The Originals

By and
Photography Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott

Published August 16, 2013

“Beauty really has to do with the way a person carries it off,” Andy Warhol once wrote. “When you see beauty, it has to do with the place, with what they’re wearing, what they’re standing next to, what closet they’re coming down the stairs from.” In fashion, a world that runs on perpetual revolution, the notion of beauty is an ever-evolving, ever-shifting, ever-mysterious, ever-elusive one—and the models of the day are the people who define it. What we embrace as beauty, though, is as much a function of where we are and what we want and the lives we aspire to lead as it is aesthetics. Real beauty is idiosyncratic, divisive. Real beauty is both of the moment and beyond it. Real beauty asks questions. Real beauty makes statements. Real beauty doesn’t tell us what we want to hear, but what we need to know. Real beauty whispers. Real beauty likes to scream. Real beauty doesn’t conform, it confounds—and like the collection of women on the pages that follow, it also captivates, provokes, inspires, and transcends. Here, we present a portfolio of the women who are paragons of beauty—the icons, the individualists, the insurgents, the all-time all-stars, and the supreme beings of the fashion zeitgeist.

For more from our Model Issue, click here.