Supermodels reject Paris catwalk `pin-money'

IT WAS a week of sublimely elegant design at the Paris fashion shows. But the re-appearance of long-lost style on the catwalk was as nothing compared to the disappearance of glamour personified. Naomi, Linda and Christy were nowhere to be seen.

It sent the doyenne of fashion writers, Suzy Menkes, into paroxysms of dismay. "Artistry Is In, Super Models Are Out'' the International Herald Tribune headline roared, as the queen of the fashion pages bemoaned the lack of Campbell, Evangelista and Turlington.

It was enough to send top couturiers into a huff. The following day, Italian couturier Valentino placed a full-page, $25,000 advertisement in the paper with a picture, taken at his show, of models Elle MacPherson, Nadja Auermann and Claudia Schiffer.

"You are all wrong... much love from Valentino and `The Super Models'!!" he wrote.

While Valentino believes that Naomi, Linda and Christy do not own the sole rights to supermodel status, few would deny the extraordinary fame the triumvirate has enjoyed in the past five years. Indeed, as last week's headlines showed, their very absence can cause a stir.

When they attend the shows, the media complain that they are bored of them; that Linda is not worth the thousands that enticed her out of bed that morning.

Indeed, their very absence can cause whispers about the death of the supermodel.

But the supermodel is not dead, or even on her sickbed. The original Big Three have simply graduated from the catwalk.

Supermodels are relatively new to the rarefied world of haute couture. Until recently, the haute couture shows in Paris were dominated by mannequins who specialise in catwalk work - it was Gianni Versace who first brought high-profile editorial girls to his couture catwalk. Now they are so well paid that the $15,000 pin-money they would earn for a catwalk show is not worth the stress of the quick-fire costume changes.

Linda Evangelista was busy last week, filming a new campaign for Coca-Cola to compete with Cindy Crawford's commercials for Pepsi; Naomi Campbell had more pressing engage- ments auditioning for a movie with the "Muscles from Brussels", Jean-Claude Van Damme; Christy Turlington, who is featured in both American and British Vogue this month, decided simply to bow out from hours of tedious fittings and catwalk mincing. And Kate Moss - not the ideal shape for a couture model - was getting on with her life w ith movie star boyfriend Johnny Depp at the Golden Globe Awards in LA.

Other supermodels write books - Kate Moss's picture scrapbook is published this spring. They sell fizzy drinks, and Cindy Crawford's contract with Revlon is worth $7m alone. She is her own business, Cindy Inc.

The absence of the triumvirate has paved the way for the new generation to shine through. They might not yet be household names, but models like the red-headed Kristen McMenamy and Karen Mulder are regarded by those in the business as catwalk superstars.Platinum blonde Debbie Harry look-alike, Nadja Auermann, with legs longer than Linda's and Naomi's, looks super-human and has been photographed in the world's glossiest glossies over the past year.

But not all the supermodels stayed away. Elle MacPherson, the supermodel who is officially the oldest of them all, was making her catwalk comeback. MacPherson, 31, also known as "The Body", is a multi millionaire with her own money-spinning underwear line and the recent launch of her Cindy Crawford-style fitness video.

Claudia Schiffer, who has deals with Sygma and Limited Exposure in Hello!, as well as a contract with the soft drink Fanta, certainly does not have to get out of bed for any amount of money. She was there for a simple reason - she says she simply likes doing the shows.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power