thirstory

Shimmying the House Down with Supermodels Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington

By
Photography Steven Meisel

Published October 16, 2020

Welcome to Thirstory, where we whet your appetite with pages from the Interview archive that were almost too hot to print. This week, we shimmy and shake with Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington in our February 1990 edition. 

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It’s no coincidence that the interlude of “Supermodel (You Better Work)” namechecks Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, and Niki Taylor. In fact, one could argue that RuPaul’s 1992 titular hit may not even exist or at the very minimum, carry the weight its lyrics do, had it not been for the fashion era defined by the cover girls and their comrades in the early nineties. 

Many attribute the renaissance of the modeling industry to the late photographer Peter Lindbergh, who cast Crawford and company for the cover of British Vogue’s January 1990 edition. As legend has it, that very cover caught the eye of singer George Michael, who recruited a slew of its faces to appear in his “Freedom! ‘90” music video later that year. The rest, as they say, is historywith models like Campbell and Schiffer going on to reinvent the construct of beauty beyond the runway and sashaying into mainstream media like never before. Supermodels, or “Supers,” as they were dubbed, became members of the new celebrity class, with Evangelista and Turlington famously alleging they didn’t “get out of bed for less than $10,000 dollars” at the height of their modeling days. 

Recently, Apple TV+ announced a new docuseries being developed by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, to be directed by Barbara Kopple, called The Supermodels. The show, which will premiere sometime in 2021, will gage Campbell, Crawford, Evangelista, and Turlington for exclusive interviews and feature archival footage of their respective fashion careers. While the series is still early in development, we sure hope there’s a videotape somewhere of Steven Meisel capturing the February 1990 Interview editorial “The Jam Session.” In it, Evangelista and Turlington shimmy the house down and show us every reason why they’re worth each penny of that $10,000-day rate.