A supermodel (also spelled super-model and super models a highly paid fashion model who usually has a worldwide reputation and often a background in haute couture and commercial modeling. The term supermodel became prominent in the popular culture of the 1980s.
Supermodels usually work for top fashion designers and famous clothing brands. They have multimillion-dollar contracts, endorsements, and campaigns. Supermodels have branded themselves as household names and worldwide recognition is associated with their modeling careers.They have been on the covers of prestigious magazines such as French, British, American, and Italian Vogue. Claudia Schiffer stated, “In order to become a supermodel one must be on all the covers all over the world at the same time so that people can recognise the girls.”An early use of the term supermodel appeared in 1891 in an interview with artist Henry Stacy Marks for The Strand Magazine, in which Marks told journalist Harry How, “A good many models are addicted to drink, and, after sitting a while, will suddenly go to sleep. Then I have had what I call the ‘super’ model. You know the sort of man; he goes in for theatrical effect …” On 6 October 1942, a writer named Judith Cass had used the term super model for her article in the Chicago Tribune, which headlined “Super Models are Signed for Fashion Show”. Later in 1943, an agent named Clyde Matthew Dessner used the term in a “how-to” book about modeling entitled So You Want to Be a Model!Critical perception of the supermodel as an industry has been frequent inside and outside the fashion press, from complaints that women desiring this status become unhealthily thin to charges of racism, where the “supermodel” generally has to conform to a Northern European standard of beauty in the first decade of the twenty-first century. According to fashion writer Guy Trebay of The New York Times, in 2007, the “android” look was popular, a vacant stare and thin body serving, according to some fashion industry conventions, to set off the couture. This had not always been the case. In the 1970s, black, heavier and “ethnic” models dominated the runways but social changes in the 1980s to the early 2000s persuaded the power players in the fashion industry to shun suggestions of “otherness”.
However, since the latter part of the first decade of the twenty-first century, an increasing level of diversity has been noted among supermodels catering to the growing East Asian markets, including Japan’s Tao Okamoto, Chinese models Fei Fei Sun, and Liu Wen.
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