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WITH their chiselled cheek bones and flawless figures, the original supermodels were the women who set the precedent for all those who’ve followed them down the catwalk.
Bursting on to the fashion scene in the 80s and 90s, the likes of Elle Macpherson and Kate Moss set the bar high and could reportedly command tens of thousands pounds a day.
Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell were pictured together backstage at Paris Fashion Week recentlyCredit: BackGrid
And while some things haven’t changed since then, with Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford looking as fabulous as ever reuniting backstage at Paris Fashion week, their lives have altered in other ways.
From surprise births, near-death experiences to family court battles, here’s where the original supermodels are now…
Kimora Lee Simmons
Kimora started out in her early teens with ChanelCredit: Getty
The model also set up her own streetwear labelCredit: Getty
Aged just 13, Kimora was signed by Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel, who called her the “face of the 21st Century”.
Once her contract was up, Kimora went on to walk the runways for many other designers including Yves Saint Laurent, Kenzo and Dior, and was best pals with Tyra Banks.
She married music entrepreneur Russell Simmons in 1998 and the former couple share two daughters.
Kimora set up her own streetwear label, and married former banker Tim Leissner in 2014.
However, the pair are now estranged, and Leissner recently revealed in court that he faked two divorces, and exchanged vows with Kimora while still legally wed to his previous spouse.
Alek broke down huge barriers within the modelling industry to become the success she is todayCredit: Getty
She and her family were forced to flee her home country of Sudan when she was a childCredit: Getty
After fleeing war-torn South Sudan, Alek was discovered in South London at the age of 18, and her career really took off after she had a cameo role in Tina Turner’s Golden Eye music video for James Bond in 1995.
Two years later, she became the first African model to appear on the cover of Elle, and in 2004 she made history again as the first black model to close the Chanel haute couture show.
Speaking about becoming famous, Alek reportedly said: “I was just a little girl, and one day after school – this was after my family fled South Sudan and moved to London – a scout asked me if I wanted to model. I thought, ‘Me…model? No way!'”
Now, Alek lives in New York, is a member of the US Committee For Refugees’ Advisory Council, and is also a designer.
Christy was first scouted at the age of 14, and went on to enjoy a hugely successful modelling careerCredit: Getty
Now, the mum of two focuses on working to ensure all women have access to the care they need in childbirthCredit: Getty
Her career started at the age of 14, when she was discovered while out horse-riding, and Christy was signed to agency Ford Models just two years later.
She modelled for the likes of Versace and Louis Vuitton, and also became the face of Maybelline, famously getting paid $800,000 for just 12 days of work a year.
Now, Christy is married to actor Ed Burns and has two children.
She’s also the founder of Every Mother Counts – an organisation which aims to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for women around the world – after she suffered birthing complications that could have killed her.
Writing on the group’s website, Christy wrote: “Without access to this critical and timely care, I may not be here today. Many other women are not as lucky.”
Linda frequently changed up her looks but was renowned for her short, cropped hairCredit: Getty
The model left the spotlight for some time after being devastated by a botched cosmetic procedureCredit: Splash
Starring in major campaigns for the likes of Clairol, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel, Canadian Linda rose to fame after she was scouted by agency Elite during the 1981 Miss Teen Niagara pageant.
She quickly became a regular on the catwalk scene, and famously told a Vogue reporter in 1990: “We have this saying, Christy [Turlington] and I… we don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day.”
Sadly, the now 56-year-old spent years out of the spotlight after she was left “brutally disfigured” by botched plastic surgery, which she recently opened up about for the first time.
She has one son, with billionaire Frenchman François-Henri Pinault, 59, who is now married to Salma Hayek.
The co-parents caught media attention for their highly-publicised child support court battle, which resulted in a settlement out of court in 2012.
German-born Claudia rose to fame in the late EightiesCredit: Rex
The model still continues to work now, and has three children with husband Matt VaughnCredit: Getty
German-born Claudia rose to fame in the late Eighties after being discovered by photographer Ellen von Unwerth, and went on to front campaigns for everyone from Guess to Chanel.
In 2010 she was accused of racial insensitivity after images of her on a magazine cover resurfaced of her made up as a black woman, wearing dark foundation and an afro wig.
Now 51, the model continues to work, and is married English film producer Matthew Vaughn whom she wed in 2002, and they have three children.
Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar 2020, she said: “I have made lots of mistakes in my career.
“For example, turning down having a Hermès bag being named after me, or silly things, like forgetting to cut off the washing instructions on the amazing semi-transparent Versace dress…
“But I have no regrets; every decision, right or wrong, I’ve made has led me to where I am right now.”
Australian born Elle became known as ‘The Body’Credit: Rex Features
The mum of two also runs her own business venturesCredit: Getty
After rising to fame wearing a bikini in a fizzy drink advert back in her native Australia, Elle Macpherson went on to earn the nickname ‘the body’ – and understandably so.
However, she’s also incredibly business savvy, going on to set up a series of successful business ventures including lingerie line Elle Macpherson Intimates and The Body, a line of skin care products.
Now 57, Elle is mum to two grown-up sons, and was recently reportedly spotted getting close to French banker Olivier Sarkozy, who was previously married to Mary-Kate Olsen.
Elle was previously married to French photographer Gilles Bensimon, and to American billionaire Jeffrey Soffer from 2013 to 2017.
Cindy, pictured walking in the Dolce & Gabbana Fashion Show, in 1991Credit: Getty
She was once the highest earning model in the worldCredit: Getty
In 1995 Forbes magazine named Cindy Crawford the highest earning model in the world, walking catwalks for everyone from Chanel, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior to Calvin Klein.
Now, mum-of-two Cindy is a spokesperson for Omega watches, runs her skincare brand, called Meaningful Beauty and has a furniture line, Cindy Crawford Home Collection.
The 56-year-old recently hit the runway with her lookalike daughter Kaia Gerber, who she shares with husband Rande.
The pair married in 1998, after Cindy’s high profile marriage with actor Richard Gere ended.
Naomi Campbell was – and still is – one of the biggest names in fashionCredit: Getty
Just this season the model has appeared in shows for Versace, Alexander McQueen, Balmain and Lanvin, and also graced the cover of Vogue with her baby daughterCredit: Getty
Undeniably one of the biggest names in fashion still to this day, Naomi Campbell started modelling on the evening of her 16th birthday, and has had a career full of highs and lows.
She’s graced the cover of multiple editions of Vogue, and still continues to work a staggering amount – just this season walking in shows for Versace, Alexander McQueen, Balmain and Lanvin.
However, she has been known for her temper in the past, and has been convicted of assault four times – including once for throwing a phone at her assistant, and for hitting a photographer with her handbag.
She also made headlines in 2007 when she turned up for community service in a Dolce & Gabbana gown.
Now, Naomi is proud mum to a nine-month-old baby daughter, who she recently posed with on the cover of Vogue.
The 51-year-old is believed to have told only a select few family members and friends of her motherhood, even keeping the news from her team until just half an hour before the birth announcement.
Kate Moss was discovered at the age of just 14Credit: Getty
The 48-year-old is now happily settled down with toyboy boyfriend Count Nikolai von Bismarck, 35Credit: Getty Images – Getty
Alongside Naomi, Kate Moss is arguably one of the biggest British models ever, and was discovered at the age of just 14.
She went on to live a party lifestyle for a while, and dated the likes of Johnny Depp, Pete Doherty and The Kills guitarist Jamie Hince, who she was married to.
Now, her party days are behind her and Kate, 48, is sober and happily settled down with toyboy boyfriend Count Nikolai von Bismarck, 35.
Her daughter Lila, who she shares with Dazed & Confused editor ex Jefferson Hack, has also followed in her mum’s footsteps, most recently for Versace in Milan.