Fashion News


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Notoriously fickle and youth obsessed, the profession normally casts out most of its models almost as soon as they are out of their teens.

Or so the common theories go. To the surprise of many, though, it is not a waif-life Eastern European youth grabbing the attention of fashion watchers in the September edition of British Vogue. Rather it is Linda Evangelista, the new, 43-year-old face of Prada.

linda evangelista

In a move that is seen as the ultimate eye-catching play to a public who are less keen to spend as the credit crunch worsens, the supermodels – the elite group of Amazonian women who took the world by storm in the early 1990s – are now back in vogue.

Like Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington, Eva Herzigova, Helena Christensen, Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, Evangelista became famous for taking fashion modelling and salary demands to a new level. She is often quoted as saying that she “didn’t get out of bed for less than $10,000″.

As the face of the Autumn/Winter Prada collection, Evangelista is back on the front line, Campbell is starring in the new Yves Saint Laurent campaign, Turlington is the most recent face of Escada and Schiffer is currently smiling for Salvatore Ferragamo.

According to Carol White, managing editor of Premiership Model Management, the renaissance of “the supermodels” can be credited in part to the desire to appeal to older women with more disposable income, and the need to have the models most instantly recognizable to a public with less cash to splash.

“In times of financial instability, brands go for top quality; they want to sell dreams. There is much more punch with a girl like Linda, than a beautiful face from the Ukraine,” Ms. White said.

“Over the last four or five years we’ve seen an influx of beautiful but bland girls from Eastern Europe. Today, fashion brands are looking to spice things up with strong personalities and iconic women.”

The trend is good news for the 40-somethings who have all, at some time or other, slipped off the fashion radar.

Known as “the trinity” in the early 1990s, Evangelista, Campbell and Turlington pushed for better model wages. They paved the way for the likes of Giselle Bundchen, who last year topped’s list of the top earning models in the world for earning $35 million U.S.

Two decades later, the likes of Evangelista can expect at least $637,000 for a campaign – 300 times more than an unknown face would receive.