The OG ‘Supermodels’ cover Vogue’s September issue: love it or hate it?

Ah, The Supers. The original supermodels of the 1980s: Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista. Kate Moss was a teenager on the runway when her “look” changed all of this, this beauty ideal of tall “Amazon” beauties strutting down the runway with personality. The Supers cover the September issue of Vogue, and at first glance, I honestly didn’t recognize Cindy. Naomi has also had a lot of work done, and Linda… well, she’s been through the ringer with her CoolSculpting mess. You can read the full Vogue piece here. They’re promoting the AppleTV docu-series The Super Models, which comes out on September 20. Some highlights from this very glamorous and dishy piece:

Naomi on the sisterhood: “There was a sisterhood there, defined by caring and loyalty: When one is down you pick the other one up.” It was Christy who persuaded Cindy to walk twice for Marc Jacobs. Naomi got the nod for her first Michael Kors show after her friends persuaded him to let her fill in for a late cancellation. And their generosity has extended to include their larger fashion family. Naomi talked Marc into going to rehab after she had done so herself. (“I am very much a believer in recovery,” she says. “Recovery saved me.”)

They survived grunge: “We survived grunge!” says Linda, who quickly morphed into a broken androgyne for Sims. (Recalls Marc Jacobs, “Linda was one of the girls who had a glamorous era and then became kind of boyish in a men’s suit, carving initials on a bench.”) Cindy understood this new look as an inevitable swing of the fashion pendulum—“The hair couldn’t have gotten any higher, the shoulders any wider,” she says—but failed to find anything empowering in appearing in print like a walk-of-shame zombie.

Christy and Cindy don’t have Me Too stories. “It’s just luck and grace, honestly,” says Christy. “I felt like my career took off pretty quickly, so maybe there were more eyes on me and they couldn’t get away with stuff. But,” she adds, “I don’t even think it was that: Predatory people are predatory people.” Cindy has two theories why she was unscathed. The first is that she arrived in New York from Chicago at the relatively old age of 20—so she was already a successful veteran of sorts. The second is a counter example: that her own provincial insecurities worked to her advantage when she landed in Europe. “You’d get invited to a party on someone’s yacht and I’d think, What do you even wear on a yacht? What fork do you use? So I would just not go and, yes, I probably missed out on some fabulous opportunities but probably avoided some less than fabulous opportunities as well.”

Naomi & Alaia: Naomi lived in Paris from age 16 with Azzedine Alaïa, who was a father figure to her until he passed away in 2017. She says, “That man protected me from so much.” On the one occasion when someone crossed a line, Naomi came home, told Azzedine, he made a call, and it never happened again. She also always knew to tell: “I come from a strong line of Black women, Jamaican women. If something felt wrong, I told it. I spoke up.”

Linda’s first marriage: “My mother’s like, She’s getting a divorce,” Linda remembers. “And he said, ‘I never liked that son of a bitch.’ And he left. I heard the garage door slam.” Of the chapter with Marie she has only regret. “I thought: I’m Linda. I’m bringing in so much money. I think I am pretty. I can cook. And I am great with his child. And I am devoted to him. There’s no way he would cheat on me. I was a fool.”

[From Vogue]

What’s really nice about this piece – so nice I actually got a bit choked up – is how much they still love each other. They’re not in each other’s daily lives anymore, but there’s so much warmth and sisterhood there, and they fell into old patterns of banter and support. They’re all moms now as well and they all have completely different mom energies. Anyway, it’s a great piece and I will watch The Super Models.

Cover & IG courtesy of Vogue.

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94 Responses to “The OG ‘Supermodels’ cover Vogue’s September issue: love it or hate it?”

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  1. Eleonor says:

    Too much plastic surgery for me.
    It’s sad because I think these women were gorgeous.

    • Sue E Generis says:

      Just coming here to say this. Not one of them looks real. They all look like AI generated versions of themselves. Or filters, or something. They all look weirdly artificial.

    • BeanieBean says:

      That’s all I see, too. Christy looks best, I think, because she looks the least tampered with. And Naomi! Goodness! She didn’t need to add to her cheekbones! As for the overall photo, not good. You can’t even see Naomi! Why all the black clothing? They look like Real Housewives at a funeral. Or mob bosses at a funeral.

      • frankly says:

        Opening credits of Pretty Little Liars 25-year reunion.

      • Mauve says:

        It’s a weird shoot for sure. I think there were really great intentions here but there’s so much nervousness about older women that people just forget to have fun. They should have booked them for several hours in a really cozy, cool place. Don’t just play some hype music and ask them to look happy because it comes across as empty rather than inspiring. Let them feel actually great for a little bit and then take pictures when they’re in that moment. Don’t push it, don’t force joy, and don’t worry too much over their ages or apparent changes. I think it’s so natural to give chill time to youths, and some creatives have been rushing through creative works with older people and that’s what’s coming through here. I’m picturing a future George Clooney spread and I have no doubt whoever controls it will make him look cool, and he will have props that are also cool, and the background will be cool and he will actually feel great during the shoot. I think this was a missed opportunity to show what’s really great about these people. I think people fear that surgery will be revealed or too obvious (and I guess the reason why that’s a negative is because it shows they’re trying or trying too hard. And that’s only a negative because now they’re old?They’ve been trying their whole lives, there’s no shame.) I think they should keep doing shoots together, but have more fun. Relax, feel good. Be not afraid. I just see a nervousness here and a rushed put-on here that is not necessary.

      • Reborn Rich says:

        Turlington does not look like she’s had anything done on her Instagram page. She shows up to events with little makeup and the face of a 54 year-old woman who takes care of herself and who has been serious about yoga since her twenties. I think she was photoshopped. I think–anyway.

      • bananapanda says:

        That middle part is killing me on Cindy – it only works on Rene Russo. And they put Minnie Driver’s hair on Christy!

        Christy has always been into yoga and relatively light touch on her face so I’m not surprised she looks good now.

        All of them had too much sun in the 80s and 90s.

  2. Jais says:

    It’s just weirdly sterile. The cover honestly looks like they weren’t even in there same room, were shot separately, and then placed on the cover. It just feels like a missed opportunity bc there are so many other ways they could have done this that could’ve been great.

    • Dee says:

      Missed opportunity. Would’ve loved to see these women around a table, enjoying their best life, like the photo of Meghan and her friends that came out this week.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Yeah, it looks like one of those Vanity Fair Oscar time covers, where Annie Leibovitz photo’d everyone individually & they stitch it together somehow.

    • Peanut Butter says:

      Agreed, Jais. There’s zero chemistry between them in that photo. Nothing about it draws me in and makes me want to pick up the magazine or find the article online.

    • ST says:

      I think it’s weirdly sterile because Anna Wintour lacks vision. In addition to this, why is there never any mention that Naomi didn’t want other black models in shows? Why not mention that when Linda met Gerald Marie he was in a relationship with someone else but she didn’t care? Years ago there was an article in which Linda said he ripped her off. Years before this there was an article where she said she didn’t know how much money she made because she never asked. She had credit cards and the bills for these cards would be paid but that’s it. When she filed for divorce, she found out she didn’t have anywhere near as much money as she thought she should. Whose fault is that? And apparently Gerald Marie did this to his previous girlfriend, the one he was dating and living with when Linda started a relationship with him. Great model but come on! It was pretty much well known that he was a king of corruption. He even looks sleazy.

  3. Alexamar says:

    I love this cover! Only Claudia is missing. If she was invited, shame she didn’t do it.

    • Nanea says:

      The fifth model on that iconic bw cover shot by Peter Lindbergh – and in the “Freedom” video by George Michael – was Tatjana Patitz. She died earlier this year.

      Sadly this cover is nowhere near to being iconic, maybe they should have used a more creative and visionary (female) photographer.

    • PrincessOfWaffles says:

      I agree Claudia is missing. But I heard she was always a little bit more in retreat of other people and really was doing her own thing and a really private person.

      • trillion says:

        Claudia was not in the same “category”, if you will. Very cute face and amazing body, but more of a Guess girl, IMO. No shade at all.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Claudia was ALWAYS considered one of the “Five 1990s Supermodels”. She has appeared on more than 1000 magazine covers and holds the record for the model with the most magazine covers, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records

        I think Claudia has “melted” into the British Aristocracy as she is married to Matthew Allard de Vere Drummond (aka Matthew Vaughn). I think she was probably asked and simply did not want to do it.

      • Alexamar says:

        @trillion, I disagree. She was Lagerfeld’s muse and I remember her very well from the Chanel runways. I miss her!

      • NN says:

        If you really want to be accurate the original “supes” were Christy, Naomi and Linda aka ‘The trinity’.
        The title of supermodel then expanded to include Claudia, Cindy and the rest of the amazonian beauties of that time.

  4. Becks1 says:

    I love the concept of the cover but…..they could have done so much more with these women. I actually think Linda looks the best, the rest look kind of boring and overworked. I will watch the series and I might even buy this issue, so for that, the cover did what its meant to do, right?

    • BeanieBean says:

      I’m thinking they had a team of younger people who didn’t know how to work with such ‘old’ models. Or they had a team used to working with young models & didn’t know how to work with the ‘oldies’. Vogue did them dirty.

  5. ElbaQ says:

    Claudia Schiffer is missing… also Helena Christensen. Maybe there was little space or whatever but it feels like those women were ignored.

    • Mireille says:

      There were quite a few other supers that dominated that era: Paulina Porizkova, Niki Taylor, Yasmeen Ghauri, Iman, Elle Macpherson, etc. I think Linda, Naomi, Christy, and Cindy were the most recognizable, famous during that time.

      • Pip says:

        Don’t forget Tatjana Patitz (RIP, very sadly) who was also in the Freedom video & was utterly spectacular.

      • L84Tea says:

        This totally takes me back to that time in the early 90’s–I was in the 7th-8th grade around that time and was hyper aware of magazines and pop culture. They were definitely the dominant group of that era, but what I remember most was Linda Evangalista being EVERYWHERE. She was in so, so many ads–brunette, blonde, red-headed, she did it all. Her face IS the 90’s in so many ways to me.

      • BeanieBean says:

        @L84Tea: Linda was the most mercurial & for me, the most interesting.

      • Reborn Rich says:

        Ah yes. I remember all of them. I recall finding it so weird when they started putting celebrities on the cover of magazines. Things have changed. I’ve said this before, but I was walking down 34th St in New York one day and saw this incredibly stunning woman walking down the street. She was one of the most beautiful women I’ve ver seen in real life. It was Linda E.

      • jbones says:

        I was obsessed with Nikki Taylor, Cover Girl! Her little sister also captured my attention, with her softened look of innocence. RIP Krissy. They may not have been super models, but their faces were all over my TEEN magazines.

  6. Chaine says:

    They’re all filtered to oblivion. Cindy unrecognizable. A shame we can’t just show natural fiftysomething women as they are instead of making them look like botched AI creations. I was looking to see how many fingers they had.

  7. Josephine says:

    The cover is awful – all of the black clothing just blends together and they are too far away. It seems lazy and uninspired and boring. I would never pick that magazine up off the newstand.

    • Enny says:

      Such beautiful, iconic women deserve a beautiful, iconic cover.

    • Coco says:

      I agree they could have done so much with the cover and they decided to be boring.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Agreed- I was so bummed to see this bland cover! These are the most iconic models, and they’re also absolute pros- the fact that they even look good at all is a testament to their beauty but also modeling skill. Nonetheless, they deserved way better than this weirdly blah, sterile shoot. The cover is so weirdly lit, like you can’t really see detail on the looks(except Linda’s, which is cool), and their bodies are so covered up- the outfits look like what you’d wear for a business magazine- “CEO Monthly presents Five Chic Female CEOs who Get It All Done.” All that’s missing is crossed arms and a spreadsheet.

  8. BQM says:

    Christy turlington looks great irl and not plastic surgeries to death. I don’t know who the hell it is on the cover.

    • shanaynay says:

      I didn’t even realize that was Christy Turlington. She looks completely different. Never understood the big hoopla over Cindy Crawford, still don’t get it. She looks just average to me. Nothing too spectacular.

    • Granger says:

      I wonder if Christy (and the others) were given the opportunity to approve the photos? Because if yes, it kinda makes me feel disappointed in Christy in particular, because she HAS been so vocal about aging gracefully and naturally. She doesn’t look like herself in these pics at all.

    • tealily says:

      Yeah it doesn’t look like her at all. I never would have recognized her in a million years.

    • Kittenmom says:

      Agreed. I follow Christy on social media and she usually looks natural, lovely, and pretty normal. Her face is practically unrecognizable here.

      • HollyGolightly says:

        I used to see her (and her equally gorgeous husband Edward Burns) bringing their kids to school most mornings and she’d be in sweats with her hair thrown back, looking completely natural and stunning!

  9. Jenns says:

    This entire photoshoot belongs in the garbage. It’s awful. I cannot get over the pose of Cindy looking like she’s smelling her armpit. These women are icons in the world of fashion and this is what they get?

    Also, Christy is aging fairly naturally. If you look at her Instagram, you will see creases and lines on her face. That is NOT a criticsim. She looks amazing. So it sucks seeing her airbrushed into oblivion.

  10. Onomo says:

    Cindy looks like Eva Longoria?

    Linda looks great.

    In another pic I saw recently, Christy Turlington actually looks like she hasn’t had plastic surgery or Botox but they filtered her so much you can’t tell, and that’s too bad.

    For all the warmth in their words, their body language on this cover is almost clinically severe. Oh well.

    • Kitten says:

      I know Claudia isn’t in this photo but if you look at recent pics of her and Christy, they look the same, just older. I don’t doubt they’ve had some injections but definitely nothing major. Both still gorgeous women IMO.

  11. LightPurple says:

    All I see is the heavy eye makeup and Christy is unrecognizable.

  12. Jen says:

    The heavy eye make-up is doing no favors. And why put Naomi in a sack dress?

  13. Jules says:

    I saw the original cover that apparently inspired this shoot and it’s everything this shoot is not. This is boring, over-worked, the fashion is so banal, their faces have next to no expression in most cases and the set – is there any set design? It hardly looks like they were in the same room.
    I get that these are a lot of divas who are probably not as flexible and game as other, less influential models but geez, what an uninspired snoozefest.

  14. Rai says:

    I will never forget Naomi saying she doesn’t get out bed for less than 10k. One of the most inspiring and aspirational things my 15yo self had ever heard…

    The Bad B**** Energy is sucha beautiful thing

    • lanne says:

      That was Linda–she said in an interview related to this cover that saying that was one of her biggest regrets.

      In a sense, it was great that she said it–Linda was a supermodel and she knew her worth. It was one of the few times that women in the public eye have actually been paid their worth. But she got a lot of criticism–basically the “how dare you” sort that a man would never get. Models, apparently, are supposed to be “grateful” for the attention. There’s so much negativity from men AND women toward the idea of models getting paid what they are worth in the marketplace.

    • GameofScones says:

      Linda Evangelista was actually the one who said $10k thing.

    • Nev says:

      It was Linda who said that hahaha
      Love the Supers!
      The cover is alright. The layouts are more fun.
      I wish Yasmeen Ghauri, Karen Mulder and Meghan Douglas and Nadege were there as well.

  15. Tarte au Citron says:

    Such a boring cover. I didn’t even recognise Cindy Crawford, and I used to love her vibe back in the 90s.

    Christy: to me, she’s like Jessica Biel. Blandly pretty but very forgettable.

    • lanne says:

      Watch the 90s documentary about Christy called Catwalk. I saw it on Youtube. She’s a brilliant, incredible model with a really unique look. To each her own of course, but I can’t imagine calling someone with a portfolio as diverse as hers, with so many incredible photographers, bland and forgettable.

      • Nev says:

        Fantastic docu as well as Isaac Mizrahi’s Unzipped.
        Her face in the opening. Heavenly.
        She’s a Supermodel no question.

    • Kitten says:

      It’s interesting because I agree with you abut Biel and I can definitely see the comparison with Christy, yet somehow I find Christy stunningly beautiful? There’s just something so fresh, open, and vibrant about her face. I also agree with lanne that she’s an amazingly diverse model.

    • Kittenmom says:

      Christy was always my favorite. I do see the Biel comparison, but Christy is somehow much more exotic to look at.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        Mine too! Out of the four. Paulina is pretty much my fave-she was more 80’s? I’ve seen some of the tiktok videos with the 4 of them. If Christy’s had work done, not seeing it. She looks to be embracing the wrinkles and lines. Sharing a video of her on GMA last year. Every Mother Counts. Yep, diverse, intelligent and a decent human by most accounts. Vogue did her dirty with this cover. Doesn’t look like her.

        I have no idea if Naomi has had work done. She looks ageless. They all seem to really enjoy and appreciate the times they had together.

  16. ThatsNotOkay says:

    I love it in theory. In practice, tho?… Who are these women and what have you done with the actual, grown, mature supers?

  17. Aurora says:

    Has Vogue just given up on artistic editorials? They don’t even try for creativity anymore. It’s just point-and-shoot portraits.

  18. teresa says:

    Did they overdo the photoshop stuff? Because all the women look a little like Madame Tussaud wax figures.

  19. Robot Dog says:

    Such a bland cover. So many missed opportunities.

    Off to watch the Freedom video to make up for it.

  20. Southern Fried says:

    Maybe another 15 or so years would make them more interesting. And use different pix because these are a mess.

  21. hangonamin says:

    not a fan of the cover. it just seems like they stuck 4 beautiful women and had them stand there in a boring backdrop. no dynamic quality about the photo and just flat. no creativity…and these are 4 talented women who know how to work with the camera…and there’s something so cold about it. i guess if someone wanted to show that these women are on a pedestal and unreachable…then this cover does it.
    also! for once i’d love for a cover where they show women that look their age. that actually look like they have accepted wrinkles and imperfections. yet, here we are, telling women this is what you should aspire to look like in your 50s.

  22. HandforthParish says:

    I saw Christy interviewed about the cover and she genuinely looks like she’s had no work done. She has expression lines and forehead lines (the horror) and she looks great.

    That cover really doesn’t do her (or any of them). It strips them of maturity and personality.
    What a waste.

  23. windyriver says:

    Awful The sterile environment/background is doing them no favors, just emphasizes the photoshop done on top of whatever surgery they’ve had.

    Worth looking up are the ads from Revlon’s Most Unforgettable Women campaign, shot by Richard Avedon, beautiful and a great time capsule of these women in their heyday as well as the many other well known models of that era (with a lot of amazing hair).

  24. H says:

    They look awful. Also, why as a society do we continue to look the other way about the procurer Naomi Campbell?

  25. Molly says:

    At first I thought Christy was Janine Turner!

  26. Kitten says:

    The cover sucks but some of the comments here are just so harsh. I get that some of them have had work, but these women are in their fifties! Not that that’s old, but I’m just saying that overall I think they look really great.

  27. seaflower says:

    I think it’s been styled terribly stiffly. It would have been better to let them show some of their personalities like they used to on the runway.

  28. trillion says:

    Will def being watching this! I was a major fashion magazine junkie in the 90’s. (Paulina’s natural face really looks so different from these and definitely no less gorgeous).

  29. elle says:

    My brain cannot reconcile that that is Cindy Crawford. It looks nothing like her.

  30. ACB says:

    Welp, the Anna Wintour age of seizing all control is in effect.

  31. L4Frimaire says:

    Love reading the anecdotes about these women. I followed them back in the 90s when they were so huge. I wish the cover was more lively. They should have worn clothes that highlighted couture or who’s up and coming, with more color and vibrancy. The black garb and grey background is so generic and drab, looks like a stock photo.

  32. Ameerah M says:

    These icons deserved a better cover. They didn’t even try. LOVE the interview. I grew up with these women on my Vogue magazine covers. I subscribed to Vogue when I was 11. I used my allowance. They were such an indelible part of my pre-teen and teen years and how I absorbed fashion. Their covers and shoots were ICONIC.

  33. Susie says:

    I think the current creatives at vogue are so used to working with the bland personality free models of the current age that they tried to style the supers as that but with older ladies. Many of the new girls don’t need to be anything more than a pretty face with a last name and over 1million followers. Vogue doesn’t expect anything from them cuz they don’t give anything. But the reason the supers were so iconic was cuz it was never just being insanely beautiful it was that star power behind the eyes. They had that something that made you want to look deeper and know more. They used everything available to them to create a story and character beyond this is a pretty girl with pretty clothing. And vogue USA just doesn’t know how to showcase that anymore. Can you imagine what Edward enniful could have done. I mean his recent cover with Linda shows what we could have had.

    • Coco says:

      It has nothing to do with the new models. US Vogue under Anna Wintours died an along time ago. Wintours lost all creativity and refuses to hand over creative control to someone that will bring new life into the magazine. It seems she would rather drag Vogue US down with her than see it flourish someone else.

      A good creative director can make the most bland and boring person shine.

  34. LeonsMomma says:

    Used to be a jr. producer of fashion shoots in the early 90s. Didn’t work with Linda, but worked with Christy, one of the nicest women on the planet; Naomi, very very very late (but that was her rep) and I do remember my boss going after 1.5 hours — can you call her booker — as I didn’t dare call her direct, lol. Though once she got there, super professional. No flying phones! (that would have been my boss); and Cindy, one of the most stuck-up, rude people I have ever worked with in my life.

  35. jferber says:

    To me, Cindy and Christy look like their face shapes have changed, especially the bottom halves. Naomi and Linda look more like themselves from back in the day, though I’ve seen other Naomi pics in which she looks nothing like her former self. Despite Linda’s horrific CoolSculpt experience, I actually think she looks the best. Brava to them for getting together to do the photo shoot. So many people think of them as the best/most memorable era of supermodels ever.

  36. bisynaptic says:


  37. Abigail says:

    Meh, they’re not relevant anymore. I know that’s something older generations (and the models themselves) don’t want to hear, but it’s true. I’m sure in their heads they’re still super famous, but mention them or show a photo of them to your average person in their 20s and they would have no idea who these women are.

    That said, what totally ruins this pretentious piece of misplaced nostalgia (Anna Wintour should retire, seriously, she’s too old for her job) is the fact all of them look so messed up with plastic surgery it’s creepy to look at. Like if you didn’t know what they used to look like 30 years ago (and most young people don’t), this just looks like a bunch of awkward 50 year old Hampton wives who’ve paid their way onto a magazine cover.

    • Just me says:

      As for the 2nd paragraph, I agree the cover needs improvement. As for the 1st paragraph, that is what I call ‘mindlessness’ – there is only the present and no past or future in the perception of those who think like that. The caveat is that there is indeed future. And it comes like a thief and boom! you wake up to find you are no longer a spring chicken. Because some people well into their thirties perceive themselves as 25. But there is a future and in that future, when it becomes the present, they may be just as ‘irrelevant’ as the ‘oldies’ of the past.

  38. Sarah says:

    The picture where they are all wearing jeans in the Instagram pic looks better and more natural. The cover is sterile and too “posed”. Christy’s hair doesn’t suit her. Linda looks the best. Cindy looks tired in that photo. It doesn’t look like they had a say in the final product.

  39. Libra says:

    5-6 years ago Cindy Crawford gave interviews about her retirement from being in front of the camera to focus on her family and business ventures. Then Kaia Gerber started to make a big splash with runway work, photos everywhere and endorsements. Enter Cindy to pose with her daughter and do joint interviews etc.Suddenly Cindy was everywhere again. Goodbye retirement and hello facelift.

  40. Denguy says:

    I think they look amazing! Work or not, glad to see them on the cover of Vogue.

  41. Tashiro says:

    I don’t really have a problem with the photo. I think Linda looks great. Love her hair. Don’t care about what ever plastic surgery they have had. The issue I have is the use of the black eye liner on Christy and Cindy. I always hear ppl say it makes your eyes look more open but to me it makes the eyes look smaller and more closed.