A couple years back we broke the story at Examiner.com that Peter Lindbergh had orchestrated a Supermodel Reunion as part of his short film series published on Nowness.com. The details of the project were pretty hush, but all would soon be revealed. And what a reveal it was!
Supermodel Reunion | Top models of the ‘90s reunited in short film
The ‘90s decade is known for standout sitcoms, grunge rock, and the era of the supermodel. In January 1990 Vogue UK boasted a cover photograph by Peter Lindbergh starring Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Tatjana Patitz. For his short film series, Lindbergh has assembled some of the era’s biggest names in modeling for a short film entitled The Reunion which is currently featured on Nowness.com.
Known for producing stunning black-and-white imagery, Peter Lindbergh directed the short featuring models Karen Alexander, Nadja Auermann, Helena Christensen, Cindy Crawford, Eva Herzigova and Tatjana Patitz. Ranging in age from 40s to 50s at the time of the shoot, the models can be seen reminiscing about past photo sessions while posing for a group shot in knit sweaters. The clip includes a voiceover from Crawford saying, “The thing that makes working with Peter memorable is just Peter, his energy. He really sees the beauty in a mature woman, like through experience, through having children, through heartbreaks, through love. Through all of that, Peter thinks, adds to our beauty. And that’s what we’re here doing today.”
Lindbergh’s iconic Vogue image began a trend that would lead to ensemble casting of models in editorials and music videos, introducing the world to the faces of fashion who would remain household names to this day. While some of these legendary supermodels have lingered in the spotlight over the past 25 years, having them gathered together in one place for a group photo shoot was a rare treat. The black-and-white short was published as part of the Directors Cuts series at Nowness.
If you have never seen this piece or his other supermodel short entitled Walking I would strongly encourage you to take a look. These black-and-white mini masterpieces capture so much more than an era of iconic fashion models gone by. It’s a testament to a revolutionary period of time when everything was about to change for models of the world, everywhere.
These women were more than just stereotypical model-types or as they were labeled Supermodels. Prior to their successes, a working model could expect her career to last up until the age of 25, and at that point she would be considered a “classic” model, perhaps suited for an agency’s older division. At age 25! So going in at age 18 to 20, you think okay I have a few years to do this and that’s it. But these incredible ladies changed all of that.
Not only did they continue the work and pave the way for us all to continue working well into our 30s and 40s and beyond, they were the first influencers and arguably originated what would later become influencer marketing. Yes, they showed us how to secure a modeling contract and earn the coveted Supermodel title. But as they got older they worked to build their own brands and capitalize on their names in order to sell their own products. Talk about entrepreneurial efforts! Cindy Crawford, Kathy Ireland, and Brooke Shields are known for selling home furnishings but they also own a piece of the profits. Christie Brinkley, Raquel Welch, Vivica Fox, and Beverly Johnson have their own lines of wigs. Supermodels Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer and Elle Macpherson banded together and invested in restaurants. Paulina Porizkova wrote and published a children’s book. Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks became better known for their television hosting gigs than for their early work as models.
So when you watch these films — and again, I would urge everyone interested in becoming a model, or anyone who is simply a super-modeling fan, to watch it — look into their eyes. Behind their deep gazes are years of experience, knowledge, and life. Hats off to Lindbergh for capturing it all so well.
Here in the U.S. every modeling market has its own personality and uniqueness when it comes to the way castings are conducted, jobs are booked, and how agencies operate, and Los Angeles is no exception. Known as an acting town, models traveling here from other cities that are more fashion oriented will find things might seem a bit different than what they are used to when it comes to attending casting calls, arriving on set, and working with other LA models. Here are some tips for models who aspire to work in Los Angeles.
Advice for Los Angeles Models
Get good representation. There are many modeling agencies in LA, and models need good representation to be submitted for top modeling jobs here in Tinsel Town. The best way to get an agent in Los Angeles is by referral, either through a model's home agency or thru a client you have worked for previously. Another way is to attend a modeling agency open call during designated times when agencies allow anyone to come in for an evaluation, or submit your photos online. Since LA is home to many celebrity influencers, having a large social media following or being an influencer yourself might help.
Be professional. LA models and actors have a notorious reputation for being 'flaky' or unprofessional due to not showing up, being late, and/or not following directions. If an LA model wants to build a solid client list for repeat bookings, the easiest way is to be professional and always arrive to the set on time, ready to work.
Arrive camera-ready. Unlike other modeling markets on the East Coast and in Europe, where most models wear little-to-no makeup unless they are on the job, here in LA models should prepare to be put on camera at a moment's notice. This means being camera ready, with hair and makeup done, before heading out for the day, or at least carrying a makeup bag in the car for unexpected casting calls and bookings.
Tote some flats.
The average height of a model in Los Angeles is 5'7" to 5'9" give or take a couple of inches, unlike other modeling markets where the height of most models is 5'11" and up. Models in LA are frequently called for jobs involving actors or musicians, who are not always as tall as they may appear to be on television, so taller California models may benefit from carrying a pair of flat-heeled shoes to casting calls like the ones pictured here. These flat sandals come in a wide array of styles and colors. They can be dressed up or down, and would easily fit into your modeling bag or backpack to use at casting calls or bookings when you don't want to wear high heels.
Get reliable transportation. There's an old saying in Los Angeles that everything is just a 20-minute drive away. But with heavy scheduling demands made on LA models, and traveling to and from casting calls, fittings and bookings at a hectic pace, a reliable car is mandatory.
Invest in a headshot. In addition to a standard modeling composite card, LA models definitely need to invest in an 8x10 headshot with attached resume for submission to music videos, commercials, television shows and movie roles. If a model has only few credits to list on his or her resume, then acting studies, performances and certain modeling jobs can be included to show industry experience and knowledge of taking direction. If you aren't sure where to get your headshots printed, Photoscan takes orders from anywhere in the U.S. and can ship to you at an affordable price. It's a great option for beginners looking to submit headshots to talent agencies and reps.
Build a strong portfolio and composite card. Although L.A. is considered a secondary fashion market, models who have a strong portfolio showing a variety of looks and editorial experience with tear sheets that include magazine, catalog and advertisement work tend to book more jobs. Once you have done some photo shoots you can invest in a good comp card. If you are pretty good with design you could use a program like Photobacks to do it yourself.
Take acting classes.
Even though other states like New Mexico, Louisiana and Georgia have grown in terms of hosting many television and film productions over the past few years, Los Angeles remains the world capital of film, television, and commercials, and it is very common for fashion models to get called in or jobs requiring them to act. Models based in California would benefit from basic on-camera acting classes in preparation for potential casting calls and jobs from the acting side of the industry.
Prepare for bikini modeling work.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a must for getting modeling work in Los Angeles. When going on casting calls, particularly for print castings and music videos, models should be prepared for impromptu fittings or requests to be seen in a swimsuit. This Oscar de la Renta booking was completely unexpected! When the call came in for me to go to the casting, I was down in Orange County at another booking and had to go straight to the business for fittings to see if I would get picked. Luckily I was swimsuit-ready! And thankfully I booked the job.
Make contacts through networking. Los Angeles is a huge city with a close-knit modeling community where many types of models have the opportunity to network and build a list of contacts and clients. Through networking and volunteering at local events, classes, or fashion shows, it’s easy for models to get out into the community and make things happen.
*A version of this article by Cherie Wimberly previously appeared in the LA Modeling Examiner column at Examiner.com
Meet the Author
Hi, I'm Cherie Wimberly but friends call me Cher. I'm a professional model and fashion writer, best known for my published column as the National Modeling Examiner. Learn more about me here: Read My Story