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The most iconic supermodel the year you were born, from Twiggy to Tyra Banks

tyra banks in 2014
Tyra Banks broke barriers in the modeling industry.
  • Supermodels throughout history have been known for their killer catwalks and incredible style.
  • From 1950 to 2010, we identified the year in which they were arguably at the top of their game. 
  • Farrah Fawcett dominated the 1970s, while Linda Evangelista has more than 700 covers to her name.
Throughout the years, the face of the modeling industry has changed.
twiggy
Twiggy.

Today, more plus-size and diverse models are walking the runway than ever before, signaling how the body-positivity movement has impacted fashion.

We decided to look back at some of the most famous models throughout history and the impact they had on the industry. We also determined the year in which they were arguably at the top of their game.

From Twiggy in the '60s to Gisele Bündchen in the '90s and 2000s, these models have certainly left their mark.

1950: Jean Patchett was a leading model throughout the 1940s and 1950s.
model
Jean Patchett.

She was said to have defined the era when it came to beauty.

1951: Mary Jane Russell appeared on the cover of many issues of Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.
mary jane russell
Mary Jane Russell.

According to The New York Times, she achieved success despite being shorter than other models at only 5 feet 6 inches.

1952: Georgia Hamilton appeared on the cover of Life magazine.
georgia hamilton
Georgia Hamilton.

She was a popular fashion model during the 1940s and 1950s. 

1953: Cherry Nelms was one of the favorite muses of photographer Louise Dahl-Wolfe.
Cherry Nelms model
Cherry Nelms.

She was a top model during the 1950s.

1954: Sunny Harnett was a model frequently photographed by Richard Avedon during the height of her modeling career in the mid-1950s.
Sunny Harnett model
Sunny Harnett.

She was also frequently photographed by Edgar de Evia.

1955: Dovima was a well-known American model during the 1950s and even appeared as a model in the Audrey Hepburn film, "Funny Face."
dovima
Dovima.

A Richard Avedon photograph of Dovima with elephants at a Paris circus in 1955 is one of the most famous fashion photographs of all time, according to Time 100 Photos.

1956: Evelyn Tripp was well known during the 1950s and 1960s.
Evelyn Tripp model
Evelyn Tripp.

According to The New York Times, she was known especially for her remarkably high cheekbones.

1957: Suzy Parker was an American actress and model.
suzy parker
Suzy Parker.

She was reportedly the first model to earn $100,000 per year, which would be $922,000 today, according to Vanity Fair.

1958: Marilyn Monroe is one of the best-known actresses of all time.
marilyn monroe niagara
Marilyn Monroe poses for a portrait in front of Niagara Falls.

However, she also modeled throughout her life.

1959: Dolores Hawkins was a singer and model who appeared on a number of magazine covers during the late 1950s.
Dolores Hawkins
Dolores Hawkins.

She appeared on Glamour, Vogue, and Mademoiselle.

1960: Sondra Peterson was so popular during her career that she was featured in the May 1960 issue of Seventeen in an article titled, "How to Look Like Sondra Peterson."
sondra peterson
Sondra Peterson.

She was signed with Ford Models.

1961: Dorothy McGowan appeared on the covers of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, and Glamour during the 1960s.
dorothea mcgowan
Dorothy McGowan.

She was also photographed by Richard Avedon. 

1962: Brigitte Bardot was an actress and part-time model who gained fame.
Brigitte Bardot
Brigitte Bardot.

According to Biography, Bardot was known for portraying more sexualized characters during the height of the sexual revolution.

1963: The daughter of a German resistance fighter, Veruschka reportedly used modeling as a way to escape her tumultuous childhood.
Veruschka model
Veruschka.

Veruschka had "seemingly endless limbs and torso, more willowy than a summer river bank" and "a face that could vacillate between little girl lost and imperious Romanov princess," according to The Rake.

1964: Tania Mallet is an English actress and model known for playing James Bond's love interest in the 1964 film, "Goldfinger."
Tania Mallet model
Tania Mallet.

Mallet appeared in the third "Bond" movie, widely considered one of the best.

1965: Jean Shrimpton is regarded as one of the most notable supermodels in history.
Jean Shrimpton
Jean Shrimpton.

... and as one of the most defining faces of the decade.

1966: Twiggy gained her famous nickname from her thin frame, and she quickly became a household name during the swinging '60s and mod era in London.
twiggy
Twiggy.

"I had a look — I can see that now — but I don't think I was beautiful," Twiggy told the Guardian in 2009, "Much too thin."

1967: Pat Booth was an English model.
Pat Booth model
Pat Booth.

She stood out for her more "punk" look during the late '60s.

1968: Naomi Sims has been called the first Black supermodel, largely in part to her landing the cover of Ladies Home Journal in 1968.
Naomi Sims model
Naomi Sims.

Sims' appearance on the cover was a "consummate moment of the Black is Beautiful movement," reported The New York Times in her 2009 obituary.

1969: Cristina Ferrare signed with Eileen Ford when she was 20.
Cristina Ferrare model
Cristina Ferrare.

She graced the covers of multiple magazines.

1970: Karen Graham was the exclusive face of Estée Lauder for 15 years.
Karen Graham, Vogue
Karen Graham pictured for Vogue.

This made her the first model to win a beauty contract, Estée or otherwise.

1971: Before she was a musician, Grace Jones walked runways.
grace jones
Grace Jones.

She secured a modeling contract aged 18 and made waves after moving to Paris in 1970.

1972: Marisa Berenson appeared on the covers of Vogue and Time magazine.
marisa berenson
Marisa Berenson.

Yves Saint Laurent even dubbed her the "girl of the '70s," according to the Telegraph.

1973: Lauren Hutton signed her million-dollar contract with Revlon in 1973.
Lauren Hutton model
Lauren Hutton.

It was the biggest contract in modeling history, according to Interview Magazine.

1974: Before she was an actress, Rene Russo was a successful model who appeared on the cover of Vogue nine times.
Rene Russo model
Rene Russo.

According to the publication, Russo "stood for a sexiness that was both accessible and aspirational."

1975: Cheryl Tiegs made the cover of Sports Illustrated three times, including in 1975, which made her the "Golden Girl of the '70s."
Cheryl Tiegs
Cheryl Tiegs.

Her most iconic photoshoot was yet to come, in 1978.

1976: The iconic poster of Farrah Fawcett in her red bathing suit was released in 1976. It sold 20 million copies, making it the best-selling poster of all time.
farrah fawcett
Farrah Fawcett.

The swimsuit is now in the Smithsonian, according to the Chicago Tribune.

1977: Jerry Hall was, and still is, a successful model and tabloid fixture.
jerry hall
Jerry Hall.

At the time, she was dating Mick Jagger and regularly seen at New York City hotspot, Studio 54.

1978: Patti Hansen was called the "successor to Farrah Fawcett and Cheryl Tiegs," after she landed an 81-by-24-foot billboard in Times Square for Calvin Klein.
Patti Hansen, Vogue, 1976
Patti Hansen pictured for Vogue, 1976.

Hansen has been married to Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards since 1983.

1979: During her short life, Gia Carangi appeared on many magazine covers, including Cosmopolitan and Vogue in 1979, and was one of the first openly LGBTQ models.
gia carangi
Gia Carangi.

Sadly, she died just a few years later in 1986 at the age of 26 due to AIDS-related complications. Angelina Jolie played Carangi in the 1998 film "Gia."

1980: Brooke Shields made headlines when she appeared in a Calvin Klein campaign at the young age of 15.
Brooke Shields
Brooke Shields.

Shields is primarily an actress now, and recently starred in the 2021 Netflix holiday rom-com "A Castle for Christmas."

1981: Iman remains a household name to this day.
iman
Iman.

She was at the height of her modeling career during the early 1980s.

1982: Renee Simonsen was chosen to represent Denmark in the 1982 Eileen Ford Supermodel contest and won.
renee simonsen
Renee Simonsen.

Simonson appeared on the cover of Vogue five times.

1983: Christie Brinkley was well known throughout the '70s and '80s.
christie brinkley 80s
Christie Brinkley.

She was loved for her sporty, girl-next-door look — and her marriage to rock star Billy Joel.

1984: Carol Alt appeared on over 500 magazine covers throughout the 1980s.
carol alt
Carol Alt.

Her covers included Vogue, Vogue Paris, Vogue Italia, Mademoiselle, Elle, and Cosmopolitan.

1985: By the mid-1980s, Beverly Johnson was a household name after breaking boundaries in the '70s.
Beverly Johnson model
Beverly Johnson.

In 1974, Beverly Johnson became the first Black woman to appear on the cover of Vogue.

1986: Janice Dickinson has been called the first official supermodel after she coined the phrase during an interview.
janice dickinson
Janice Dickinson.

New generations may know Dickinson best as one of the original judges on "America's Next Top Model."

1987: Elle Macpherson solidified her place as an icon after appearing for the second time on the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue in 1987.
elle macpherson 80s
Elle Macpherson.

She's famously known as "The Body."

1988: Paulina Porizkova made headlines after signing what was then the highest-paying modeling contract.
paulina poriscova
Paulina Porizkova.

The contract was $6 million per year as the face of Estée Lauder.

1989: Kathy Ireland's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover remains one of the magazine's most-sold issues to date.
Kathy Ireland, 1983
Kathy Ireland, pictured in 1983.

The cover, not pictured, was taken in 1989.

1990: Christy Turlington shot to fame after appearing in Calvin Klein's Eternity campaign the year before.
Christy Turlington
Christy Turlington.

"Oh gosh, it's so funny. But there's nothing that hasn't happened before, guys. In the '80s we were all doing the '60s. In the '90s, we were doing the '70s," Turlington told Elle, regarding the resurgence of '90s fashion.

1991: Kate Moss marked a change in the industry with her waifish look.
Kate Moss
Kate Moss.

She remains one of the world's most recognizable models.

1992: Cindy Crawford became one of the most popular models of the '80s and '90s.
cindy crawford
Cindy Crawford.

Her daughter, Kaia Gerber, is now a popular model as well.

1993: Fabio Lanzoni was the world's highest-paid male model in 1993. He made millions of dollars per year and is most famous for being on the covers of many romance novels.
fabio 1993
Fabio Lanzoni.

His iconic hairstyle is still remembered in 2021.

1994: Claudia Schiffer became a household name after working on a 1994 Chanel campaign.
claudia schiffer
Claudia Schiffer.

"The industry has grown a lot. There are more jobs, but fashion changes much faster now. The longevity of a new model's career can be very short," Schiffer told Dazed Digital in 2013.

1995: Linda Evangelista is one of the most accomplished models of all time, and has appeared on more than 700 magazine covers throughout her career.
linda evangelista
Linda Evangelista.

Evangelista recently said she had been "left brutally disfigured" by a cosmetic body-sculpting procedure known as CoolSculpting. She's suing CoolSculpting's maker, Zeltiq Aesthetics. 

1996: Tyra Banks made history as the first Black model to be on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover alongside Valeria Mazza.
Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks.

The next year, she would be the first Black model to land a solo cover.

1997: Karen Mulder appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in 1997.
karen mulder
Karen Mulder.

Mulder was on the cover of Vogue nine times.

1998: Naomi Campbell was one of the most in-demand models of the '90s, as well as the highest-paid Black model throughout much of the decade.
naomi campbell
Naomi Campbell.

"Everything we wore and every restaurant we went to was written about in the papers. It seemed weird to us that people should care. We couldn't walk down the street without people chasing us. I remember we once went shopping in Rome and we couldn't get out of the store because there were so many fans. The police had to come and rescue us," Campbell wrote in her book "Naomi. Updated Edition."

1999: Heidi Klum cemented her "it girl" status after being featured in the New York Time's "A Night Out With" column in 1999.
heidi klum
Heidi Klum.

You can read the article here.

2000: Gisele Bündchen is known as one of the world's most iconic supermodels.
gisele bundchen
Gisele Bundchen.

She was also one of the highest-paid models during the 2000s.

2001: Adriana Lima was one of the most popular models on the runway by 2001.
adriana lima
Adriana Lima.

She appeared in her first Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in 1999.

2002: Vogue Paris dedicated an entire issue to Liya Kebede.
Liya Kebede
Liya Kebede.

She returned to the cover of the magazine in 2015.

2003: Gemma Ward met Miuccia Prada at the designer's request and made her Prada runway debut that season.
gemma ward
Gemma Ward.

She was just 15 or 16 at the time — by 2007, at age 19, she was one of the highest paid models in the world.

2004: Natalia Vodianova appeared on her first American Vogue cover in 2004.
Natalia Vodianova
Natalia Vodianova.

She was alongside Gisele Bündchen and Daria Werbowy, who were all regarded by Anna Wintour as "the future of the business."

2005: Alessandra Ambrosio wowed the world by walking in the Victoria's Secret Fashion show as an official "Angel."
Alessandra Ambrosio
Alessandra Ambrosio.

It was only a year after her debut in the televised program.

2006: Coco Rocha appeared on the February cover of Vogue Italia, a benchmark for any supermodel.
Coco Rocha
Coco Rocha wearing Marc Jacobs in 2006.

In 2018, Rocha opened the Coco Rocha Model Camp for young models.

2007: Miranda Kerr became the first Australian Victoria's Secret angel.
miranda kerr
Miranda Kerr.

Kerr now runs her own skincare brand, KORA Organics.

2008: Male model and actor Boris Kodjoe made his Broadway debut in the 2008 revival of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."
Boris Kodjoe
Boris Kodjoe in 2008.

Kodjoe now stars on the "Grey's Anatomy" firefighter spin-off "Station 19."

2009: A young Karlie Kloss landed multiple coveted modeling campaigns this year.
karlie kloss
Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2009 fashion show.

She was the face of campaigns for Alexander McQueen, Lacoste, Chloe, Dolce & Gabbana, and Marc Jacobs' Lola fragrance, according to StyleCaster.

2010: Chanel Iman became a Victoria's Secret Angel after walking the runway for Burberry, Tom Ford, Gucci, Balenciaga, Max Mara, and more.
Chanel Iman
Chanel Iman in 2010.

"Modeling is the only job I've ever had. My very first job was an editorial shoot for Teen magazine when I was 13," Iman told Us Weekly in October 2021.

Read the original article on Insider


The most iconic supermodel the year you were born, from Twiggy to Tyra Banks
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