Cindy, Naomi, Linda and Christy were the ‘original influencers’, says Super Models docu director

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LOS ANGELES – Before there were reality television stars and social media influencers, there were supermodels.

And an upcoming series catches up with four of the most famous of them – Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington – as they pull back the curtain on their rise to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s, when the word “supermodel” was first popularised.

Debuting on Apple TV+ on Wednesday, the four-part documentary The Super Models is helmed by American directors Roger Ross Williams and Larissa Bills, who got unprecedented access to the four women – now in their 50s – as they reminisced about the highs and lows of their careers.

In a Zoom chat with The Straits Times, Bills says there are parallels between the ubiquity of the supermodels of that era and the influencers of today.

“They were the original influencers – because they were around before social media, before the Internet, and yet they were everywhere. Everybody knew their names, they were in every magazine, they were in the tabloids.”

And for those who remember that time, it might be somewhat startling to hear in-depth interviews with the likes of Crawford, 57, or Turlington, 54, two of the top American models of their day.

“To hear them speak was sort of unexpected, because you’re so used to (just) seeing them.

“And I’m from a similar age group and was in college when some of these iconic (magazine) covers came out. So (in this series), it was sort of like they were dolls come to life,” says Bills, who produced the series On Pointe (2020), a documentary about a top American ballet school.

“But it was really great to see the human side of them. It was like speaking with friends.&r...

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