Every few years we crown a new school of era-defining supermodels, yet these days, I'm starting to feel like the very term "Supermodel" (capital S!) has lost its meaning. Without a doubt, models are gorgeous, unique creatures as it is, however if we were to consider them, say, the zebras of the fashion industry, then a Supermodel would be the unicorn. But that term loses its specialness when we assign it to every model who happened to have a good season. When I think of Supermodels, I keep going back to this pack of unicorns: Nadja Auermann, Cindy Crawford, Stephanie Seymour, Claudia Schiffer, and Christy Turlington (Linda, Naomi, and Kate, too), specifically their group ads for Versace back in the late '90s. What makes these photographs so iconic is that their lasting impact has little to do with the clothes and the era they came from. They're about those five powerhouses, presented together in a way that the whole image is greater than the sum of its parts (talk about #SUPERgirlpower), photographed by a legend in his own rite. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if these ads inspired Annie Leibowitz's ensemble covers for Rolling Stone.
What's more, even with the passing of time and the rise and fade of legions of other Supermodels, Turlington, Seymour, Crawford and co. are still going strong. How many of today's Supermodels will have that kind of stamina or timelessness?