Fashion: That's enough perfection, thanks: The invasion of the supermodels continues in TV commercials and high-street campaigns. We are due for a break, pleads Tamsin Blanchard

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Indy Lifestyle Online
YOU CAN'T open a fashion magazine these days without seeing pages chock-a-block with the supermodels: Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and their friends. Cindy Crawford comes to London to sign photos, Naomi Campbell appears in Madonna's Sex book, and all of them turn up in one or other of George Michael's videos.

If you think that's rather too much of a good thing, then be warned: the supermodel invasion of popular culture is only just beginning. Cindy is appearing in a Pepsi commercial, while Linda has just finished shooting one for Coca-Cola. And now the supermodels are moving down-market, doing fashion campaigns for any high-street store prepared to stump up the money.

Next has used Yasmin le Bon and Marks & Spencer has used Linda. C & A has used Claudia Mason and Kooka has used Cindy and Linda. The supermodels have well and truly arrived in the high street.

'Supermodels add glamour to the brand name,' says Nigel Deering, the publisher of a new magazine called Supermodel that faithfully records their every move. 'These women have everything the average 17- or 18- year-old wants - success, exciting lives, film-star boyfriends, independence, money. They are role models.'

Next spring Falmer, the British jeans company, will be using Naomi for a press and poster campaign in which she will appear with a huge Afro hairdo, wearing hot pants, jeans and jean jackets.

'Naomi was right in our 16- to 25-year-old target market,' says Liz Lawley, press officer for Falmer. 'We thought about using a celebrity and then naturally progressed to thinking of the supermodels. Naomi sums up Falmer. She is not American-looking like Cindy Crawford. She has a tougher, British street-look.'

Hennes, the Swedish fashion company, was one of the first to use supermodels on its posters, employing the services of Gail Elliott in 1989. Since then there has been a succession of Hennes supergirls: Linda in August last year; Cindy in December; and this year, Karen Mulder in May, Helena Christiansen in November and Naomi this month.

'I suppose the only one left to use now is Kate Moss,' says Liz Sheppard, Hennes' public relations officer. 'One of the reasons we use supermodels is that we need girls with good bodies to show our lingerie,' says Ms Sheppard.

Well, there are good bodies and there are super bodies. Are the latter really necessary? There is a danger that these women have been used so much that we will become indifferent to their perfect torsos and no longer stop to stare.

Supermodels do not come cheap. Kooka paid Linda and Cindy dollars 120,000 ( pounds 77,000) each for their advertising campaigns last October. Linda Evangelista is reported to have said: 'I won't get out of bed for less than dollars 10,000.'

For Marks & Spencer's press campaign, Linda was paid pounds 20,000 for a two-day shoot. It got her out of bed, at least.

(Photograph omitted)