Gisele’s Vogue Cover And The Return Of The Supermodel

Once upon a time, the cover ladies of fashion’s most important and influential magazines were referred to as Supermodels.

Cindy Crawford, Stephanie Seymour, Christie Turlington, Naomi Campbell…these ladies owned the magazine covers. Their staple look consisted of high-waisted, light-wash denim jeans, simple white tanks, and big hair. (Ed Note: Imagine!) Their legs were oiled, their tans exquisite, and their bodies statuesque.

But in the late 90s and early 00s, the media became more and more consumer driven. And with the advent of tabloids and the obsession with celebrity culture, fashion magazines steered away from model-covers and opted for actresses, musicians, and socialites instead. The time of the Supermodel seemed over and instead of glamazons, the glossies gave us Lindsay Lohan (Elle August 2006), Jennifer Aniston (Vogue December 2008), and Britney Spears (Harper’s Bazaar August 2006).

For better or for worse — though arguably for worse — models were seen in ads and on the runway, but rarely on the cover of a magazine.

But lately, we’ve noticed a change. Kate Moss graced the cover W‘s September issue, followed shortly by Linda Evangelista’s cover of the November issue. Kate was also the cover girl for UK Vogue’s September 2009 and most recently, their April 2010 issue.

The trend appears to be continuing with Vogue‘s April 2010 cover, featuring Victoria’s Secret model Gisele Bündchen. Gisele is posed in typical supermodel stance: hands on her hips, face straight forward, hair perfectly affected by the fan, and superiorly protruding collar bones notably visible. Her look is unarguably 90’s — the one-shouldered orange body suit, the high-wasted mini short, and large gold hoop earrings are all a throw back to the days when supermodels reigned.

Her sharp features and intense gaze scream confidence, but in the interview, she tells Vogue:

“[To become who I am, I]…invented this other person, and she could do everything. She wasn’t afraid; she was able to be ballsy and risky and sexy or androgynous. She was bold. I had to believe in myself as this person that was strong, up-front, invincible, and positive, who knew what she was doing, even though I really didn’t. I’ve worked for fourteen years, but I don’t think anybody in the business really knows me, because there is that other person.”

And that right there is what a supermodel is. Strong and powerful, but delicate and natural. With the recent influx of models on covers, it seems as though the supermodel, albeit a newly-defined one, may be back on top. And if our power grid is any indication, some of our favorite supermodels are still on top of their game.

Related Power Grid Profiles:
Naomi Campbell
Gisele Bündchen
Kate Moss
Linda Evangelista
Cindy Crawford
Christy Turlington
Stephanie Seymour

Check out the iconic crew of 90s supermodels in George Michael‘s Freedom video. (That’s right. Remember music videos?)

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