From the catwalks to billboards, supermodels were all the rage in the 90s. They graced the covers of your favorite magazines, were the muses of your favorite music videos, and of course, brought you the hottest looks from your favorite designers. When you think of a supermodel, you think of someone who can own the runway and rock Haute Couture-like it’s something fresh out of their own closet. Supermodels are industry pioneers, game-changers, and are constantly changing the status quo. Ever so graceful, they have taught us that you can be a model and dominate multiple business ventures as well. Let’s take a look at some of the top supermodels who embody all of that and more.
Beautiful, poise and intelligent are a few words to describe the supermodel known as Veronica Webb. A true pioneer in the fashion industry, Webb was discovered in New York City while working as a cashier in New York City. When a famous hairdresser and makeup artist suggested she take up modeling, Webb hit the ground running and it paid off in a major way. She became the first black woman to land a multimillion-dollar deal with a major cosmetic company, which happened to be Revlon. Over the years Webb has appeared in countless fashion magazines to include Vogue, Elle, and Essence, and has walked in shows from Karl Lagerfield, Azzedine Alaia, and Victoria’s Secret. Webb is also the author of Veronica Webb Sight: Adventures in the Big City released in 1998.
There’s no denying that Tyra Banks is an extraordinary woman. Fresh on the scene at the age of 15, she was already a force to be reckoned with. Booking 25 shows during her first runway season at Paris Fashion Week, Banks proved that she had the stamina to go toe to toe with some of the world’s most elite supermodels. Her reign didn’t stop there, in fact, she was just getting started. In 1993, she became the spokesmodel for CoverGirl Cosmetics. She also became the first Black woman to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine, GQ magazine, and Victoria’s Secret catalog in which she would later become a Victoria’s Secret Angel. In addition to earning the 1997 VH1 award for Supermodel of the Year, Banks also had a lucrative acting career to include roles on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Felicity, and the John Singleton film Higher Learning. She is one of the few models to reach Legendary Supermodel status.
If you look up the word supermodel in the dictionary, I guarantee you that Naomi Campbell’s picture will be front and center. Considered to have the most iconic runway walk in modeling, Campbell will leave you with your jaw dropped every single time. Discovered by the head of Synchro Model Agency at the age of 15, Campbell landed in her first cover on British Elle right before her birthday. Her credits include shows for Gianni Versace, Azzedine Alaïa, and Isaac Mizrahi as well as becoming the first black woman to cover French Vogue. Known for facing racial discrimination in the industry, Campbell continued to propel forward with the support of other supermodels and various designers, making her one of the top-earning supermodels of that time. A bonafide diva, Campbell’s reputation may precede her, but that doesn’t stop us from loving the coldest model in the game.