Over the course of the 20th century, the role of a fashion model made a pivotal shift. Instead of just presenting a commercial product, a select few were exalted, becoming products in their own right. These iconic figures went on to influence the evolution of fashion and adjust the bellwether of what society considered beautiful. With New York Fashion Week sitting on the horizon, we select some stand-out volumes that explore the impact of the modern model on the fashion world.
Harper’s Bazaar: Models
In an effort to explain the rich and varied history of the magazine, writer and man about town Derek Blasberg highlights 28 extraordinary models who have graced the pages of Harper’s Bazaar over the last 60 years. Harper’s Bazaar: Models is a celebration of the women who helped form the spirit of the publication, filled with 200 photographs shot by the leading photographers of the time.
Twiggy: A Life in Photographs
Known as “The Face of 1966,” Twiggy was the world’s first supermodel and an enduring icon to this day. Twiggy: A Life in Photographs explores the model’s life in front of the camera. In her own words, Twiggy explains what it was like to be the embodiment of the 1960s look, as well offer rare insight into the creative process of the world she came to dominate.
Kate: The Kate Moss Book
Who better to describe their life in the fashion industry than the subject herself? For the aptly named Kate: The Kate Moss Book, the iconic model personally selects photographs that best capture her unparalleled career. Including many never-before-seen photographs from her own archives, KATE, released in eight distinct covers, is the definitive book for any Kate Moss fan.
Models of Influence: 50 Women Who Reset the Course of Fashion
In Models of Influence, photographer Nigel Barker explores the lives of 50 women who have made an enduring impression on the fashion industry in their respective eras.
I am Iman
In 1975, Somali fashion model–and future wife of the late David Bowie–Iman arrived on the scene, inspiring a cultural shift that continues to evolve today. Though far from a tell-all, I am Iman offers a bit of the story behind the woman who helped change the face of fashion.
The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion
The Model as Muse is your must-have guide to the industry’s most famous faces. Originally published for an exhibition of the same name for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the book emphasizes the ready-to-wear and couture styles from the 1950s onward, while also explaining the important roles of projection and inspiration in which the models played.
Header image of Jerry Hall and Helmut Newton by David Bailey