Best Models of All Time
The latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar has a spread with their picks of the greatest models of all time. The list is so comprehensive that we really have nothing to add. Enjoy – and tell us if you think they missed any.
Before informing Eileen Ford she would sign with Ford Models if the agency took her little sister Suzy Parker sight unseen, Leigh landed the cover of Bazaar at age 27 in 1944, after telling Diana Vreeland she was 19. Her wistful femininity — and five marriages — made some claim she was the real Holly Golightly.
The quintessential swan was a Queens housewife until she was discovered outside a Manhattan Automat. Described by Avedon as the “last of the great elegant, aristocratic beauties,” she created the perfect fashion storm when she posed with elephants for him at the Cirque d’Hiver in Paris in 1955. The resulting images have long been among the world’s best-loved fashion photographs.
Avedon’s 1954 picture of Harnett wearing a Grès gown at a casino was jet-set long before 007 ever spun a roulette wheel.
The face of the ’40s and ’50s (and Mrs. Irving Penn) called herself “a good clothes hanger.”
The first model to earn more than $100 an hour, Parker was the face of postwar American glamour and inspired Audrey Hepburn’s character in the 1957 film Funny Face. Her bright insouciance was beloved by Avedon, who called her “my most challenging and complicated of muses.”
One of the original gamines, “the Shrimp” (winking for Avedon in 1965) embodied the London youthquake in her photos and free-spirited lifestyle.
Following on the go-go heels of Shrimpton, Twiggy’s doe-eyed charm and leggy, androgynous looks made her the ideal mannequin for the mod looks of the mid-’60s.
Once considered too tall, at more than six feet, to be a model, the German knockout played up her exoticism and Valkyrie proportions by occasionally appearing in nothing but body paint and favoring far-flung locations.
Elsa Schiaparelli’s granddaughter’s golden glow made YSL call her the “girl of the ’70s.”
The first model to sign an exclusive cosmetics contract (with Revlon in ’73), Hutton was an antidote to ’70s excess.
The glossy Texan was fittingly discovered on a beach in Saint-Tropez. She is the mother of four of Mick Jagger’s children.
A favorite of Albert Watson and Francesco Scavullo, Hansen married Keith Richards, with whom she has two daughters, Theodora and Alexandra.
The stunning Somalian transcended color barriers, becoming one of the top models of the ’70s. Now married to David Bowie, she is founder of Iman Cosmetics.
Best known for her swimsuit work, the quintessential California girl was the first to ride in on the wave that also brought Christie Brinkley to fame.
Czech-born Porizkova’s sultry pout, captured here by Scavullo in 1987, was sought after in the early MTV era. A gig in a Cars video led to her marriage to Ric Ocasek.
In contrast to the colorful glitz of the previous decades, the rise of fresh-faced supermodels and stark photography coincided with the clean, pared-down minimalism that became the hallmark of the ’90s.
A closely cropped haircut, encouraged by Peter Lindbergh, catapulted Evangelista from the ranks to supermodel status. Photographed by Patrick Demarchelier, she graced the cover of Liz Tilberis’s first issue of Bazaar in 1992. Together Evangelista, Christy Turlington, and Naomi Campbell were called “the Trinity,” who, Evangelista once said, didn’t “wake up for less than $10,000 a day.”
Lensmen loved Turlington’s squeaky-clean professionalism and Campbell’s saucy swagger.
The long-legged blonde was a Helmut Newton fantasy come to life. She also stared down the lenses of Avedon and Patrick Demarchelier.
The first of the curvy Brazilians, she rang in Glenda Bailey’s editorship of Bazaar in 2002 and is a reigning supermodel of the decade.
The Canadian’s feline gaze is instantly recognizable, as she has been the face of many top luxury brands.
[Photos: Various sources]