In 1983, four teenagers—Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington—each step in front of a camera for the first time, igniting a seismic chain of events.
This episode originally aired on September 20, 2023
Hailing from Imagine Documentaries and One Story Up and directed by Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams and Larissa Bills, the four-part series spotlights the remarkable careers of Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington. Much of The Super Models works like a straightforward documentary with Campbell, Crawford, Evangelista, and Turlington addressing the camera, recalling defining moments in their careers. Fashion-world figures including Marc Jacobs, Michael Musto, Tim Blanks, Robin Givhan, Bethann Hardison, Grace Coddington, Suzy Menkes, Tom Freston, Robin Givhan and Jeanne Baker offer insight to flesh out the women’s stories, providing context about the state of the industry three decades ago — how the culture zipping around it helped shape the runways and the fashion and beauty businesses as we know them today.
In episode 1, titled “The Look,” the ladies discuss their entry into the modelling world. Campbell was a dancer, and was spotted on the streets of London. Crawford’s break came through modeling in high school for a local Chicago photographer and landing a bra ad for Marshall Field’s department store. Turlington was discovered at age 14 during an after-school visit to a local barn. Evangelista, the self-proclaimed rebel of her family, was the only one to seek out modeling. Eventually, the four would cross paths and reshape what it meant to be a model.
“The Look” also focuses on what made each of the women unique. Campbell is known for her fierce gaze and her ability to work the runway like no other. Crawford is known for her signature mole and her all-American good looks. Christy Turlington is known for her classic beauty and her athletic physique. And, Linda Evangelista is known for her chameleon-like ability to transform her look for any shoot.
The episode also explores the rise of the supermodel in the 1980s and 1990s. Thanks to the rise of MTV and fashion magazines, the supermodels became household names and global icons. They were featured on the covers of magazines everywhere, and they starred in music videos and films. Their unique looks and personalities captivated the public, and they helped to redefine the beauty standards of their era.