By Kathleen Horton, Special to The Washington Post
July 4, 2014 6 a.m.
Women, fashion and glamour are synonymous in the modern era — but in the mid- to late 1980s this association intensified into one distinct cultural icon: the supermodel. While highly professional models with identifiable looks and personalities had existed since the 1950s (Christian Dior's favorite was called Lucky), and celebrity models since the 1960s (think Twiggy), the 1980s version literally superseded their predecessors in stature, stardom and — most importantly — earning capacity. The supermodels were an elite group. Key figures included Americans Cindy Crawford and Christy Turlington, Brit Naomi Campbell, Canadian-born Linda Evangelista and Claudia Schiffer from Germany. This grouping is not definitive and the term was applied to other high-profile models of this generation including Australia's own Elle "The Body" Macpherson and later notably English model Kate Moss. A list of very specific characteristics secured the pedigree of the original supermodels.