seat of her/his Mercedes with her/his driver and her/his friend/assistant/agent taking care of HER/HIS MENTAL HEALTH."
While Ceretti didn't explicitly say it, many are speculating that her post was in response to the recent interview with Lily Rose Depp, that ran in this month's edition of ELLE US.
In the article, Depp said, "The internet cares a lot more about who your family is than the people who are casting you in things. Maybe you get your foot in the door, but you still just have your foot in the door. There’s a lot of work that comes after that.”
She continued, "It’s weird to me to reduce somebody to the idea that they’re only there because it’s a generational thing." The model and actress, who is the daughter of Johnny Depp went on, "If somebody’s mom or dad is a doctor, and then the kid becomes a doctor, you’re not going to be like, ‘Well, you’re only a doctor because your parent is a doctor.’ It’s like, ‘No, I went to medical school and trained."
While this analogy might not necessarily hit the mark for some, one additional point that Depp raised was that we, as a general public, only really hear about "nepo babies" in reference to female celebrities. "I don’t think that it’s a coincidence,” Depp said.
Lily Allen took to Twitter this weekend to echo these sentiments. "Can we start a list of male nepo babies, for balance?" she wrote.
Can we start a list of male nepo babies, for balance ? I’ll go first. Anderson CooperNovember 19, 2022
If you're interested, other people on that list include Ansel Elgort (whose father is famed fashion photographer Arthur Elgort), Timothée Chalamet (whose mother was a broadway star and grandfather was a filmmaker) and Brooklyn Beckham (who... well, we all know who his parents are).
As we know from the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Jennifer Aniston and Tracee Ellis Ross—all of whom have famous parents—the concept of a "nepo baby" in the entertainment industry is nothing new.
And while Ceretti's choice to address the nepo baby discussion on Instagram did feel fueled by frustration, in the end, the model admitted she only wants people to be able to appreciate and acknowledge their privilege.
"I have many nepo baby friends whom I respect, but I can't stand listening to you compare yourself to me," she wrote. "I was not born on a comfy sexy pillow with a view. I know it's not your fault, but please, appreciate and know the place you came from."
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Zoe Anastasiou is a Fashion Editor with over eight years of experience working across digital publications in New York, London and Australia. She has contributed to publications including Harper’s BAZAAR and ELLE Australia, and was the Fashion and Social Media Editor at Who What Wear UK before joining Marie Claire.
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