While the age of the supermodel may be no more, we look back at some of the most iconic and game-changing names in the business who’ve proved their staying power and that modeling is more than just a job, it’s a lifestyle. They’re household names that still influence the fashion industry today and are the measures of success for future and current models. They’re muses to fashion designers and even transition ultra-successful careers into television, acting and philanthropy, but one thing is for certain, they are faces you’ll never forget no matter the era. Reminisce with us as we review the top ten influential models that changed the face of fashion forever.
1. Kate Moss
Standing at 5’7”, Kate Moss should have been the anti-supermodel, but her arrival onto the scene in the 90s heralded the waif look and changed fashion’s aesthetic forever, now known as “heroine chic”. As one of the most eponymous models in recent memory, Moss is still hard at work and strutting her stuff on the catwalk.
2. Cindy Crawford
All American model Cindy Crawford was and still is the fashion world’s girl next door with her charming personality and trademark mole. Her lean, athletic body type made her an instant favorite among designers and in contrast to over-the-top glitz of the previous decade, her fresh-faced beauty set the tone for the clean, pared down look that is minimalism today.
Image Courtesy of Vogue
3. Naomi Campbell
As one of the original six, Naomi Campbell revolutionized the catwalk at the height of the 90s supermodel era. Her rock-hard, yet feminine curvy body type and perfect bone structure was sought after countless times throughout the decade, paving the way for many models of color to come.
4. Linda Evangelista
After a closely cropper haircut catapulted her to supermodel stardom, Linda Evangelista formed the trinity alongside Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington. Known for her infamous remark of not getting out of bed for less than $10,000, she’s the muse of fashion photographer Steven Meisel and has appeared on over 600 magazine covers.
Image Courtesy of Fashion Model Directory
5. Andrej Pejic
In 2011, Andrej Pejic was the source of much controversy for his gender-bending androgynous look. After walking in both Jean Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs shows, and appearing in countless campaigns and magazine covers, Pejic redefined androgyny with his soft feminine features that could be transformed at the drop of a hat.
One of the leading activists for diversity on the catwalk, Iman is a role model to young girls everywhere and has proved beauty comes in all skin tones, which eventually inspired the launch of a namesake cosmetic line that made products available to a wide spectrum of skin shades.
Image Courtesy of Vogue
7. Tyra Banks
After successfully transitioning from the catwalk to reality television, Tyra Banks has built a TV empire allowing women (and now men) a chance to live out their dreams as America’s Next Top Model. Bank’s strong, striking features made her an unconventional beauty that showcased a new, different vision of beauty not yet seen on the runway.
Image: JON LEVY/AFP/Getty Images
8. Crystal Renn
Praised for her womanly curves, Crystal Renn put plus sized modeling on the map with her unapologetic and realistic take on the female body, making her all the more accessible and real to the everyday woman.
An icon of the 60s, Twiggy’s large doe eyes, long mascara-coated lashes and waif-like frame defined the era. Her leggy androgynous look became the ideal mannequin for mod fashion and is still referenced today on the runway and in editorials.
10. Gisele Bundchen
Brazilian born exotic beauty Gisele Bundchen is the first of the curvaceous bunch bombshells to hail from Brazil. Her discovery led to a trend of new fresh faces being discovered south of the border and she continues her reign as model of the decade, one of the very last supermodels of the century.