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Throughout history, you’ve glimpsed them as leading ladies, muses for impeccable artwork and the inspiration behind some of the most incredible music in existence. Supermodels are more than magazine covers and pretty faces; they change the way we see the world around us. We’ve gathered the most stunning from 1950 to the 2000s to reflect upon and admire. Take a look.
Suzy Parker was “on a first name basis with the world,” Vanity Fair writes. Not only the muse of the Coco Chanel, she paved the way for the supermodels who came after her, becoming the first to earn $100 an hour and $100,000 a year. The New York Times called her the “definition of glamour” throughout the decade, as she appeared in movies alongside the likes of Cary Grant, Gary Cooper and actor Bradford Dillman, who she later went on to marry (her final of three).
Described as an outspoken woman who took several years away from the camera to become a photographer herself, she reportedly retired from acting in the mid-60s and moved to Southern California with Dillman, where they had three children together.
”She was the most beautiful creature you can imagine,” Eileen Ford told the Times after Parker’s 2003 death. ”She was everybody’s everything.”
If you love Eric Clapton or The Beatles, you know who Pattie Boyd is. The inspiration behind legendary ballads “Layla” and “Something,” Boyd hit it big after her schoolgirl one-liner — “Prisoners?” — in Richard Lester’s A Hard Day’s Night, according to MentalFloss. She’d actually begun modeling a few years before, but the film set launched her into the orbit of beloved Beatle George Harrison, who married her two years later.
Described by the Times of London as “the original It Girl and model,” she’s arguably still one of music’s most famous muses, as Harrison wasn’t the only one in love with her. Clapton, one of Harrison’s best friends, inevitably fell too, penning “Layla” and eventually marrying Boyd a mere two years after she and Harrison divorced.
They divorced a decade later, and Boyd has since remarried — this one is outside of the music industry — and her work in industries both in and out of modeling put her net worth as high as $20 million.
Discovered in 1975 after Peter Beard saw her on Kenyan streets while she was a student at the University of Nairobi, the Somalia native became one of the most sought-after models of the 1970s and 80s, according to her biography.
“She says that her looks are typical Somali, but to the Western eye, they were unusual, mysterious,” Washington Post reporter Robin Givhan wrote of Iman in 1997. “She broadened the definition of beauty. She made earthiness sensual. She helped to transform fashion into entertainment and models into personalities.”
After becoming a successful business executive, an activist for children and mothers in Africa and marrying the late rock icon David Bowie, Iman — who is fluent in five languages — had her position in popular and fashion culture solidified. Today, she’s worth an estimated $25 million.
Like many of the other ladies on our list, Cindy Crawford was initially set on a scholarly track before she deviated and all of America fell hopelessly in love with her. Her high school’s Valedictorian, Crawford studied chemical engineering at Northwestern University before leaving to pursue modeling professionally.
Her net worth at a stunning $100 million, she was reportedly the most commercially successful of the original Big Six supermodels. And in case you were missing that iconic Pepsi commercial with Crawford in high-waisted jeans, she’s remaking it for this year’s Super Bowl LII with the help of her son, Presley.
Referred to by The Guardian as “the world’s most famous model,” Kate Moss is still successful — with a mug worth millions — in large part, the publication points out, because she’s never been assigned to an “era” like Twiggy or Lauren Hutton.
“Moss has achieved something that no other model has. She had worked in fashion over three decades, launching trends, defining styles, but never becoming dated,” Alice Fisher writes. “For a lot of people – women in particular, because Kate’s main appeal is as a style icon rather than as a sex symbol – her life has seemed charmed and desirable.”
Moss’s career hasn’t been without controversy, though, and as the model climbs closer to 50, she’s become a little more open with the press than in the past, revealing she’s done more crying than her admirers might think.
“[Photographer Corinne Day] would make me cry,” Moss told Vanity Fair in 2012. “I see a 16-year-old now, and to ask her to take her clothes off would feel really weird. But they were like, If you don’t do it, then we’re not going to book you again. So I’d lock myself in the toilet and cry and then come out and do it. I never felt very comfortable about it.”
Moss’s ability to grin and bear it paid off well. She’s worth a cool $77 million today.
While Kate Moss’s appeal has little to do with sex, supermodel Gisele Bündchen has built her entire empire on it. Aptly earning the nickname “boobs from Brazil” in 1999, she was initially discovered by an Elite modeling scout in 1994, nabbing her first British Vogue cover in 1998. Things have only been up for Bündchen since; she dated Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio from 2000-2005 and has been linked to the likes of Kelly Slater, Josh Hartnett and her now-husband, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. She’s worth a jaw-dropping $360 million, which is about twice as much as her husband.
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