Over the years, many of the most popular supermodels could be typecast into the barbie mould. Interestingly, in came the rule breakers, the ones who didn’t fit the bill, defied convention with their unique features and went on to become fashion icons for these very differences. What’s more, most of them were British.
They reinvented our concept of beauty and brought diversity to the modelling industry. In fact, their off-duty style is at par with their runway looks which is why they went on to become celebrities in their own right, giving Hollywood A-listers a run for their money by bagging one ad campaign after another from top designers.
We take a look at this bevy of beauties and cue you in on how you can steal their style (because who doesn’t love the sophistication and understatedness of the Brits?)
English model Kate Moss was discovered when she was just 14 at the JFK airport in New York. At only 1.7m (5.5ft), she was shorter than the required height in the industry and her waif-like stature simply did not fit in with models that were ruling the runway at the time. Still, when Sarah Doukas, founder of Storm Model Management discovered her, she knew she had something special. In the beginning, her controversial, thin frame was accused of promoting anorexia and her subsequent dip into drugs did nothing but highlight her penchant for heroin chic editorials.
Her big break didn’t come until 1993 when she landed the infamous Calvin Klein underwear campaign and the rest is history, as they say. Achieving something no other model has, Moss has worked for over three decades, launching trends and moving with the times, proving she can never be ‘dated’ or a ‘has-been’. Unlike the other iconic British supermodels, she has never allowed herself to be pigeon-holed: She is as much the IT girl of 2017 as she was back in the grunge era of the ’90s.
Steal Her Style
Moss’s signature off-duty style is rocker chic! She pulls off skinny jeans, boots, and blazers like no other. Add to this, bedhead hair and minimal makeup and you’ve got the Kate Moss look down! Here’s what you should add to cart:
Banana Republic plaid shirt, buy here;
Rag & bone jeans, buy here;
Daniel Laugh boots, buy here
Spotted on the street after school one day, Campbell had never even dreamed of modelling considering being dark-skinned back in the ’80s was reason enough for you to not make it. Her fierce character allowed her to battle through and by 1983 she had landed her first cover of British Vogue. Moving from strength to strength, Campbell eventually became the first black model to grace the cover of French Vogue; little did she know, she had just made history.
Steal Her Style
Although Campbell has recently decided to give a nod to the disco era with brushed-out curls, it’s her poker straight hair that was as iconic as her runway strut. Her off-duty style is very glamorous—think Versace and Tisci’s show-stopping pieces and you’re on the right track. She’s never afraid to be the center of attention and to embrace the body she was born with. Here’s how to build her look:
Claudel Column Long Coat, buy here;
Versace Studded Dress, buy here
Doe-eyed Twiggy rose to fame in the swinging ’60s. Her skinny, no curves body received the same kind of skepticism as Moss’ did. But soon, she became well-known for her androgynous style, short pixie, and pain paint ‘em on thick eyelashes. What’s more, she outgrew the bounds of the modelling world and went on to become a stage performer, talk show host, and even a Golden Globe award-winning actress.
Steal Her Style
Twiggy’s signature look was all about no fuss and no frills—a simple A-line dress and Mary Jane flats are all that is needed. Less is more, and that’s why you can recreate her style with just these two:
Valentino Mary Janes, buy here
Relatively a newbie, Cara was also spotted by Sarah Doukas, this time at boarding school. At just 10-years-old, Cara was already earning a lot modelling for ASOS, while her thick and bushy eyebrows were brewing up a storm in the fashion world. As Delevingne started to gain international recognition, first through her Vogue Italia editorial by Bruce Weber, through to her Burberry and Christopher Bailey campaigns, unbeknownst to her, she had already set the new trend in beauty where wormy, skinny eyebrows fell through the cracks and brow shaping and grooming for a fuller arch became a coveted feature.
Steal Her Style: Let’s be honest, Delevingne could put a black sack over her body and still look ultra-chic but her signature off-duty look often includes a well-fitted trouser suit, peter pan collars, or a street style relaxed ensemble.Banana Republic blazer, buy here;
Taza Lace shirt, buy here;
Banana Republic pants, buy here