The ’90s were a time of big trends and even bigger personalities. Denim overalls, navel rings, *NSYNC, the Spice Girls — it seemed everyone and everything could achieve immediate fame and subsequent short-lived success.
Looming over the multi-faceted and diverse fashion scene, however, was a headliner act that topped all others: the supermodels of the decade, collectively known as the “Big Five”.
The Era of the Supermodel
Back when print magazine covers featured models rather than movie stars and celebrities, there were five spectacular ladies that attained cult status in the world of fashion: Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Claudia Schiffer.
Though it was their flawless bone structure and bikini-ready bodies that first brought these young women into the limelight, the combination of stellar business acumen and larger-than-life personalities was what it really took to transform the “Big Five” from mere models to celebrities in their own right. By the time Linda Evangelista’s famous words — “I don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day” — were first broadcast, the far-reaching implications of the phrase were already undeniable; the reign of the supermodelhad begun.
After all, with household names like these (Linda, Christy, Cindy, Naomi, and Claudia), who wouldn’t be a fan? These ladies absolutely dominated the fashion scene, going from magazine cover to cover and gracing New York’s finest runways with expert walks and killer hair. On-camera or off, their every move was vigorously documented by the paparazzi, and a dedicated fan base of men and women alike found themselves plastering their spreads onto sacred bedroom walls.
Perhaps the peak popularity of the girls in the ’90s was always fated to be short-lived; not long after a fresh-faced Kate Moss joined the circle of models, the “Big Six” waned in editorial demand. Though many of them are still out and about in the public sphere, involved in fashion in some way or another, they’ve given way to a new generation of models: the so-called “Instagirls”. Still, one thing’s for sure: you can’t beat this blast from the past.