The term supermodel came to prominence in the 1990s but even before then there had always been models that stood out from the rest. Supermodel refers to those models who earn millions of dollars as the faces for top designers and prestigious brands. They adorn the covers of the world’s most popular fashion magazines and are much sought after for catwalk shows. This slideshow will look at supermodels from the 1960s through to the present day.
Cindy Crawford’s trademark feature is her distinctive facial mole. She was the first modern supermodel to pose nude for the magazine Playboy. During her long career she appeared on the cover of more than 600 magazines worldwide and is considered to have been one of the most beautiful and successful women of the 1990s.
Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid, known in the industry as Iman, is a model of Somali origin who became known in the fashion world for being the first high-profile black model. Her career developed in the 1970s and 1980s. During the mid-70s she featured on the cover of Italian Vogue. Besides her work on the catwalk, Iman has also appeared in several films.
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Claudia Schiffer’s modelling career began in 1987 when she was spotted in a nightclub in Düsseldorf by the boss of a modelling agency. A few weeks later she was on the cover of the French edition of Elle magazine. She has modeled for Chanel and was also the face of a long-running campaign for Guess Jeans.
In the late-1980s and throughout the 1990s, Naomi Campbell was one of the most in demand models for catwalk shows and advertising campaigns. She was the first black woman to appear on the cover of the British and French editions of Vogue.
This American model appeared on the cover of Glamour magazine in 1964 aged just 17. In 1978, she starred in a campaign in which she appeared in a translucent bikini. Thanks to this image she became one of the pop culture icons of the decade.
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Linda Evangelista started her modelling career in the mid-1980s with the agency Elite. She was known for her versatility and adaptability. She was able to change the style and colour of her hair with ease. Another of her distinctive features was her ability to create different poses in front of the camera.
Stephanie Seymour started modelling for local shops and newspapers in California at the age of 14. Her career peaked in the mid-1990s when she would regularly walk the catwalk for designers and major brands such as Valentino. She also posed for Playboy.
German model Tatjana Patitz began her career in the mid-1980s at the age of 17 in Paris. Her breakthrough moment came when she appeared on the cover of British Vogue in 1985. From that moment, she became one of the most requested models for the catwalk shows of top designers.
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Czech model Eva Herzigova began her career at 16 when she won a beauty contest in Prague and decided to move to Paris. She took part in campaigns for renowned brands like Guess Jeans and Victoria's Secret. However, her most memorable campaign was the “Hello Boys” advertisements for Wonderbra. She also appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine.
Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen is recognised worldwide. She began her career at the age of 14 and moved to New York shortly afterwards. She is known for being the highest paid model in the world and one of the most famous in history.
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Kate Moss was discovered by the founder of Storm model agency Sarah Doukas at John F. Kennedy airport in New York in 1988 at the age of 14. Throughout her career she has modelled for famous fashion brands such as Versace, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Channel.
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Heidi Klum is recognised in the fashion world for having posed for the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated magazine and in catalogues for brands such as Victoria’s Secret. She has also participated in several television series like "Sex and the City", "CSI Miami" and in films such as "Blow Dry".
Lesley Lawson, better known as Twiggy, was an icon of “swinging London” during the 1960s. Her trademark style was her short platinum blond hair slicked to the side and she would often be seen in mini-skirts. She remains an inspiration to many designers to this day.
Tyra Banks was one of the most high-profile models of the 1990s. Her fame grew after modelling for the brand Victoria's Secret. In 1997, she became the first African American woman to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Born in 1973, this Canadian model wanted to become a professional ballerina as a child. Although her career took a different path, the skills she acquired in the dance studio served to develop her individual way of moving on the catwalk.