miércoles, 14 de diciembre de 2011


     Everyone knows that the 90′s were the golden years for Top Models. They walked the runways for all the major designers, they were the faces for the best advertising campaigns, they created or produced TV shows, appeared in movies and in music videos or inspired franchises such as the “Fashion Café Restaurant“. Their personal lives graced the covers of most magazines around the world, mainly as a result of their relationships with famous actors or rock stars: Claudia Schiffer & David Copperfield, Linda Evangelista & Kyle MacLachan, Cindy Crawford & Richard Gere, Stephanie Seymour &  Axl Rose or Eva Herzigova & Tico Torres.

     They managed to change the world of fashion, becoming as famous and as powerful as the old times queens. Linda Evangelista once uttered the infamous phrase, that is now part of the history of fashion: “We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day”, referring to her friend Christy Turlington and herself. Half of the world felt in love with them and their beauty.


     Today, things have changed. The top models of today don’t even parade on the catwalk. It is considered a try out for hundreds of 17-18 year old girls that walk the runways of New York, Paris and Milan each season in search of a great contract to land in this world of fame and fashion.
     So, the question is: "How did these girls become “Top Models”?" At the beginning of the phenomenon, most top models were English speakers. Thus, the list of the top 10 was headed by Cindy Crawford from Illinois, Tyra Banks and Christy Turlington from California, Canadian Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell from Great Britain and so forth… English proficiency made easier the road to success.
     During the 90′s, it seemed that 10 girls in the world stood out over all the other models. They shared all the good contracts, advertising campaigns or were the best paid runway models of the world. It was a loop; if you were a top model, every designer and brand in the world wanted to work you, and if everyone wanted you somehow, then you became a top model.
     However, at the begining of the XXI century everything changed, the fashion industry opened its doors to more exotic or sexy girls from other nationalities.
     The first wave of sexy girls came from Brazil: Giselle Bündchen, Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio. Thanks to their contracts with Victoria’s Secret, they became very famous. Nevertheless, their strong Brazilian accent did not allowed an easy entry into the world of film and television as easily as it did for their predecessors. The exception is embodied in Giselle, the only current “top model”. “Giselle is in a category of herself”, says Edward Razek, Chief Marketing Officer for Limited Brand. “She is capable of doubling her income in one year, thanks to the great campaigns in which she shows her face or representing a famous Brazilian footwear company… As well her very public-private life linked to Leonardo DiCaprio” he adds, although she ended up marrying Tom Brady, one of the most famous football players ever. Meanwhile, Adriana Lima is married to NBA’s basketball player Marko Jaric. And at  the present, the binomial model-athlete is well-matched.
     The second wave of models came from Eastern Europe: Models that were dull, pale, barely 18 years old and bordering anorexia. Too young, too skeletal to get a contract with Victoria’s Secret. Their poor grasp of the English language did not allow them the posibility of having a career in film or television. However, Natalia Vodianova caught Calvin Klein’s eye and today she is the 7th highest paid model in the world. She also is the first foreign model to appear solo on the cover of the American edition of Vogue magazine apart from Linda Evangelista. From this wave of Eastern European Models, the names that come to mind are: Vlada Roslyakova and Sasha Pivovarova. Almost unpronounceable surnames for beauties that seem that they would break if you touch them.
     But we must not forget that nowadays, the rise of celebrities has relegated many models to anonymity. Both cosmetic companies and great designers prefer movie stars or reality show divas for their campaigns: Scarlett Johansson for Mango, Angelina Jolie for Louis Vuitton or Eva Longoria for L’Oreal … Even fashion magazines don’t want models anymore for their covers.
     As well, most models have managed to changed the notion that in order to model you have to look young with a little help of photoshop. Before, the models had to retire before turning 30. Nowadays,models like Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Helena Christensen and Claudia Schiffer are getting new contracts while in their 40s. The top models of the 90′s are back also in music videos like Duran Duran last video “Girl Panic”, in which Naomi, Helena, Eva, Cindy & Yasmine LeBon demonstrate why they were the queens of the catwalk.
     Most importantly, two top models Heidi Klum and Kate Moss who are in their 40s, have managed to stay on top in the tough world of fashion,with different outcomes.
     Heidi Klum, after being a Victoria’s Secret “Angel” for years, she became a successful entrepreneur, running the TV show “Project Runway”, launching Shine, her new fragrance and she also is envied for her long lasting marriage to Seal. On the other hand, Kate Moss who became a designer for Topshop, and despite that fact that she has graced the covers of most magazines, her serious drug problems and turbulent marriage with Jamie Hince, has made the headlines instead..



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