The Era of Supermodels: Will we get the 90s kind of craze back?
What do we think about when we hear the word ‘fashion’? The glamour, the glitter, the sheen, the bold and beautiful aspirational lifestyle of millions.
What is it that comes synonymous with fashion today? The term ‘Supermodels’. We say it all the time! Every designer wishes to showcase their best outfits on the most beautiful model, which they say enhances the outfit on its own. A model makes the outfit look good, a supermodel owns the outfit and makes it their own.
The definition of supermodel has changed greatly over the years. The beginning of models posing for the camera and designers wanting beautiful women and men wear their creations was first seen in the years of 1940s and 50s with Bettina working with the likes of Dior and Hubert de Givenchy. She defined the revolutionary ‘New Look’. She was highly paid and overly celebrated during the 50s. The 60s saw the popularizing of the decline of the corset, petite figures and wide eyes with Twiggy. Twiggy became a sensation followed by Jean Shrimpton during the ending of the decade. The 70s saw a breath of fresh air with 26 times appearance of American Vogue holder, Lauren Hutton. This era also saw the first black model – Beverly Johnson to be featured on the renowned magazine’s cover.
It is said that it was the 1980s, which actually saw the beginning of the Modern Supermodel. These supermodels are not just only about magazines and fashion; they endorse products like Pepsi, Ford Trucks etc. It was all about fashion turning into a lifestyle and models making a mark in the world.
The 1990s is said to be the Peak Era, aka, “The Supermodel Era”. It was the 1990s which saw the heyday of the supermodel British Vogue named Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, and Tatjana Patitz the supermodels of their day. The girls were widely loved and recognized. The media wanted to know it all about them. The girls were known for their personalities, beauty, excellent endorsements, and their relationships. Suddenly everybody wanted to know who was dating whom and what the girls ate to look so pretty! They were paid exceptionally well and celebrated all around the globe. Evangelista famously stated that she would not get out of the bed for anything less than $10,000 a day. The 1990s also saw the famous heroin chic and the rise of one of the supermodels of all times – Kate Moss. By the end of the 90s, the celebrities began to go back to magazine covers and advertising campaigns- citing an end to the peak.
The 1990s saw how a group of women defined their profession of being the top models of the world. Together they reclaimed the covers of all the magazines, rivaled their salaries, they did it all. They dated the heartthrobs, married the Hollywood personalities, they were the toasts of all the glamorous parties and gossip columns. Everything was about them. The word glamour became synonymous with the Supermodels.
The beauties and the supergirls rose to fame with their identities and passion. The lovely era changed with the arrival of Kate Moss’s grunge and androgynous look. She created the understated ‘heroine-chic’ which proved tenacious. The prosperity of the supermodels was not long lived when famous singers and actresses seemed to take over the magazine covers and the entire scenario of fashion. Everybody wanted to see a face that they connected with, rather than a face which was extremely well maintained and glorious to look at.
The sad reality struck when the term ‘super’ started to fade out. It was somehow always associated with the original group of women in the 90s and somehow seem to function that way always. These were the women who helped merge fashion and celebrity into the hybrid world that we live today. It is also said that the merging is the reason why the models and the celebrities live a parallel life. We have always thanked the Supermodel era for creating the platform for all the celebrities, models and the media today. The glamour industry is not like it was in the 90s but the basics of it still remain the same, come what may.
Author: Somdutta Das