Jean Shrimpton is often credited as the world’s first supermodel, even if she herself is rather unconcerned with the title. “I never liked being photographed. I just happened to be good at it,” she told The Guardian, in an interview last year at her current secluded home operating a hotel in Cornwall, England.
And good at it she most certainly was. The images she created with photographers like Richard Avedon, Melvin Sokolsky, and David Bailey are some of the most iconic of the decade. She was the face of the Swinging Sixties, the idol of Twiggy, and the envy of many of her peers, with her legendary affairs with Bailey and actor Terence Stamp and dozens of covers of magazines like Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.
She also gets credit in the mythology of the miniskirt: In 1965, at the age of 23, she took the stage at the Melbourne Cup (yes, the very same one we spotted Rose Byrne at earlier this week) in a dress that was, thanks to her dressmaker’s limited fabric stock, cut just above the knee. The hemline caused a shock that was felt the world over, and thus the mini soared to popularity.
The Shrimp may be a reluctant legend, but she is a legend nonetheless. So to celebrate her 70th birthday today, we’ve compiled 25 of her best shots throughout the years. Enjoy!
this is some kind of spaceship or something.