Models of today have huge influence. They can make or break a fashion brand or and become famous all over the world, thanks to social media and the internet. Those models who have broken boundaries opened the way for their successors and today’s models have more opportunities than ever before, with plus size, transgender and multi-racial models being the norm.
1. Lea T
Lea T is a Brazilian, Italian born model who has redefined boundaries within the fashion world, by becoming the first transgender super model. She has become the muse of Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy and is the face of Redken haircare in America.
She became a model before undergoing surgery to undergo the sex change procedure. In 2015 Forbes chose her as one of the women who had changed the fashion industry. She also became the first transgender person to participate in an opening ceremony of the Olympics, in Brazil in 2016.
2. Naomi Campbell
Naomi became a model at the age of 15 and was one of the group of models in the 1980s and 1990s who were known as ‘supermodels’. Along with Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista, she was one of ‘The Trinity’ of supermodels who were the most demanded models of their generation.
She overcame racial prejudice and graced the cover of British Vogue, the first time a black model had done so since the 1960s. She was the first black model to appear on the cover of French Vogue, after Yves Saint Laurent threatened to withdraw his advertising if black models continued to be omitted from its covers.
3. Kate Moss
Kate was famously discovered at JFK airport when she was only 14, by Sarah Doukas of Storm. She came to prominence in the 1990s when ‘heroin chic’ was the look to have. This was in contrast to the ‘supermodel’s who went before, who were curvaceous and Amazonian in stature.
Kate modelled for Calvin Klein and rose to global fame, epitomizing the waif like look of the 1990s. Kate has remained as famous for her private life as for her public role. She has been arrested for drink and drug escapades and dated some of the most notorious bad boys of her generation including Johnny Depp and Pete Doherty.
4. Lisa Fonssagrieves
Lisa was born in Sweden and educated in Germany and is credited with being the first ‘supermodel’. She was trained as a dancer, and believed her modelling was an extension of this genre. She was discovered in the 1930s and first began modelling hats.
She appeared on the covers of Vogue and the first edition of Vanity Fair and her career spanned the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. She was the most famous and highest paid model of her day. Her later work was in the United States where she married her second husband and became a sculptor in later life, dying at the age of 80.
Twiggy was nicknamed in the Swinging Sixties in London where her androgynous look became synonymous with the clothes and culture of the day. She was named the ‘face’ of 1966 and modelled throughout the rest of the sixties, modelling for Vogue and Tatler and travelling the world.
Twiggy cites Jean Shrimpton as her role model and earned fame after a short crop at coiffeur, Leonard in London. She became a worldwide phenomenon when she travelled to America and Japan and became the face of the 1960s all over the globe.
These women have changed the face of fashion and have influenced and inspired many different women all over the world. A model today is like a football player in the male world, they become bigger than their job and promote brands, charities and have a huge influence over society and modern culture.