supermodels from the 80's


The fashion industry in the 1980s was vibrant and bold, marked by distinct styles that mirrored the economic boom of the era. Fashion was heavily influenced by media and pop culture, with television, music videos, and films showcasing style icons who set trends. Economic growth allowed people to spend more on fashion, which was evident in the popularity of designer labels. The 1980s are often remembered for the rise of supermodels who became pivotal figures in fashion. Their impact was magnified by the media, which helped make fashion accessible worldwide.

Defining Supermodels Of The 1980s

In the 1980s, the term supermodel was used for models who had international fame and could significantly influence fashion trends. To be a supermodel during this era, a model needed to have a strong presence in major fashion capitals like New York, Paris, and Milan. They often worked with top fashion designers and appeared on the covers of major magazines.

The 1980s saw the supermodel become a global celebrity. These models were not just faces on a magazine; they became household names. Their impact went beyond the runway, influencing fashion choices in everyday life. This era marked the first time models achieved such widespread recognition and influence, setting the stage for the supermodels of the future.

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Iconic Supermodels Of The 1980s

Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, and Linda Evangelista were among the most iconic supermodels of the 1980s. Each brought unique qualities to the fashion industry, setting trends and representing major fashion brands.

Cindy Crawford was known for her all-American looks and trademark mole. She became a symbol of healthy beauty, appearing on hundreds of magazine covers worldwide. Her work with major fashion brands, combined with appearances in television and music videos, solidified her status as a supermodel.

supermodels from the 80's

Christy Turlington was celebrated for her classic features and elegance. She was a favorite in high-fashion circles and known for her work in Calvin Klein campaigns. Christy was a pivotal figure in the fashion industry due to her longevity and the sophistication she brought to her projects.

supermodels from the 80's

Linda Evangelista, famous for her chameleon-like ability to change her appearance, famously quoted, “I don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day,” showcasing the power and influence supermodels had during the era. Her bold personality and willingness to transform for her art made her a beloved and influential figure in fashion.

supermodels from the 80's

Fashion Trends And Supermodels

Supermodels of the 1980s were pivotal in shaping and spreading fashion trends. Their collaboration with top designers and appearances on international platforms made them key influencers in the fashion industry.

Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, and Linda Evangelista often led fashion trends such as the athletic chic look, power suits, and the broad shoulder silhouette, all iconic styles of the 1980s. They made these styles accessible and desirable to the public.

Fashion shows by designers like Gianni Versace were monumental during the 1980s. Supermodels walked these shows, each becoming memorable events in fashion history. For example, Linda Evangelista’s appearances in Versace’s shows were always highlights, showcasing the glamour and decadence of the era.

Magazine covers featuring these supermodels, such as Cindy Crawford’s repeated appearances on Vogue and Sports Illustrated, helped solidify their status and influence. Advertising campaigns were equally impactful, with Christy Turlington’s ads for Calvin Klein’s Eternity fragrance becoming one of the most iconic campaigns of the time. These models’ involvement in such projects not only influenced fashion trends but also defined the visual style of the 1980s.

Collaborations And Endorsements

Supermodels of the 1980s significantly boosted brand success through their endorsements and collaborations. Their involvement with top fashion designers not only influenced trends but also heightened brand prestige and market reach.

Cindy Crawford’s endorsement deals, particularly her long-standing relationship with Revlon, exemplified how supermodels could elevate a brand. Her image aligned with the brand’s vision of accessible yet glamorous beauty, helping Revlon solidify its market presence.

Christy Turlington became synonymous with Calvin Klein, especially through her work for the Eternity fragrance campaign. This collaboration was not just a business deal; it crafted a lasting image of elegance that appealed globally, boosting Calvin Klein’s sales and brand image significantly.

Linda Evangelista’s diverse fashion collaborations, including her iconic work with Versace, showcased her versatility and influence. Her bold runway appearances and ad campaigns made headlines, reinforcing Versace’s image as a luxurious and bold fashion house.

These supermodels were among the first to show that model endorsements could go beyond mere advertising—they could tell a story and build a narrative that resonated with consumers, significantly impacting the brand’s success and longevity in the market.

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Supermodels And Media Expansion

Supermodels of the 1980s played a crucial role in the expansion of fashion media, becoming integral to platforms like MTV, fashion magazines, and various entertainment formats.

MTV revolutionized how fashion was consumed by integrating it with music, and supermodels like Cindy Crawford capitalized on this. Cindy hosted “House of Style,” an MTV show that blended fashion, culture, and celebrity, making fashion more accessible to the youth.

Fashion magazines such as Vogue, Elle, and Harper’s Bazaar featured supermodels on their covers regularly, making these models the faces of fashion globally. These magazines were instrumental in setting trends, with supermodels often at the forefront of these style shifts.

Additionally, supermodels made significant appearances in music videos, movies, and TV shows, further cementing their status in popular culture. For example, Christie Brinkley appeared in Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” music video, and Cindy Crawford starred in the film “Fair Game.” These roles helped blur the lines between fashion modeling and mainstream entertainment, elevating the profiles of supermodels beyond the runways and editorial shoots.

These forays into various media not only helped the supermodels gain immense popularity but also pushed the fashion industry into new realms, making it a significant part of the global entertainment industry.

Legacy And Influence On Modern Fashion

The supermodels of the 1980s set foundational standards that have profoundly influenced modern fashion and the modeling industry. Their impact is clear in many important aspects.

Firstly, they elevated the role of the model from merely showcasing clothes to being integral brand ambassadors with power to influence fashion and beauty standards. This shift paved the way for today’s models to engage in diverse careers, encompassing endorsements, acting, and even business ventures.

Supermodels of the 1980s also had a lasting impact on beauty standards. They introduced a variety of beauty ideals, from Cindy Crawford’s healthy, athletic physique to Linda Evangelista’s constantly changing looks. This diversity has expanded over time, leading to today’s more inclusive beauty standards that celebrate different body types, ages, and ethnicities.

Furthermore, these supermodels were instrumental in turning the fashion industry into a global media phenomenon. They helped make fashion shows must-see events and fashion magazines more influential. This has continued into the digital age, with models now using platforms like Instagram and YouTube to interact directly with fans and influence fashion at a global scale.

Overall, the supermodels of the 1980s did not just mirror the fashion industry; they shaped its future, creating a legacy that models today continue to build upon. Their influence remains a benchmark in the evolution of modeling and fashion.

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Where Are They Now?

The supermodels of the 1980s have transitioned into various roles today, remaining influential in the fashion industry, media, and other sectors.

Cindy Crawford has successfully pivoted to entrepreneurship, founding her own beauty line, Meaningful Beauty, and home goods company. She remains a prominent figure in fashion, often participating in fashion-related events and mentorship programs. Cindy also engages in charity work and supports various causes.

Christy Turlington has focused much of her post-modeling career on health advocacy. She founded Every Mother Counts, an organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe. Christy occasionally returns to the runway for special events and maintains a presence in fashion media through selective campaigns.

Linda Evangelista took a step back from public life but has recently made a comeback. She’s been involved in various fashion campaigns and continues to be a celebrated icon in the industry. Linda also shares her experiences and engages with fans through social media, contributing to discussions around beauty and aging.

These women have not only left a mark as supermodels but have also adapted and thrived in other arenas, using their platforms to influence and inspire new generations. Their ongoing involvement in fashion and beyond keeps their legacy alive in the industry.

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Gallery Of The Decade

The Gallery of the Decade would feature a curated collection of iconic photos and fashion moments from the 1980s, showcasing the era’s defining styles and the supermodels who represented them. This visual compilation would include:

  1. Runway Extravaganzas: Photographs from memorable fashion shows that spotlighted models like Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell, capturing them in extravagant outfits by designers like Versace and Chanel.
  2. Magazine Covers: A selection of the most iconic magazine covers from Vogue, Elle, and Cosmopolitan featuring Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, and others, which helped set the trends of the decade.
  3. Advertising Campaigns: Key advertising campaigns that were pivotal in defining the careers of these supermodels, such as Brooke Shields for Calvin Klein jeans, and Cindy Crawford for Pepsi, showcasing the close ties between fashion and pop culture.
  4. Editorial Shoots: Stunning editorial images from top fashion photographers like Herb Ritts and Peter Lindbergh, who captured the supermodels in artistic, trend-setting ways.
  5. Media Appearances: Clips and images from appearances in music videos, TV shows, and movies, illustrating how supermodels transcended the fashion industry to become mainstream celebrities.

This gallery would not only celebrate the glamorous fashion moments of the 1980s but also illustrate the broad impact these supermodels had on culture and fashion globally. It would serve as a vivid reminder of their influence and the vibrant style of the decade.


The supermodels of the 1980s reshaped the fashion industry and had a profound impact on global culture. They pioneered the concept of models as global celebrities and influential brand endorsers. Their influence is evident today in modern fashion trends, beauty standards, and the role of models in media. Their legacy continues to inspire and shape the fashion world, demonstrating their enduring impact on the industry and beyond.

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