A few weeks ago I happened to catch the end of Celebrity Rehab on VH1 and this years season featured the self proclaimed 'World's 1st Super Model' Janice Dickinson. Obviously she wasn't aware that the term 'super model' was already known in the 1940's so this prompted me to delve a little bit into the subject to see if there was any validity to the label.
Regardless of the fact that the writer Judith Cass used the term in 1942 for her article in ‘The Chicago Tribune’ which headlined…”Super Models Are Signed For Fashion Show”, Janice states claim to coining the phrase in 1979 when her manager, concerned that she was working too hard told her, “You are not superman” to which she replied..”I am a super model!”. She obviously didn’t know what she was talking about being that the term had already become popular in the 60’s which was way before she was working the cat walk.
That's "your bad" Janice for not schooling yourself on the history of your craft because anyone who's into fashion both vintage & current knows who Twiggy is and also knows that at just 16 she became the first prominent teenage model best known for her signature boyish hair style, long eyelashes and thin build. She was modeling worldwide and was named ‘The Face of 1966” by the Daily Express.
There have been many since Ms. Dickinson who were referred to as super models such as Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley and the infamous wild child Gia Carangi however, the facts remain that on March 21st 1967, The New York Times referred to Twiggy as the first super model & Glamour magazine did as well in 1968.
I don’t know about you but whenever I’ve pondered the words fashion and model, I’ve always thought of Twiggy…