Is it a smart move for the athletic brand?

Have you been keeping up? Two weeks ago Kendall Jenner posted a throwback to her Instagram account, reminiscing over an elementary school snapshot of the reality-star-turned-model decked out in head-to-toe Adidas. The four-word caption “always been an OG” hardly elicited speculation from fans, but little did they know that filtered Kodak moment would actually serve as a prelude to the eldest Jenner announcing her new ambassador status.

The partnership comes roughly a month after Jenner’s controversial Pepsi commercial (you know, the one that was released and retracted in a 24-hour window), which shows that despite the fashion industry’s seemingly focused activism, big brands are still cashing in on Jenner’s commercial appeal.

Business of Fashion discussed Kendall’s effect on the beauty and fashion world, weighing out whether or not brands can expect to see profitable gain. Though the publication has expressed their doubts, Jenner’s social media following of 81.6 million followers on Instagram is reason enough to keep her marketable for brands in an age where social media largely contributes to a label’s popularity (the boomerang to announce her new gig racked up six million views, and counting). From a marketing perspective, she provides a company with the Kardashian-Jenner recognition and fan base, as well as a lesser chance of the drama that often trails close behind the family negatively impacting her work and that of the brand.

Signing with Wilhelmina Models at the early age of fourteen, it’s no secret Kendall has taken on multiple projects and roles through the course of her career. Currently, the eldest Jenner poses for a number of glossy covers, fashion campaigns, is a Victoria’s Secret model, the face of Estee Lauder, and all of this in addition to her new role as Adidas ambassador. There’s no denying it’s an impressive resume; on the one hand, it gets Kendall’s name out there and shows how valuable of a persona she is considered across the industry, but on the other it raises concern. Is her brand diluting itself?

It’s possible, but so far she’s divided and conquered the commercial fashion world with ease. There will always be that percentage of risk when a company signs on a commercial face as its ambassador, but when you consider the great influence every Kardashian-Jenner has had over the products they’ve endorsed, the risk may just be worth the potential of high profitable gain.

Even at the center of industry backlash and speculation, Jenner is a media magnet – and big brands can’t stay away. It’s her commercial popularity and an incomparable social media following that will be the driving forces that keep the so-called Kendall effect in effect.

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