WHAT ABOUT SUPERMODELS?

by Rehana Nurali

We all know that superheroes are fiction characters but what about supermodels?

There are a lot of different opinions about how the term supermodel started to be used but one of the first ones to be described as a supermodel was Twiggy in the 1960s.  Since then the term was mentioned quite often throughout the decades. But are supermodels still real? Were they ever? Or were they just fiction characters like superheroes?

Well we can tell you one thing for sure - supermodels were pretty real. The concept became a big deal in the 1990s when Peter Lindbergh photographed Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz and Chirsty Turlington for British Vogue’s cover. That changed everything.

The change began because the fashion industry moved on from the flashy era and started to have these women that were not only beautiful without any makeup but they had a message and they knew how to do business. They became the true embodiment of the “supermodel concept" and like Peter Lindbergh stated to the Telegraph “There will never be anything like the era of the supermodel again”. There were a lot of reasons for these girls to be supermodels. And the thing is that they were glamorous but at the same time they were so charismatic that they could light up a room wearing just a simple shirt and a pair of jeans.

The original group of supermodels was formed by Campbell, Crawford, Evangelista, Patitz and Turlington and they were described as “The Big Five”. Later on Claudia Schiffer replaced Tatjana Patitz and Kate Moss also got into to the group making it “The Big Six”.

However by the late 1990s entertainment celebrities slowly started to replace models on fashion magazine’s covers and campaigns. Different theories surfaced about why this happened and about why other models weren’t having the same impact as the “original supermodels”. Some say that the fashion magazines and designers wanted to keep the “supermodel attitude” away so no model would ever have the power that the supermodels had back in the day. Others say that it wasn’t directly because of that but more because of the trends, since the industry started to turn to models who weren’t that glamorous so they wouldn’t overpower the clothes.

These days it’s all about social media and we have a new generation of models like Cara Delevingne, Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner who are followed by millions on networks like Instagram. But this is far from representing the same as some of the greatest models from the past represented. Before there was a feeling of magic around supermodels and that’s why they turned that word into a formula for success like no one has ever seen before. So the question is will we ever see someone again like Linda Evangelista who said “We don't wake up for less than $10,000 a day”? Will there ever be a return of the supermodels?

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