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A supermodel is a highly-paid top fashion model who is known world-wide for consistent and concurrent modeling work in haute couture and commercial modeling, usually for top fashion designers and labels, such as Chanel, Prada, and Gucci. The term is customarily applied to female models by the media, but in the 1990s the term began to be applied to some male models. Supermodels may be referred to as sex symbols and are able to parlay their celebrity into product endorsement deals and acting careers at times.

The term "supermodel" took hold in the popular culture of the 1980s and 1990s. However, according to Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women by Michael Gross, the first known use of the term "supermodel" was in the 1940s by an agent named Clyde Matthew Dessner in a "how-to" book he wrote about modeling. Amongst those who could be considered supermodels by the standards of the 1940s were Cathee Dahmen, Dorian Leigh, Dovima, and Anita Colby.Lisa Fonssagrives has been credited as the first supermodel.  Fonssagrives was in most of the major fashion and general interest magazines from the 1930s to the 1950s, including Town & Country, Life, Vogue, the original Vanity Fair, and Time.

In 1968, an article in Glamour described Twiggy, Cheryl Tiegs, Veruschka, Jean Shrimpton and fifteen other top models as "supermodels". The term supermodel gained currency in the 1960s by analogy with Andy Warhol's "Superstars".

The "rise" of the supermodel

In the 1970s, some models became more prominent as their names became more recognizable to the general public. These models included Janice Dickinson, who claims to have coined the term "supermodel", Cheryl Tiegs, and Christie Brinkley.

The prominence of supermodels increased in the 1980s, which models such as Claudia Schiffer, Paulina Porizkova, Elle Macpherson, and Cindy Crawford. By the 1990s, which has been called "era of the supermodels", supermodels were prominient in the media. During this period, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington were highly-visible models. Beverly Peele graced over 250 magazine covers and was first black model on the cover of Mademoiselle Magazine in 1989.

In the 1990s, Kate Moss, a teenager with slim hips, prominent cheekbones, and small breasts, became a popular model. Moss's appearance came to be called the "waif" or "heroin chic" look, which was prominent during the later 1990s.

The "end" of the supermodel era

Since the mid-90s, those supermodels' popularity had faded. The decline of the supermodel era may be nigh, due to the increased use of actresses, pop singers, or other celebrities on the covers of fashion magazines and ad campaigns.

A number of prominent models of the late 1990s and early 21st century are referred to as supermodels, including Laetitia Casta, Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum, Karolina Kurkova , Tyra Banks, Adriana Lima, Liya Kebede, Natalia Vodianova, Alessandra Ambrosio, Carmen Kass, Stella Tennant and Angela Lindvall.

A new fashion icon rose in the 2000s. Gemma Ward's baby doll-like look inspired a new craze in fashion. Fashion designer Lazaro Hernandez tells Teen Vogue (Feb. 06), "She looked like no one else at the time. She was this alien, and fashion is always looking for newness." Her look became the popular new look among models. It has inspired a new generation of baby doll-like models such as Vlada Roslyakova, Heather Marks, Lisa Cant, Lily Cole and Jessica Stam.

Some of the industry's top working models include Gemma Ward, Daria Werbowy, Malgosia Bela, Julia Stegner, Iselin Steiro, Mariacarla Boscono, Isabeli Fontana, Doutzen Kroes, Natasha Poly and Sasha Pivovarova.

Male supermodels

During the 1990s, some male models were referred to as supermodels, such as Marcus Schenkenberg, Andrew Stetson, Tyson Beckford, Mark Vanderloo, Alex Lundqvist, Michael Bergin, and Will Chalker.

The above article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia   10/7/06  Above article modified by Apparel Search


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