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Spotlight on Iconic Vintage Models

As the owner of My Vintage and a huge vintage enthusiast, I have an immense appreciation for the models who helped define the iconic styles of their eras. From the gamine chic of the 1960s to the glamazonian stunners of the 1970s and beyond, the most famous vintage models didn't just wear the clothes - they embodied the essence of the aesthetic and brought it to life.

Today, I want to shine a spotlight on some of the most legendary faces that graced the glossy pages and catwalks, inspiring generations of fashion lovers with their trademark looks. These models were more than just beautiful - they were trailblazers who left an indelible mark on fashion history. Let's take a look at a few icons:

Twiggy (1960s)

Glamorous Twiggy in the 1960s, wearing a fluffy green top with a flower painted on her eye

Ah, the face that launched a million lashes! Lesley Hornby, better known as Twiggy, became the quintessential embodiment of 1960s Mod style. With her androgynous figure, cropped pixie haircut, and heavily mascaraed lashes and painted lashes, Twiggy was a total departure from the conventionally fuller figures that had dominated modelling.

At just 5'6" and reed-thin, Twiggy's waif-like appearance may have been controversial at first, but her fresh-faced beauty and ability to rock the latest Mod shifts and mini-dresses made her an instant sensation. By 1967, she had been dubbed "The Face of '66" and landed her first major American cover on Vogue. For the rest of the decade, Twiggy's iconic look remained hugely influential in both fashion and beauty.

Jean Shrimpton (1960s)

A very pretty Jean Shrimpton in the 1960s with a burst of flowers in her hair and heavy eye makeup

While Twiggy may have been the poster child for 1960s Mod style, Jean Shrimpton carried the glamorous air of a classic English rose. With her luminous skin, luxurious brunette mane, and staggering proportions (she stood at 5'10"), Shrimpton achieved widespread fame as the new face of the sophisticated, affluent "Youthquake" movement.

Shrimpton set trends and caused controversy in equal measure, most famously when she attended the prestigious Derby Day races in 1965 wearing a casual mini-dress, no headpiece, and going bare legged - a bold breach of protocol at the time. Her ability to make clothes look effortless yet impeccably stylish made her one of the first supermodels who became as famous as the designers and photographers she worked with.

Veruschka (1960s)

Veruschka in the 1960s, in an avante garde photo shoot with eccentic hair and huge eyelasses

If Jean Shrimpton was the embodiment of sophisticated English style, then German-born Veruschka von Lehndorff was the unconventional, avant garde beauty who broke the mould entirely. With her towering 6'3" stature, androgynous figure, and sharply angled features, Veruschka was one of the most distinctive faces of the decade.

Frequently compared to avant garde idols like artist Edvard Munch's haunting painting "The Scream", Veruschka's otherworldly, almost alien-like beauty made her the perfect muse for photographers to produce boundary-pushing, imaginative images. She routinely posed nude or seminude, challenging viewers' perceptions of beauty. Her famous covers for Life and French Elle magazines displayed her in confrontational, unconventional stances, marking her as the original "anti-supermodel" who transcended commercial expectations.

Lauren Hutton (1970s)

A photo of Lauren Hutton in the 1970s wearing a genie inspired outfit

The free-spirited 1970s saw the rise of the lithe, athletic, tanned American beauty - and no one personified this quite like Lauren Hutton. With her sun-kissed skin, girl-next-door smile, and adventurous spirit, Hutton became one of the most in-demand cover models of the "Me Decade."

Her easy, relaxed sensuality and love of the outdoors made her the poster child for the increasingly casual fashion lines like Halston's. She also gained widespread fame as the face of Revlon's "Ultima II" campaign in 1973, bringing a more "natural" beauty look to cosmetics advertising. Her infamous gap-toothed smile, once seen as a flaw, soon became an endearing signature. With her ability to look equally at home on a beach or in couture, Hutton remains one of the most iconic American beauties to emerge in the 1970s.

Iman (1970s/1980s)

A close up shot of supermodel Iman in the 70s, with high glam make up

Bursting onto the fashion scene at the tender age of 18 in the mid-1970s, Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid truly broke new ground as one of the first prominent models of colour to achieve widespread global fame and success in an industry that had long been dominated by white faces and figures.

Not only was Iman's exotic, smouldering beauty utterly captivating, but she carried herself with a powerful elegance and poise. Her early work with photographers like Irving Penn soon had her gracing major magazines and appearing in campaigns for brands like Valentino, YSL, and Dior. She quickly became a trailblazer and a celebrated figure for expanding narrow beauty standards.

Well into the 80s, Iman remained an in-demand supermodel who could pull off seemingly any look, from high fashion glamour to girl-next-door vibes. Her status as a true icon was cemented when she began a high-profile relationship with rockstar David Bowie, creating one of the world's most iconic power couples. Today, Iman's timeless beauty and pioneering career continues to inspire.

Jerry Hall (1970s/1980s)

Jerry Hall posing in the early 1980s wearing a black cocktail dress and wavy hair

If one beauty could sum up the ultimate jet-setting glamour and decadence of the late 70s/early 80s, it would have to be the towering Texan bombshell, Jerry Hall. With her perfectly symmetrical face, tousled blonde mane, sparkling eyes, and stunning 6'0" frame, Hall's arrival heralded the revival of an overtly sexy, curvaceous aesthetic that had been overshadowed by the thin, androgynous ideals of the 60s.

Equal parts high-fashion stunner and raucous rock'n'roll party girl, Hall's high-profile romances with Bryan Ferry and Mick Jagger only added to her outrageous allure and "It Girl" status. She starred in countless ad campaigns and walked the runways for Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, and more, steaming up pages in the process with her potent blend of sensuality and power. No supermodel better represented the playful, glamorous excess of that era.

These iconic faces managed to transcend being mere mannequins by fully embodying the essence and attitude of their respective decades. Their signature looks and personal styles continue to be enduring sources of inspiration for everything from fashion editorials and runways to major exhibitions.

While trends may come and go, true supernova models like Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Veruschka, Lauren Hutton, Iman, and Jerry Hall will be forever iconic for bringing the most daring, decadent and dazzling eras of vintage fashion to life. Their magic is perfectly captured within the glamorous world of vintage fashion and you can own your own piece of these amazing aesthetics at My Vintage. Browse our extensive collections of vintage clothing including vintage dresses, vintage accessories, vintage jewellery and more...

Until next time

Emma x

vintage models, vintage supermodels, Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, Veruschka, Lauren Hutton, Iman, Jerry Hall, vintage glamour, vintage fashion, vintage clothing, vintage style, vintage dresses, vintage accessories



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