Reading Time: 6 minutes

Is the time of Super Models over? We tend to believe that Gisele Bundchen is the last real super model in the world. She is like the last of her “species”. The glamorous times of super models are over and if Gisele Bundchen is still at the top of her career, she is the only one.

The After-war period. Back to glamour.

Between the end of the Second World War and the 80’s, the world shaped itself in order to escape from the ghosts of the past. The war changed drastically how people would live their lives and after the chaos, there was a long period of reconstruction and regain of faith. As human beings, we tend to skip the bad memories and focus on the great ones that are still to come. So the post-modern period brought amazing opportunities, great new industries and the world became smaller than we would imagine. The 60’s and the 70’s discovered a new wind of change. Despite the cold war, the world wanted to entertain and to forget about the bad and the worst. Amazing artists, great actors and actresses, singers from heaven and always the aim to enjoy life at its maximum.


From Elisabeth Taylor, to Marilyn Monroe, Ursula Andress, Jane Fonda and even Madonna in the 80’s, the world got its glamour back and definitely wanted to enjoy all of it. Economy was also booming and true fortunes were bursting from every where. And after such an amazing period, the 80’s was the last decade.

The rise of Super Models, older than you think…

After all the glamour of the past 30 years, economic crisis brought a kind of essentiality on things. The end of the 80’s and the beginning of the 90’s was definitely less glamourous. Fortunately for us, super models arrived!
Actually, the expression “Super Models” is not new and the Super models neither. The first time in history that the expression was used in public media was in 1891 for the Strand Magazine. During an interview of artist Henry Stacy Marks, he used the words Super Model while talking about modeling at that time. On 6 October 1942, a writer named Judith Cass had used the term super model for her article in the Chicago Tribune, which headlined Super Models are Signed for Fashion Show (source:wikipiedia). We would wait until the 60’s to meet the one many consider as the first Super Model (as defined today) by the name of Twiggy.  She is definitely the first international super model, known in all continents.


In 1967, the New Yorker dedicates 100 pages on the Twiggy phenomenon. She definitely opened the way to the others.


The 80’s was an interesting time as super models started having super financial deals with brands. Cosmetics and Fashion brands would not hesitate to sign exclusive contracts with these famous faces. So here are some of what we used to call the “Million dollar faces”

  • Iman for Revlon
  • Margaux Hemingway for Fabergé
  • Karen Graham for Estée Lauder
  • Inès de la Fressange for Chanel



At this time, Super Models started embracing the old-style glamour,which would make them replace little by little Movies and Rock stars. The 90’s will definitely see the hegemony of the super models, names and faces well-known all over the world.

The 90’s, Super models world class. 10 years for glamor at high levels

With the 90’s, it is a whole new generation of super models who arrives. Names that still today are in all people’s minds.  One of the perfect illustrations of this period is the video clip of George Michael’s Too Funky. It gathers all the super stars models. The video clip was produced in 1992 with the artistic help of Thierry Mugler.

Here is the list of the most outstanding super models of the 90’s. Of course this list is not fully completed. It just takes the biggest names of international models.

  • Estelle Halliday
  • Claudia Schiffer
  • Cindy Crawford
  • Elle McPherson
  • Linda Evangelista
  • Nadja Auermann
  • Emma Sjöberg
  • Tyra Banks
  • Beverly Peele
  • Shana Zadrick
  • Naomi Campbell
  • Christy Turlington
  • Tatjana Patiz
  • Kate Moss
  •  Helena Christensen
  • Adriana Karembeu
  • Laetitia Casta
  • Eva Herzigová
  • Carla Bruni



The years 2000, the end of Super Models

After 10 good years of glamorous top modeling, the time of these super stars are over. Kate Moss still rules as the “oldest of them” but she works only for certain special projects. The days of these glamor stars are over. Cara Delevigne, Miranda Kerr or Georgia May Jagger are far away of being at that level of iconization. The years 2000 replaced super models by super brands. Burberry or Victoria Secret definitely took over the spotlights. Victoria Secret catwalks became an amazing machine for entertainment and glamor. Check here the 2014 collection. 42mn of pure show.

Despite that Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio are well known, they do not reach the level of the previous super-stars. Probably only one succeeded to reach the star level. it is Gisele Bundchen.

Gisele Bundchen, the last super model

Would Gisele Caroline Nonnenmacher Bündchen have imagine that one day she would be a super star as top model? The 34 years old Brazilian model was born in the South of Brazil, a place with natural beauty and amazing people. Gisele Bundchen was born in a little town called Horizontina. The place was founded a long time ago by German immigrants. She has 5 sisters: Raquel, Graziela, Gabriela, Rafaela and a twin sister Patrícia (photo bellow).
Gisele and Patricia Bundchen
After taking some modeling lessons, she got the second prize at the Elite top model Brazil. She was 13 years old.
Gisele Bundchen young
And then, the magic of Super Models operates. During a school trip to Sâo Paulo, a Model agency spotted Gisele. It was not long that she moved to New York and started the great career that we know.
Gisele Bundchen beginning

Today, Gisele Bundchen is the most well paid Model and she definitely shines brighter than any other star. At 34 years old, She is very active and still catwalking. According to Forbes magazine, she is the most well paid female model in the world with annual earnings of $42 million. See the 2013/14 ranking here.
Nobody really knows how top models will evolve but one thing is sure, we will always need a pretty face on a perfect body.


Gisele Bundchen d&g ad

Info sourced at Forbes magazine, wikipedia, The New York times, Veja and Time. Featured image from Dolce&Gabbana ad, used only for illustration purposes. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available.