We remember all those iconic supermodels who ruled the ball even before Heidi, Naomi, Eva, Gigi and Kendall.
Born in 1911 in Sweden, an incredibly beautiful girl named Lisa Fonsagrivs is rightfully considered the first world supermodel. The girl’s career began quite unexpectedly: refusing to study at the college of culinary arts, Lisa went to Paris and began dancing in small ballet groups. One day, returning home after another rehearsal, the girl came across photographer Willy Maywald in the elevator, who asked her to act as a model for a demonstration of hats. After the publication of the pictures, Lisa was inundated with offers of cooperation.
Lisa Fonsagrives was the one who was enthusiastically filmed by William Klein, Man Ray, Irwin Penn and Erwin Blumenenfeld, and magazines such as Life, Time, Town & Country, Vanity Fair and Vogue fought for the right to put her on the cover (by the way, she “lit up” in each of the mentioned publications). Over time, the blonde beauty began to be considered the first internationally recognized queen of the catwalks and solemnly attributed the status of a “supermodel” to the girl.
Dovima (Dorothy Virginia Margaret Juba)
While Irwin Penn was patiently waiting for his turn to photograph the legendary Dovima outside the door of some photo studio in New York, Richard Avedon was adjusting the dark curls of the American beauty during the iconic photo shoot that went down in history. It was in 1955 when Avedon took a series of pictures of “Dovim with elephants”. One of the photos acquired the status of a cult, while Dovima herself became the highest-paid model of the 50s of the last century.
Beauty, grace, elegance, provocation and drama – this girl combined all the best that could be imagined, but the beauty’s life was pretty battered even before the start of her dizzying career. When she was 10 years old, Dovima fell ill with rheumatism and spent the next 7 years in bed. The girl got rid of the terrible diagnosis only at her 18. She got a job selling lollipops on Fifth Avenue, and later enrolled in art school. And maybe no one would have found out about this beautiful girl if it hadn’t been for the efficient assistant who ran up to Dovima on the street one sunny day and dragged her into the studio. After receiving $17.5 for the shoot, the next day she woke up famous. She was on the cover of Glamour, and Vogue photographers were already insistently ringing her doorbell.
Everyone was talking about a girl with huge blue eyes and long blond hair. The model with a playful name was born in Koningberg (now Kaliningrad) in 1939. The fate of the famous beauty was unusual: having begun her childhood with the shameful recognition of herself and her family as state criminals, Verushka was arrested, and the possessions were confiscated completely — this was just the beginning of the troubles that followed the girl on her heels.
Having decided to break out of a series of failures and still taste happiness, Verushka, being a young beautiful girl, decided to test herself in the modeling business. Filming for small publishers, she began studying art in Hamburg, and continued in Florence, where she attracted the attention of photographer Hugo Mulas and soon began working as a fashion model. In 1961, life brought her to New York, but without gaining success there, the girl returned to Europe, to Munich, and after a while made a splash by starring in a five-minute episode in Michelangelo Antonioni’s film “Photo Exaggeration”. Friendship with Salvador Dali taught her to be liberated: in the course of her career, she got the image of an Amazon. In the pictures, she was increasingly surrounded by exotic animals, provocative poses were her trump card, and sexy bare thighs were a recognizable feature.
This British woman turned the fashion world upside down: she was the one who proved that beauty can be absolutely different. Her huge eyes, pixie haircut and incredible thinness made her an icon of the 60s of the last century. In 1968, she received her recognition as a supermodel, at the same time that Verushka and Jean Shrimpton were accepted by the world community. By the way, Twiggy became the first model who was not afraid to promote an androgynous style. The girl’s career developed rapidly from a very young age. At the age of 16, she met the fashionable London hairdresser Leonardo and became the face of his beauty salon. The first photo shoot of Leslie, the girl’s real name, with a short haircut was done by Barry Lategan. He came up with a memorable pseudonym for the girl — Twiggy (literally – “reed”). Girls were crazy about her image: extreme thinness was at the peak of popularity, and well-dyed eyelashes and rare freckles became a real fetish.
Ten years later, Twiggy’s androgynous style was promoted by a dark-skinned beauty of Jamaican origin, Grace Jones.
Grace’s career began with the theater when, back in college, an unusual girl was noticed by a drama professor who invited her to work with him in a play in Philadelphia. For a while, the girl went on tour with the troupe, and on her return, an 18-year-old beauty with great ambitions decided to try her luck in New York. First, she signed a contract as a model with the Wilhelmina Modeling agency, and a little later, in 1970, she moved to Paris. The European public immediately noticed Jones’ unusual appearance. Yves Saint Laurent, Claude Montana, and Kenzo Takada hired her as a runway model, and magazines such as Elle, Vogue, Stern invited her to their covers. Working with Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdain and Hans Feyor, Jones gained more and more prestige and status, and communicating with her best “coffee friends” Giorgio Armani and Karl Lagerfeld, she gathered around herself the cream of the fashion elite.
But Iman “fell off” the head of the modeling world in the mid-70s. A beautiful long neck, copper-colored skin and an unusual hairstyle simply could not fail to attract the attention of the fashionable public. Born in Somalia in 1955, Iman moved to the United States at the age of 20, having received an invitation to work as a model from photographer Peter Beardom. His career developed rapidly, and no wonder, because the first magazine publication took place in Vogue itself in 1976. The great designer Yves Saint Laurent once said that “the woman of my dreams is Iman.” They had not only a working relationship with Yves, but also a strong friendship outside the catwalks and fitting rooms. Iman often admitted that she got the most unforgettable experience in her career working at the shows of Saint Laurent (the show “The African Queen” is also kind of legendary). Collaborating with dozens of Parisian brands and being the muse of Gianni Versace, Roy Halston and Donna Karan, Iman fell in love with millions, including she managed to charm the famous British musician David Bowie, with whom she was happy for almost 25 years, until the singer’s death in January 2016.
No matter how Lauren, a blonde beauty, radically changed the idea of beauty. It was she who became the first prominent supermodel with imperfectly even teeth (remember, the main thing is to be able to hook her zest and turn a flaw into a virtue). Since the mid-1970s, when her modeling career began, Hutton has appeared on the cover of Vogue 41 times. In 1974, she signed an exclusive contract for a record one million dollars with the American cosmetics brand Revlon. By the way, she was the face of the brand until her fortieth birthday, that is, for a total of more than 10 years.