THE ORIGINAL SUPERMODELS
You can not write about modelling in the 80s and 90s without mentioning the supermodels of that era. Because the most successful models of that time really were supermodels! They were bigger than movie- and pop stars. They ruled the whole fashion industry and more.
‘THE BIG FIVE’
‘The Big Five’ was the term used to describe the original supermodels; Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista and Tatjana Patitz. But it’s almost more correct to say ‘The Big Six’ as Claudia Schiffer was also very much part of the ‘original supermodel group’ but reached the height of her career slightly later than the rest, replacing Tatjana Patitz as one of the top 5. A bit later Kate Moss joined them and Tyra Banks was also not far behind. The only model who has reached their fame in later days is Gisele Bundchen.
Naomi Campbell was the first black model to appear on the cover of French and British Vogue. It was a big deal back then. Unbelievable and unacceptable that it didn't happen before the 80s, but sadly that is how it was back then. There were many beautiful black models before Naomi, they were famous too, but nobody dared to put them on a cover. Have you seen Iman? Look her up, she's amazing!
For a decade this small group of supermodels owned the marked. They earned millions, got parts in movies, were invited to talk shows and even hosted some of them. They built their own brands with loads of different products and merchandise, not to mention their own workout videos. Obviously, they adorned the red carpet on most glamorous events. They did what no other model has done before or since.
THE HEROIN CHICK
But eventually, the glam and the splendour that came with these 80s girls had to give way to the super skinny girls of the 'heroin chic' trend that started growing in the 90s - fronted by Kate Moss. Also, the industry was getting tired (or maybe scared) of supermodels who did not get out of bed for less than $ 10.000 a day. To be fair, only one of them was quoted on this statement. But I bet none of them worked for much less than that per day, by the hight of their careers.
Of Course there were others before them, also some who worked at the same time. A few of my favourites was Renee Simonsen and Christie Brinkley, Stephanie Seymour. And of course also 'The Body' - Elle Macpherson, who stunned us all with her long gorgeous limbs. Today some of their children has become famous models. The best example is Cindy Crawford's daughter, Kaia Gerber. The Hadid sisters are also children of a previous model. But never again, at least not so far, have we ever seen models with that much power and glamour as the 6 girls who were called (correctly or not) 'The Original Supermodels'.
Cindy Crawford had this huge TV commercial for Pepsi. Most people my age will remember that commercial. One may wonder how their work got so big, as we didn't actually have that many platforms where we were exposed to the advertisement, especially not TV commercials. There was TV, Cinema, magazines, catalogues and Newspapers, but nothing like the amounts and reach of today's media. Had anyone told me that you could see pictures and commercials on a phone back in the 90s, I would have thought them crazy. I was ecstatic just to have one to use for talking. Then came texting, that was huge. I remember when my girlfriend from Finland had a Nokia phone, that was the 90 s iPhone. And she told me her phone could figure out what words she was writing. To get a C before, you had to press the number one button 3 times, to get the letter E you pressed the number two button 2 times, and so on. But to get pictures, videos, talk to someone and see them at the same time!! No way.
Now, you can actually make a commercial from your own phone. But, of course, the big ads are still made properly in studios. But you have the opportunity to do it on a phone if needs be... You can promote yourself and products on so many platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more. And like this, we now have bloggers and influencers taking some of the power from the supermodels.
I really wonder if you could have only a handful of stars at today's time and age. Probably not…
THANK YOU FROM THE 4 OF US
As we are getting to the very end of March, it means that this will be the last guest post from Jorunn. It has been an honour to have her share some of her very personal stories with us here on www.the4ofus.co.uk.
We hope you have found her posts as intriguing as we have, and that some of the more serious ones from back when she was just starting out as a model, has given other girls out there an eyeopener. Stay safe and look after yourself, times have changed since the late 80s, but the modelling industry can still be a hard industry to be in!
If you want to read more from Jorunn, then please check out her own blog: divaitresko.blogg.no