It’s hard to imagine supermodels are able to glow up even more as they age but it’s true! and we have the proof. Before supermodels reached icon status that they’re at today —being hounded by paparazzi, signing autographs, and walking in couture shows — they were young, fresh-faced newcomers struggling to make a name for themselves. That is until they stepped foot on their first runway. From Gigi Hadid to Naomi Campbell, here are all the first and last shows from everyone’s favorite top models.
Believe it or not, Gigi Hadid started her modeling career at just two years old. Starring in a campaign for Baby Guess, Hadid proved to all she was born to model. Following high school in 2013, Hadid moved to New York where she attended the New School and eventually signed with IMG Models. It was then that she landed her first major fashion cover with us at CR for our CR 4 issue. Since her start at Desigual’s Fall/Winter 2014 show at 18 years old, Hadid has become a mom and proved her elite status on the catwalk. From keeping her cool when she lost a heel during the 2017 Anna Sui show to her iconic hair flip during Jacquemus Fall/Winter 2020, Hadid certainly knows how to own the runway.
Similarly to big sister Gigi Hadid, Bella moved to New York in 2014 to attend Parsons School of Design and instead got signed to IMG Models. She made her first appearance on Desigual’s Spring/Summer 2015 runway and just two years later was voted “Model of the Year” by Models.com. Since then, Hadid has racked up an impressive portfolio of magazine features and runway appearances and is the absolute Queen of Street-Style!
Before pursing modeling Kendall Jenner was already known by all as the eleven year old younger sister on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.” If you’re ever curious to know the exact play by play of how her modeling career came to be, Season four documents it all from bring the idea up to her mom Kris Jenner, to making her modeling book, and taking catwalk classes. In 2010 at just fourteen years old, Jenner signed with Wilhelmina Models and booked her first show a year later for New York Fashion Week.
Jenner no doubt has made a name for herself. According to Forbes in 2018 Jenner was the highest paid model. Today, along with her modeling ventures, Jenner is getting ready to launch her own tequila company.
Being considered the “star face” of the 2011 London Fashion Week season, Delevingne, instantly rose to model stardom in her runway debut for Burberry’s Fall/Winter 2011 Ready-to-wear. In the following years she became a cover star regular and was named Model of the Year at the 2012 and 2014 British Fashion Awards. Modeling isn’t Delevingne’s only talent though. Since then, Delevingne has turned to acting with a number of feature films hitting box office success.
Kaia Gerber not only inherited her mother Cindy Crawford’s looks but her modeling skills as well. Signing to IMG at just thirteen years old in 2015, Gerber had many years to practice before she made her highly anticipated fashion week debut at Calvin Klein’s Spring/Summer 2018 show. While Gerber still continues to rock the runway, just last week it was announced she’d be joining the cast of “American Horror Story” for their 10th season.
Growing up Smalls actively pursued modeling by entering local competitions from her hometown in Puerto Rico and by submitting photos to agencies in America. However, it wouldn’t be until years later after getting a Bachelors degree in Psychology from the Inter American University of Puerto Rico that Smalls would sign with Elite Model Management at nineteen years old. Primarily starting out modeling for department store catalogs, she got her big break after appearing in Tory Burch’s Fall/Winter 2007 Ready-to-wear show. Over the years Smalls has appeared in over 400 shows for luxury labels and recently donated fifty percent of her earnings to Black Lives Matter organizations.
Winnie Harlow got her start in 2014 after appearing on the twenty-first cycle of “America’s Next Top Model.” Harlow was able to advocate for a new standard of beauty within the fashion industry through her vitiligo but over the years she has proven she is more than just her skin. Having walked the runways for brands like Marc Jacobs, Moschino, and Tommy Hilfiger her modeling has awarded her “Breakout Model of the Year” and gotten her a spot on Beyonce’s Lemonade album.
Karlie Kloss started off as a Fashion Week regular in her teens. After moving from St. Louis to New York, Kloss appeared in dozens of runway shows for 2008 Fashion Week. She has walked and shot campaigns for top designers including Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior, and Alexander McQueen and became the face of numerous international campaigns. In recent years, Kloss founded Kode with Klossy, a nonprofit focused on creating learning experiences and opportunities for young women that got her a spot on the Time 100 list.
Originally, Swanepoel had no intention of becoming a model. It wasn’t until she was scouted at a flea market in South Africa at fifteen years old that the idea became a reality. Three years later in 2006 she walked her first runway for Tommy Hilfiger’s Spring/Summer collection. A year later she signed a contract with Victoria’s Secret and the rest was history. While she still has her wings, Swanepoel has since transitioned to more high fashion opportunities and launched a luxury swimwear collection in 2018.
Brazilian model, Gisele Bündchen was also scouted in an unconventional location. After getting spotted at a fast food restaurant, Bündchen made her runway debut for Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 1998 collection. The then eighteen year old burst into tears and almost left when told she’d be on the runway topless but thanks to a make up artist named Val who used paint as a makeshift top, the problem was solved. Since the McQueen show, Bündchen was recognized as “the most beautiful girl in the world” by Rolling Stones magazine and was the highest paid model for fifteen consecutive years. Bündchen has since retired from the catwalk but her legacy still remains.
Born in Connecticut, Turlington was discovered at fifteen by a photographer while horseback riding. She signed with a small agency, but it wouldn’t be until after her graduation from High School that she pursued modeling full time. She made her debut at Michael Kors’ Spring/Summer 1988 show and became a success after becoming the face for numerous brands both high end and commercial and appearing on over 500 covers. Today Turlington has several business ventures including two clothing lines and a skincare line.
Starting in the 1980s and continuing on into the ’90s, Cindy Crawford was one of America’s most celebrated fashion models and became known as one of the first supermodels. Donna Karan’s Spring/Summer 1991 show marked her first runway appearance and further solidified her into icon status. Crawford sadly quit modeling full time in 2000 but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t make surprise appearances every now and then.
Tyra Banks initially had trouble signing with an agency but once she signed with Elite Model Management in 1990 her career took off. Two years later, Banks walked in twenty five shows during Paris Fashion Week, the first of which being Yves Saint Laurent’s 1992 Haute Couture collection. Banks is mostly credited as being the host and executive producer for “America’s Next Top Model” where she taught the following generations the ins and outs of modeling—and most importantly how to smize.
After being approached at fifteen years by a London modeling agent in 1988, Moss stepped on her first runway in 1992 for Dolce and Gabbana’s Spring/Summer show. In the years following, Moss became one of the most famous women in the world and was seen as a must-have in the fashion world. She has walked for every major designer in New York, Paris, Milan and London and has been the face of countless ad campaigns. Still to this day she continues her impressive work ethic with fashion campaigns, two fragrance drops, working as a guest editor, launching twelve collections with TopShop, and starring in a few films being some of her most recent endeavors.
Considered one of the best known and most successful models of all time, Campbell got her a start right before her sixteenth birthday. Her first Fashion Week featured catwalks from brands like Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent and led her to become one of the most recognizable and in-demand supermodels. Campbell’s career is filled with iconic moments and has graced over 500 covers. Now three decades later Campbell’s modeling career is still going strong with her latest appearance being for Fendi Spring/Summer 2021 Couture.END
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