- The modelling industry has changed a lot over the years.
- From the earliest paintings of classic Gibson Girls to the Angels of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, the typical image of a model has changed with the times.
- Stars like Karlie Kloss and Kendall Jenner are currently the highest-paid models in the world.
In the past, models were often a major factor in establishing society’s standards of beauty. Now, as beauty standards become more inclusive, they’re shaping the types of models we see making their way down the runway.
Here are 35 photos that show how models have evolved throughout the years.
Illustrator Charles Dana Gibson painted beautiful women in his “Gibson Girls” paintings from the 1900s.
Illustrator Charles Dana Gibson created the image of the “Gibson Girl” by observing various women in his daily life. One of the most famous models for the paintings was Camille Clifford, whose hourglass figure came to shape the ideal look for many American women.
The 1920s saw the rise of the Flapper, an image built on a more rebellious and free-spirited nature.
Flapper-style dresses – which often featured pleated skirts or fringe and feather detailing – and a sense of attitude came to dominate much of the imagery in the fashion industry.
Before traditional supermodels become popular, Hollywood stars were huge fashion icons from the 1930s through to the 1950s.
Marilyn Monroe was especially influential in the ’50s. She became a movie star in the 1950s after a series of small modelling gigs led to her big break.
Jean Shrimpton’s various magazine covers in the 1960s established her as one of the first ever supermodels.
She appeared on several Vogue covers and was one of the most in-demand models of her time.
The ’60s were also all about legendary fashion icon Twiggy.
Twiggy’s immense popularity and her famously thin figure marked a shift away from curvy models to a more slender physique.
Beverly Johnson made history in 1974 when she became the first African-American model to grace the cover of Vogue.
Johnson’s Vogue cover was a major milestone for inclusivity in the industry and paved the way for many women of colour in the modelling business.
Cheryl Tiegs became known for her “girl next door” image in the ’70s as well.
She got her first big break with a swimsuit ad in Seventeen magazine.
Iman also helped shape the ever-growing world of high fashion in the ’70s.
Designers such as Calvin Klein and Thierry Mugler have cited Iman as their muse.
Christie Brinkley got her big break in the late ’70s and went on to be hugely successful in the ’80s.
The early 1980s gave us the rise of Cindy Crawford.
Along with her countless magazine covers, Crawford is known for her signature beauty spot right above her lip.
Naomi Campbell became one of the most famous models in the industry when she arrived on the scene in the ’80s.
She quickly became one of the most in-demand models of her time due to her stunning features and iconic walk.
Elle Macpherson was famously dubbed “The Body” of the era.
She appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue five times throughout her career.
Brooke Shields became one of the most popular models of the ’80s after appearing in a popular campaign for Calvin Klein jeans.
Shields was also an established actress thanks to roles in “Blue Lagoon” and “Pretty Baby.”
Linda Evangelista also became a prominent modelling figure in the ’80s.
She’s often referred to as “the chameleon” of the modelling industry due to her ever-evolving hairstyles and beauty looks. Her iconic short haircut became known as “The Linda” and helped spark a new wave of edgy hairstyles.
Kate Moss gained notoriety in the 1990s, becoming one of the most famous names in the fashion world.
Her Calvin Klein campaign with Mark Wahlberg made her an instant household name. Her popularity sparked a move toward a skinnier look in the industry, and Moss has famously – and controversially – said, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”
Claudia Schiffer rose to fame in the early ’90s.
Schiffer’s first big break came in the early ’90s when she starred in campaigns for Guess. She then appeared on the cover of Vogue and became the face of Chanel, which helped catapult her into a modelling icon.
Tyra Banks was a huge name in the ’90s after becoming the first African-American woman to grace the cover of GQ and Sports Illustrated.
Christy Turlington was so famous in the ’90s that she was named the “Face of the 20th Century” by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
She was the face of brands such as Chanel, Marc Jacobs, and Maybelline.
Gisele Bündchen first appeared on the scene in the late ’90s and has remained one of the highest-paid models in the world.
She earned $US10 million in 2018, making her the fifth highest-paid model of the year.
Heidi Klum walked her way to prominence as a Victoria’s Secret Angel and by appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Brazilian-born Adriana Lima has become one of the most famous Victoria’s Secret Angels since joining in 2000.
Lima made an emotional final walk down the Victoria’s Secret runway in November 2018.
Karlie Kloss may now be known as a member of Taylor Swift’s girl squad, but she got her start as a wildly successful model in the 2000s.
She has graced the cover of Vogue several times since starting her career in 2007, and has modelled for brands such as Dior, Donna Karan, and Nike. She’s also one of the most famous Victoria’s Secret Angels and made her return to the show in 2017 after a brief hiatus.
Kate Upton is another recent modelling sensation who has the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue to thank for her popularity.
She’s recently branched out into the world of acting as well.
The popularity of Ashley Graham in recent years has led to more plus-size representation in mainstream modelling.
Graham’s cover on the 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue solidified her status as one of the most influential models of the moment. She’s graced the cover of Vogue, launched a lingerie line with Addition Elle, and is the new face of Revlon.
Kendall Jenner’s overwhelming success has marked a shift away from the traditional supermodel.
Jenner has walked several times in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, and even landed a coveted spot on the cover of Vogue’s September Issue in 2016.
She was the highest-paid model of 2018, earning a whopping $US22.5 million. Much of this income is due to her Instagram presence, which also made her one of the highest-earning stars on the app.
Gigi Hadid has also worked her way into the upper ranks of the modelling world after building a huge social-media following.
Hadid got her start at an early age by modelling with Guess at the age of 2. She stopped to focus her attention on school before returning to the industry as a teenager, walking for brands such as Marc Jacobs, Chanel, and Victoria’s Secret.
Gigi’s sister Bella Hadid is also making quite a name for herself in the modelling world.
She made her New York Fashion Week debut in 2014 and has since gone on to walk for brands such as Chanel, Givenchy, and Victoria’s Secret. Hadid also has also appeared on the cover of several magazines, including the March 2018 issue of Vogue.
Kelsey Merritt made history when she became the first Filipino woman to walk in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2018.
She called getting into the show a “dream come true” when announcing the news on Instagram.
Joan Smalls is currently one of the highest-paid models in the world.
The former Victoria’s Secret model made history in 2011 when she became the first Latina model to represent Estee Lauder’s global marketing campaigns.
She was the eighth highest-paid model of 2018 according to Forbes.
Chrissy Teigen has transitioned from top-model to one of the most popular personalities in the world.
She got her big break by posing for the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2010, and later married singer John Legend in 2013.
She has since amassed millions of Instagram followers, released two cookbooks, and was the third highest-paid model of 2018 according to Forbes.
Anok Yai is currently a rising star in the industry.
She gained popularity when her photos went viral on Instagram in 2017. Yai has since modelled for brands like Alexander Wang and Prada.
Winnie Harlow made her Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show debut in 2018.
The model got her start on “America’s Next Top Model” and has gone on to become one of the most famous contestants from the show.
Cara Delevingne has successfully transitioned from modelling to acting.
She got her start walking the runway during London Fashion Week in 2011, and has since starred in movies such as “Paper Towns” and “Suicide Squad.”
Jourdan Dunn first hit the runway in 2007.
According to The Guardian, Dunn became the first black British model to land on Forbes’ annual list of highest-paid models in 2014.
Duckie Thot gained a huge following after appearing on Australia’s Next Top Model.
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