1 of 5
Support us

Iconic Fact: The Big Five Supermodels of the 90s

"I don't wake up for less than $10,000 a day" -Said Linda

It is impossible to think about the modeling industry in the 1990s without reminiscing about the iconic Big Five Supermodels.

In the 1990s, the modeling industry saw colossal growth and worldwide recognition, permeating all advertising with the industry's fascination. Models became iconic figures and held substantial authority over the fashion industry. They had the opportunity to reach success in many untouched avenues before this period, such as television shows, clothing lines, and directing editorial photography.

Gianni Versace may not have invented the idea of 'tribe' modeling, but indeed his incredible eye for talent helped bring it to the fore in the 90s. His Versace Freedom '99 runway show enlisted the Big Five - Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, and Claudia Schiffer - and undoubtedly made a permanent mark on modeling.

Let's explore why the Big Five have gotten their notorious name! We all know there is more to it than just luxury fashion designer Versace's claim. By examining them closely, understand why each has become iconic and beloved. We will begin with the one we love the most. With attention and care, let's journey into the world of the Big Five!

Naomi Campbell shook the fashion world in a revolutionary way as the first black model to grace the covers of both French and American Vogue, and it was evident that she was determined to make an impact. She made her catwalk debut for Chanel at Paris Fashion Week in 1986, further cementing her reputation as one of the 'Big Five' models.

Her remarkable success and talent were finally recognized in 1990 when Interview magazine declared her 'the reigning mega model of them all.' Naomi has been an inspiring role model for aspiring models ever since, and her legacy is something to be admired.

Cindy Crawford's rise to fame began in 1982 when she won the "Look of the Year" contest by the Elite Modeling Agency. Her all-American looks and famous beauty mark made her instantly recognizable within the industry and beyond.

It's no surprise that she quickly rose to superstardom. In 1992, she captured the world's attention when she appeared in an iconic Pepsi commercial during the Super Bowl halftime show. She propelled her fame even further when she got the incredible opportunity of hosting MTV's House of Style.

Linda Evangelista was an iconic supermodel throughout the '90s, renowned for her transformative, chameleon-like hairstyles. Her famous quote – "I don't wake up for less than $10,000 a day" – highlights a high-profile model's luxurious and glamorous lifestyle.

Evangelista's career was simply remarkable! Over three decades, Evangelista graced the covers of more than 800 magazines and earned herself the title of muse to famed fashion photographer Steven Meisel.

At only twenty years old, Christy Turlington made a record-breaking splash when signing a seven-figure contract to be the face of Calvin Klein. She was even deemed the "Face of the 20th Century" by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's no wonder that everyone in the fashion world has always held Christy in such high regard; her beauty and grace have been unparalleled.

Rather than simply basking in the glory of her success as a model, Christy leveraged her prominence to advocate for causes she believed in passionately. She could have continued to capitalize on her success in the fashion world, but instead, she chose to make a difference.

Christy earned a master's degree in public health from Columbia University in 2009. She founded her nonprofit organization, "Every Mother Counts," the following year, dedicating herself to promoting public health and well-being in an incredibly admirable way.

Unquestionably one of the most iconic figures in the world of modeling, Claudia Schiffer was propelled to fame when Karl Lagerfeld chose her to become the face of Chanel. After having featured in the music video of George Michael's much-feted Freedom!

'90, alongside other famed supermodels, she stormed the modeling industry, becoming the critical face behind memorable ad campaigns of Guess, Versace, and L'Oréal. Her immense achievements are indeed inspiring!

Are you intrigued by the lifestyle of iconic models? Now that you know more about them, don't you want to take the necessary steps to become one? Don't wait - take action now to make your dreams of being a model a reality!
Back to blog

Leave a comment


Your support helps us create opportunities within our community #modelwithpurpose