A Look Back at the Biggest Supermodels of the ’90s

One of the biggest moments of fashion week was when Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen came out at the finale of Versace’s show in homage to the late Gianni Versace.

Versace spring 2018 runway at Milan Fashion Week.
Supermodels on the Versace spring 2018 runway at Milan Fashion Week.
CREDIT: Rex Shutterstock

In the late ’80s, the notion of a supermodel as we know it today began to take shape. In 1990, Crawford, Campbell, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, and Tatjana Patitz appeared on the cover of British Vogue and quickly became thought of as the “Big Five.”

While in past eras models had mostly been nameless faces, models in the 1990s were stars in their own rights, earning thousands of dollars for each appearance — a fact that led Evangelista to infamously say, “We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day” in an interview with Vogue about how she and other models had changed the game.

Linda Evangelista , runway, model
Linda Evangelista wears an ankle length stripe and pattern blazer over a cropped vest with wide leg black trousers for the Jil Sander 1993 runway show in Milan.
CREDIT: Art Streiber

These models were able to capitalize on their celebrity outside of the catwalk, with some, like Christensen, transitioning into acting and others, like Crawford, establishing lucrative endorsement deals with big brands, such as Pepsi.

Cindy Crawford , michael kors
Cindy Crawford wears a dress and sandals on the runway during the Michael Kors spring 1992 ready-to-wear presentation in New York.
CREDIT: Thomas Iannaccone

Eventually, the big-name models gave way to a new era: heroin chic, characterized by stick-thin, androgynous looking models. Kate Moss, in possession of a different kind of figure than her predecessors, became the face of this movement. Controversies surrounding pay gave way to controversies surrounding eating habits, and Moss in particular is remembered for saying, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”

Kate Moss
Kate Moss, wearing a cherry print dress and gray tweed coat from the fall/winter ’96 Calvin Klein collection on the runway.
CREDIT: Davide Maestri

Today’s generation of supermodels is characterized by social media more than ever before, with models such as Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner building up giant followings on Instagram and Twitter. And one of the newest stars bears a striking resemble to Crawford: Her 16-year-old daughter, Kaia Gerber, became a breakout star of the spring 2018 shows.

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From the Archives: A Look at Cindy Crawford’s ’90s Runway Style

Naomi, Cindy & All of the Big ’90s Supermodels Closed theVersace Spring ’18 Runway

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