Some of the 1990s supermodels never really went away – Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, and Claudia Schiffer, have all worked pretty much non-stop over the past decade; aside from the odd gap for maternity leave. That’s the joy of being a supermodel, the A-list of the modelling world; you’re always in demand. For years, the supers continued to be featured in photoshoots in the top fashion magazines, as well as the occasional major ad campaigns for beauty products, even as they raced towards their early forties.
But, suddenly for the past couple of years, the supers have started being booked for the hottest ready to wear ad campaigns too – witness Christy for Louis Vuitton this season, Linda Evangelista for Prada two years ago, Claudia and Naomi taking it in turns for YSL over the past few seasons.
And, as a result, there has also been a sudden reappearance of ‘midi-models’ – the mid-level models who worked alongside the super models in the 90’s but never made it to the A-list – models whose names you know, but who you’d probably never refer to just by their Christian names.
And this season, the midi-models are fronting ad campaigns of their own, and beating off competition from new girls that are two decades younger.
So nearly-40-year-old Stella Tennant co-stars with already-40 year old Kirsten Owen in the new Ferragamo campaign. Owen, a fair-haired Brit, who started appearing on magazine covers in 1987, also fronts ads for French label Ter et Bantine this season. Meanwhile, 36-year-old Amber Valletta, a model so retro that she actually took over from Cindy Crawford to host MTV’s fashion show House of Style in 1995, is fronting the new Jimmy Choo campaign. And freckle-faced American Angela Lindvall, (possibly the first midi-model to reappear on the radar a few seasons ago; she fronted Jimmy Choo's campaign last season) stars in the new Prada ads. Other 90's cult models from Kirsty Hume to the now totally-silver-haired Kristen McMenamy have also been scoring editorial photoshoots in edgy fashion magazines.
So we say welcome back, ladies! Partly ‘cos it’s nice to catch up with some familiar faces, but mainly because it’s nice to see the labels we love being worn by models who look like they might actually be old enough to afford to buy the clothes they’re modelling…