‘A girl is as beautiful as a flower. And every flower should be slightly dissolved.’ Eva Longoria
As a child, Linda enjoyed adorning her dolls with various outfits. Whenever she found herself alone at home, she would sneakily try on her mother’s dresses, necklaces, and high heels. Fortunately, her mother didn’t mind. One day, the little girl declared that she wanted to become a cook, a nun, or even a model. But any Italian lady can cook to perfection. Was it really necessary to slave away over a hot stove? And the profession didn’t offer substantial financial gains. As for becoming a nun – leaving her homeland for such a purpose wasn’t worth it. What is more, being a “bride of Christ” isn’t a path for everyone to take.
The story of how Linda entered the modeling industry is both tragic and comic. As a thirteen-year-old with a lanky build, male leg size, and a hooked nose, she participated in a local Miss Teen Niagara contest. Refusing to accept defeat, the determined girl embarked on an adventure of a very adult nature.
Sitting in the bushes outside the hotel where the judges of the contest were staying, Linda, the future star, waited for the opportune moment. When the porter left his post, she quickly made her way to the elevator and went up to the desired floor without being noticed. The chairman of the beauty contest was snoring peacefully in bed. Without hesitation, Linda whispered in his ear, “If you don’t choose me, I will tell the police that you have raped me.” The man, recovering from the shock, began to laugh and, appreciating the amusing girl’s boldness, suggested she could undress. The girl was confused. However, the Elite Model Management agency scout was already commanding, “Walk. Spread your shoulders. Tilt your head back. Smile.” In the morning, Linda left – having received an invitation to New York City and a draft contract, setting her on the path to stardom.
NYC. Silver Shoes
Linda and her mother traveled to New York City, where they stumbled upon a storefront displaying a stunning pair of silver shoes. However, the price tag was unaffordable – a whopping $200! ” Someday, you’ll buy a pair just like these,” reassured her mother. Linda silently nodded in agreement. The bustling and prosperous Big Apple welcomed the two, but the fashion world was clearly in no hurry to recognize Linda’s potential. “Go ahead, bite the Big Apple. Don’t mind the maggots,” sang the Rolling Stones. Linda did her best to make it in the States. But the competition was fierce, with many other pretty faces, exceptionally long legs, and athletic bodies vying for attention.
Cut of the Scythe: A Turning Point on the Path to Glory
In 1984, Linda, a provincial “miracle,” embarked on a journey to Paris, where fate had a surprise in store. At a casting, Linda insulted a girl with the words, “A shabby cat,” before falling asleep on the studio couch. Little did she know, revenge can be unexpected and cruel in the modeling world, much like backstage ballet. When Linda woke up, her luxurious braid had been cut off by an unknown villain. Fortunately, the famous hairstylist Julien d’Ys took pity on Linda and gave her a new haircut, which turned out to be a game-changer. Linda’s new look became a sensation, and the mischievous “like a boy” hairstyle became a cult phenomenon. Do you remember Demi Moore’s iconic short hair in Ghost (1990)? Interestingly, director Roman Polanski had once paid a whopping $5,000 for actress Mia Farrow’s haircut in Rosemary’s Baby (1968). In contrast, Linda was fortunate enough to get her new look for free. The haircut brought Linda to new heights, quadrupling her approval rating. The result justified the tears.
Oysters. Funny Story about the Debut
Linda got to her first catwalk show almost by accident. But lucky accidents determine destiny. One morning, her agent called with an urgent request: “Hurry over to Azzedine Alaïa. One of the models has eaten oysters and fallen ill. You’re going to replace her.” “So, someone else’s bad luck brought me luck,” admitted Linda Evangelista. “From then on, when we wanted to say someone was sick, we would say the phrase ‘she ate oysters.'”
Celebrities Can Be Friends Too
A chance encounter with Azzedine Alaïa, a Tunisian couturier and shoe designer, proved to be life-changing. The Little Man with a Big Soul played a crucial role in the lives of Linda Evangelista and Naomi Campbell. They say he used to turn back the clocks to make his friends stay longer. He welcomed people from all walks of life to his dinner table, from world-famous models to the cleaning staff in his atelier. Evangelista and Christy Turlington famously demanded that their dark-skinned friend be included in shows they walked in. The fashion world knows no such cases, and the appreciative superstar Black Panther still repeats, “I’ll never forget this.” In their free time, the trio enjoyed playing poker and accordion together.
Linda Evangelista’s life has been profoundly influenced by photographer Steven Meisel, a person whom she considers special. Meisel, who is known as “the silent madman who photographs the world of dreams,” has found in Linda his Galatea, his muse. He avoids publicity by gracefully dodging cameras. The Council of Fashion Designers of America, awarding him in 1993, heard only a few words, “Thank you very much.” And with Linda, Steven likes to have fun and chat. She even gave birth to her son in his presence. What more can be said?
Vertical Race to
the Summit of Fame
The secrets of success! To become a celebrity, one absolutely must stand out: with intelligence, boldness, sophisticated imagination, or unusual beauty. Linda created new looks every day. Makeup artists and photographers felt like artists when working with her. Women took note and heeded the message, “Don’t be born beautiful, make yourself beautiful!” – and ran to the hairdresser to dye their hair. Linda’s arrival on the scene marked a shift in the traditional beauty standards of the time. The tender, milky-honeyed Marilyn Monroe was replaced by a symbol of frank sexuality with a sensually ajar mouth. Linda’s appearance and style caused a sensation, generating interest, amazement, and desire.
Karl Lagerfeld, the magnificent fashion icon, once referred to his favorite as “a Stradivarius violin in the hands of the master.” But over time, the grown-up girl realized that true happiness is not solely determined by fame and money. Charlie Chaplin, the renowned silent film comedian, once wrote in a letter to his daughter Geraldine, “I’m talking to you about money because I got to know it devilish power. <…> Do not sell your heart for gold and jewels. <…> Your naked body should only belong to those who fall in love with your naked soul.”
In the Hope of Love
Negotiating with her soul proved to be a challenging task for Linda. Being desired by many while committed to only one man was a delicate balance to maintain. At the tender age of 22, Linda got married. Gérald Marie, the director of the Elite Model Management agency in Paris, lured her into his nets but failed to keep. Blinded by the glamorous life’s glitter, Linda would not “wash baby linen.” She was incredulous at the suggestion, exclaiming, “Can you imagine? He wanted me to have a baby!” Unfortunately, fate had a cruel twist in store for her. Linda would give birth to a son, only to be betrayed by the child’s father as soon as he learned of her pregnancy.
Her relationships with Hollywood celebrity Kyle MacLachlan, known for his roles in popular series and movies such as Twin Peaks (since 1990), Sex and the City (1998-2004), and Showgirls (1995), ultimately proved unsuccessful. As is often the case with matters of the heart, what brings two people together is known only to nature, and logic remains delicately silent. Kyle, who had a penchant for fixing faucets and a love for antique stores, did not share Linda’s fondness for parties. Mr. MacLachlan was a man of refinement who enjoyed setting a table exquisitely and reading extensively. Kyle went so far as to gift Linda a stunning collection of emeralds to match the color of her captivating blue-green eyes. But as time wore on, the emotional toll of their differences took its toll. At the premiere of The Trial (1993), which was a crucial event for Kyle given his starring role, Linda fell asleep and tumbled to the ground – after seven years together , the couple broke up. After calling Kyle a “nerd,” Linda felt no guilt and left him for someone else.
In 1998, Linda met Fabien Barthez, the French goalkeeper, who became the love of her life. Being with him was easy and fun. Linda even promised him that she would give birth to a “soccer team.” However, a year later, Linda suffered a miscarriage, which left her struggling with depression. Although Barthez helped her to cope with the situation, he did not propose marriage. Eventually, he signed a contract with Manchester United and left for the UK. This confirmed Frédéric Beigbeder’s theory that “love lasts three years.”
Farewell to the Era of Supermodels! Thanks for the Beauty!
In the past, supermodels’ names were known to everyone, from schoolgirls to presidents. However, nowadays, fashion has replaced the image of a glamorous diva with the type of an anorexic “orphan.” The justification is “the face should not detract from the clothes.” But still gracing the fashion world are legendary supermodels – Naomi Campbell, the “black panther,” and Natalia Vodianova, the “blue-eyed mermaid.” But Linda Evangelista is second to none. Linda is a multifaceted woman, a bright star in a constellation of female images that delighted the twentieth century, much like Liz Taylor or Marilyn Monroe in cinema.
Bravo, the magnificent Linda!