The most iconic supermodel the year you were born, from Jean Shrimpton to Gisele Bündchen

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Tyra Banks made history in 1996 as the first Black model to be on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover alongside Valeria Mazza. Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
  • Supermodels throughout history have been known for their killer catwalks and incredible style.
  • From 1950 to 2010, we identified the year in which they were arguably at the top of their game.
  • Farrah Fawcett dominated the 1970s, while Linda Evangelista has more than 700 covers to her name.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories .

When New York Fashion Week kicks off later this week, it will look a little different this time around.

Many of the events will be virtual or held outdoors, and street style will include masks, but we’ll still see some recognisable faces on the catwalks.

Throughout the years, the face of the modelling industry has changed. Today, more plus-size and diverse models are walking the runway than ever before, signalling how the body-positivity movement has impacted fashion.

Read more: 10 of the most inspiring body-positive moments of 2019

We decided to look back at some of the most famous models throughout history and the impact they had on the industry. We also determined the year in which they were arguably at the top of their game.

From Twiggy in the ’60s to Gisele Bündchen in the ’90s and 2000s, these models have certainly left their mark.


1950: Jean Patchett was a leading model throughout the 1940s and 1950s.

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Jean Patchett. John Rawlings/Condé Nast via Getty Images

She was said to have defined the era when it came to beauty.


1951: Mary Jane Russell appeared on the cover of many issues of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

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Mary Jane Russell. Genevieve Naylor/Corbis via Getty Images

According to The New York Times, she achieved success despite being shorter than other models at only 5 feet 6 inches.


1952: Georgia Hamilton appeared on the cover of Life magazine.

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Georgia Hamilton. Ted Croner/Condé Nast via Getty Images

She was a popular fashion model during the 1940s and 1950s.


1953: Cherry Nelms was one of the favourite muses of photographer Louise Dahl-Wolfe.

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Cherry Nelms. Horst P. Horst/Conde Nast via Getty Images

She was a top model during the 1950s.


1954: Sunny Harnett was a model frequently photographed by Richard Avedon during the height of her modelling career in the mid-1950s.

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Sunny Harnett. Joseph Leombruno/Condé Nast via Getty Images

She was also frequently photographed by Edgar de Evia.


1955: Dovima was a well-known American model during the 1950s and even appeared as a model in the Audrey Hepburn film, “Funny Face.”

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Dovima. Anthony Calvacca/New York Post Archives via Getty Images

A Richard Avedon photograph of Dovima with elephants at a Paris circus in 1955 is one of the most famous fashion photographs of all time, according to Time 100 Photos.


1956: Evelyn Tripp was well known during the 1950s and 1960s.

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Evelyn Tripp. Karen Radkai/Conde Nast via Getty Images

According to The New York Times, she was known especially for her remarkably high cheekbones.


1957: Suzy Parker was an American actress and model.

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Suzy Parker. John Rawlings/Condé Nast via Getty Images

She was reportedly the first model to earn $US100,000 per year, which would be $US922,000 today, according to Vanity Fair.


1958: Marilyn Monroe is one of the best-known actresses of all time.

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Marilyn Monroe poses for a portrait in front of Niagara Falls. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

However, she also modelled throughout her life.


1959: Dolores Hawkins was a singer and model who appeared on a number of magazine covers during the late 1950s.

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Dolores Hawkins. Stephen Colhoun/Condé Nast via Getty Images

She appeared on Glamour, Vogue, and Mademoiselle.


1960: Sondra Peterson was so popular during her career that she was featured in the May 1960 issue of Seventeen in an article titled, “How to Look Like Sondra Peterson.”

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Sondra Peterson. Horst P. Horst/Conde Nast via Getty Images

She was signed with Ford Models.


1961: Dorothy McGowan appeared on the covers of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, and Glamour during the 1960s.

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Dorothy McGowan. Vogue/Conde Nast

She was also photographed by Richard Avedon.


1962: Brigitte Bardot was an actress and part-time model who gained fame.

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Brigitte Bardot. Hulton Archive via Getty Images

According to Biography, Bardot was known for portraying more sexualized characters during the height of the sexual revolution.


1963: The daughter of a German resistance fighter, Veruschka reportedly used modelling as a way to escape her tumultuous childhood.

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Veruschka. Henry Clarke/Conde Nast via Getty Images

Source: The Rake


1964: Tania Mallet is an English actress and model known for playing James Bond’s love interest in the 1964 film, “Goldfinger.”

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Tania Mallet. Larry Ellis/Express via Getty Images

Source: The Guardian


1965: Jean Shrimpton is regarded as one of the most notable supermodels in history.

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Jean Shrimpton. Popperfoto/Getty Images

… and as one of the most defining faces of the decade.


1966: Twiggy gained her famous nickname from her thin frame, and she quickly became a household name during the swinging ’60s and mod era in London.

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Twiggy. Popperfoto/Getty Images

Source: The Guardian


1967: Pat Booth was an English model.

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Pat Booth. McKeown/Express/Hulton Archive via Getty Images

She stood out for her more “punk” look during the late ’60s.


1968: Naomi Sims has been called the first black supermodel, largely in part to her landing the cover of Ladies Home Journal in 1968.

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Naomi Sims. AP Images

Source: The New York Times


1969: Cristina Ferrare signed with Eileen Ford when she was 20.

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Cristina Ferrare. Getty Images

She graced the covers of multiple magazines.


1970: Karen Graham was the exclusive face of Estée Lauder for 15 years. This also made her the first model to win a beauty contract, Estée or otherwise.

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Karen Graham pictured for Vogue. David Bailey/Conde Nast via Getty Images

Source: Estée Lauder


1971: Before she was a musician, Grace Jones walked runways.

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Grace Jones. Keith Hamshere/Getty Images

She secured a modelling contract aged 18 and made waves after moving to Paris in 1970.


1972: Marisa Berenson appeared on the covers of Vogue and Time magazine, and Yves Saint Laurent even dubbed her the “girl of the ’70s.”

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Marisa Berenson. AP Images

Source: The Telegraph


1973: When Lauren Hutton signed her million-dollar contract with Revlon in 1973, it was the biggest in modelling history.

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Lauren Hutton. Bob Stone/Conde Nast via Getty Images

Source: Interview Magazine


1974: Before she was an actress, Rene Russo was a successful model who appeared on the cover of Vogue nine times.

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Rene Russo. Francesco Scavullo/Condé Nast via Getty Images

Source: Vogue


1975: Cheryl Tiegs made the cover of Sports Illustrated three times, including in 1975, which made her the “Golden Girl of the ’70s.”

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Cheryl Tiegs. AP Images

Source: Sports Illustrated


1976: The iconic poster of Farrah Fawcett in her red bathing suit was released in 1976. It sold 20 million copies, making it the best-selling poster of all time.

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Farrah Fawcett. AP Images

The swimsuit is now in the Smithsonian, according to The Chicago Tribune.


1977: Jerry Hall was, and still is, a successful model and tabloid fixture. At the time, she was dating Mick Jagger and regularly seen at New York City hotspot, Studio 54.

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Jerry Hall. Art Zelin/Getty Images

Source: CR Fashion Book


1978: Patti Hansen was called the “successor to Farrah Fawcett and Cheryl Tiegs,” after she landed an 81-by-24-foot billboard in Times Square for Calvin Klein.

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Patti Hansen pictured for Vogue, 1976. Arthur Elgort/Conde Nast via Getty Images

Source: People


1979: During her short life, Gia Carangi appeared on many magazine covers, including Cosmopolitan and Vogue in 1979, and was one of the first openly LGBTQ models.

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Gia Carangi. Andrea Blanch/Getty Images

Source: Dazed Digital


1980: Brooke Shields made headlines when she appeared in a Calvin Klein campaign at the young age of 15.

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Brooke Shields. Pictorial Parade/Getty Images

Source: Today


1981: Iman remains a household name to this day.

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Iman. Anthony Barboza/Getty Images

She was at the height of her modelling career during the early 1980s.


1982: Renee Simonsen was chosen to represent Denmark in the 1982 Eileen Ford Supermodel contest and won.

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Renee Simonsen. Peter Carrette Archive via Getty Images

Source: Vogue


1983: Christie Brinkley was well known throughout the ’70s and ’80s.

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Christie Brinkley. Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images

She was loved for her sporty, girl-next-door look.


1984: Carol Alt appeared on over 500 magazine covers throughout the 1980s, including Vogue, Vogue Paris, Vogue Italia, Mademoiselle, Elle, and Cosmopolitan.

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Carol Alt. Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Source: New York Post


1985: In 1974, Beverly Johnson became the first black woman to appear on the cover of Vogue. By the mid-1980s, she was a household name.

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Beverly Johnson. Anthony Barboza/Getty Images

Source: Vogue


1986: Janice Dickinson has been called the first official supermodel after she coined the phrase during an interview.

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Janice Dickinson. Harry Langdon/Getty Images

Source: The Balance Careers


1987: Elle Macpherson solidified her place as an icon after appearing for the second time on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue in 1987.

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Elle Macpherson. Ron Galella/Contributor via Getty Images

She’s famously known as “The Body.”


1988: Paulina Porizkova made headlines after signing what was then the highest-paying modelling contract, a $US6 million-a-year contract as the face of Estée Lauder.

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Paulina Porizkova. Marty Lederhandler/AP Images

Source: Marly Rusoff Literary Agency


1989: Kathy Ireland’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover remains one of the magazine’s most-sold issues to date.

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Kathy Ireland, pictured in 1983. Harry Langdon/Getty Images

The cover, not pictured, was taken in 1989.


1990: Christy Turlington shot to fame after appearing in Calvin Klein’s Eternity campaign the year before.

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Christy Turlington. Peter Kramer/AP Images

Source: Elle


1991: Kate Moss marked a change in the industry with her waifish look.

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Kate Moss. Chrystyna Czajkowsky/AP Images

She remains one of the world’s most recognisable models.


1992: Cindy Crawford became one of the most popular models of the ’80s and ’90s.

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Cindy Crawford. Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Her daughter, Kaia Gerber, is now a popular model as well.

Read more: Cindy Crawford shared school photos to show her supermodel daughter looks like her twin


1993: Fabio Lanzoni was the world’s highest-paid male model in 1993. He made millions of dollars per year is most famous for on the covers of many romance novels.

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Fabio Lanzoni. George Nikitin/AP Images

Source: New York Times


1994: Claudia Schiffer became a household name after working on a 1994 Chanel campaign.

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Claudia Schiffer. Peter Mueller/Reuters

Source: Dazed Digital


1995: Linda Evangelista is one of the most accomplished models of all time, and has appeared on more than 700 magazine covers throughout her career.

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Linda Evangelista. Simon Kwong/Reuters

Source: CR Fashion Book


1996: Tyra Banks made history as the first black model to be on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover alongside Valeria Mazza.

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Tyra Banks. Reuters

The next year, she would be the first African American model to land a solo cover.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


1997: Karen Mulder appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition in 1997.

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Karen Mulder. Adam Nadel/AP Images

Source: Sports Illustrated


1998: Naomi Campbell was one of the most in-demand models of the ’90s, as well as the highest-paid black model throughout much of the decade.

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Naomi Campbell. Reuters

Source: Forbes


1999: Heidi Klum cemented her “it girl” status after being featured in the New York Time’s “A Night Out With” column in 1999.

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Heidi Klum. Jeff Christensen/Reuters

Source: The New York Times


2000: Gisele Bündchen is known as one of the world’s most iconic supermodels.

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Gisele Bundchen. AP Images

She was also one of the highest-paid models during the 2000s.


Read more:
Gisele Bündchen doesn’t like the term ‘stepmom’ and prefers being called ‘bonus mum’


2001: Adriana Lima was one of the most popular models on the runway by 2001.

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Adriana Lima. Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect via Getty Images

She appeared in her first Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 1999.


2002: Vogue Paris dedicated an entire issue to Liya Kebede.

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Liya Kebede. Arthur Elgort/Conde Nast via Getty Images

Source: Daily Mail


2003: Gemma Ward met Miuccia Prada at the designer’s request and made her Prada runway debut that season.

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Gemma Ward. Lionel Cironneau/AP Images

Source: W Magazine


2004: Natalia Vodianova appeared on her first American Vogue cover in 2004 alongside Gisele Bündchen and Daria Werbowy as one of the models regarded by Anna Wintour as “the future of the business.”

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Natalia Vodianova. Reuters

Source: Vogue


2005: Alessandra Ambrosio wowed the world by walking in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show as a bona fide “Angel,” a year after her debut in the televised program.

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Alessandra Ambrosio. Fred Prouser/Reuters

Source: Vogue


2006: Coco Rocha appeared on the February cover of Vogue Italia, a benchmark for any supermodel.

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Coco Rocha wearing Marc Jacobs in 2006. Randy Brooke/WireImage/Getty Images

Source: Vogue


2007: Miranda Kerr became the first Australian Victoria’s Secret angel.

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Miranda Kerr. John Kopaloff/Getty Images

Source: Marie Claire


2008: Male model and actor Boris Kodjoe made his Broadway debut in the 2008 revival of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

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Boris Kodjoe in 2008. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Source: Biography


2009: A young Karlie Kloss landed multiple coveted modelling campaigns this year.

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Karlie Kloss walks the runway during the Jean Paul Gaultier Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2009 fashion show. Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

She was the face of campaigns for Alexander McQueen, Lacoste, Chloe, Dolce & Gabbana, and Marc Jacobs’ Lola fragrance, according to StyleCaster.


2010: Chanel Iman became a Victoria’s Secret angel after walking the runway for Burberry, Tom Ford, Gucci, Balenciaga, Max Mara, and more.

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Chanel Iman in 2010. Bennett Raglin/WireImage/Getty Images

Source: Marie Claire