Oldest Supermodels in the World

10 Oldest Supermodels in the World

These days anyone can be a “model,” but very few people have what it takes to be a supermodel. While supermodel is sometimes used interchangeably with model, a supermodel is model whose career extends beyond the modeling world. Supermodels are also highly paid, worth millions of dollars, and are a household name. All of the supermodels on this list are still active in many industries and even run their own businesses.

As of July 2020, the information on this list is as accurate as possible and will be updated as needed.

10. Elle Macpherson (March 29, 1964 – Present)

Current Age (as of July 2020): 56 years, 3 months, 28 days
Country of Origin:  Killara, New South Wales, Australia
Years Active: 1982 – Present
Other Occupations: Actress, Businesswoman, and Television Host

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Elle Macpherson is another supermodel who turned her image into an international brand. Macpherson started modeling in the early 1980s and quickly rose to fame. she appeared on the cover and in the pages of major magazines including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Tatler, GQ, Allure, Mademoiselle, Glamour, Time, L’Officiel, Flare, Maxim, and New York. In 1994, Macpherson started her own modeling agency and she used the money she made to branch out into other businesses. Macpherson also has a lingerie line, a line of beauty products, and wellness supplements.

Did You Know?

Elle Macpherson’s nickname is “The Body,” which was coined by Time in 1988 for her record five cover appearances for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

9. Kathy Ireland (March 20, 1963 – Present)

Current Age (as of July 2020): 57 years, 4 months, 6 days
Country of Origin:  Glendale, California, USA
Years Active: 1979 – Present
Other Occupations: Actress, Entrepreneur, Businesswoman, and Author

Kathy Irelandphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Kathy Ireland is another American supermodel whose career is still going strong. Ireland’s modeling career was at its height in the 1980s and 1990s. She appeared on covers for Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Forbes, and Mademoiselle. In 1993, Ireland turned her name and image into a brand, partnering with Kmart to become a household name. While Ireland no longer models, she continues to leverage her brand into partnerships with other companies.

Did You Know?

In 2015, Forbes named Kathy Ireland one of America’s 50 most successful self-made women (as measured by their net worth) in its first ever list of the kind.

8. Iman (July 22, 1955 – Present)

Current Age (as of July 2020): 65 years, 1 day
Country of Origin:  Mogadishu, Somalia
Years Active: 1976 – Present
Other Occupations: Actress and Entrepreneur

Imanphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Iman, born Zara Mohamed Abdulmajid, is the world’s first Black supermodel. Born in the capital city of Somalia, Iman was discovered by American photographer Peter Beard while she was studying political science at the University of Nairobi. After her discovery, Iman moved to the U.S. and landed her first modeling assignment with Vogue in 1976. Iman went on to become a muse for many prominent designers, including Halston, Gianni Versace, Calvin Klein, Issey Miyake, and Donna Karan. Since then, Iman has become a businesswoman and owns a makeup brand and clothing line. Outside of being a model, Iman is also known for being David Bowie’s widow.

Did You Know?

Early in her career, Iman was paid much less than her white colleagues and she became the first Black model to refuse to work for a lower wage than other girls.

7. Christie Brinkley

Current Age (as of July 2020): 66 years, 5 months, 24 days
Country of Origin:  Monroe, Michigan, USA
Years Active: 1973 – Present
Other Occupations: Actress and Entrepreneur

Christie Brinkleyphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Christie Brinkley is one of several American supermodels on this list who used her fame to start several businesses. Brinkley was discovered in 1973 by American photographer Errol Sawyer in Paris. After sending her photos off to Elite Model Management, Brinkley booked several national ad campaigns. It didn’t take long for Brinkley to appear everywhere on magazine covers, TV commercials, and movies. Brinkley has had a prolific career, appearing on over 500 magazine covers, being photographed on six continents in more than 30 countries. Today, Brinkley also a line of beauty products, hair extensions, eyewear, and wine.

Did You Know?

In the 1980s, Christie Brinkley signed a record 25-year contract with cosmetics brand CoverGirl and renewed this contract in 2005 – it is one of the longest modeling contracts in history.

6. Twiggy (September 19, 1949 – Present)

Current Age (as of July 2020): 70 years, 10 months, 7 days
Country of Origin:  Neasden, Middlesex, England
Years Active: 1966 – Present
Other Occupations: Actress and Singer

photo source: nz.news.yahoo.com

Twiggy, whose real name is Lesley Lawson, is synonymous with the Swingin’ Sixties and is widely recognized as the face of the entire decade. Dubbed Twiggy because of her thin frame, her big eyes and long eyelashes became her signature features. Twiggy’s makeup style is still often copied today when people recreate looks from the 60s. In addition to modeling, Twiggy enjoyed a successful career as a screen, stage, and television actress. Twiggy has also authored numerous books about her life and she still continues to model and act today.

Did You Know?

Twiggy was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2019 New Year Honours for services to fashion, to the arts and to charity.

5. Cheryl Tiegs (September 25, 1947 – Present)

Current Age (as of July 2020): 72 years, 10 months, 1 day
Country of Origin:  Breckenridge, Minnesota, USA
Years Active: 1964 – Present
Other Occupations: Actress

photo source: closerweekly.com

While there are a few older supermodels on this list from the U.S., Cheryl Tiegs has been dubbed by some as the first American supermodel. In the 1970s, Tiegs did have a very illustrious career and appeared on the covers of Elle, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar. However, Tiegs did not become a household name until she appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. She was the first model to appear twice on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. On the 1978 Swimsuit Issue cover, Tiegs wore the now infamous white fishnet swimsuit, that rocketed her to fame. Tiegs no longer models, but she does sometimes appear on reality TV shows.

Did You Know?

A year after the 1978 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover, Cheryl Tiegs signed to a reported $1.5 million two-year contract with Cover Girl cosmetics, the biggest modeling contract ever at the time.

4. Lauren Hutton (November 17, 1943 – Present)

Current Age (as of July 2020): 76 years, 8 months, 9 days
Country of Origin:  Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Years Active: 1963 – Present
Other Occupations: Actress

Lauren Huttonphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

These days, Lauren Hutton is known more for her acting career, but she got her start as a model. Hutton was one of the first major American supermodels, but her career took a while to take off. While the gap in her front teeth is now one of her signature features, Hutton was initially dismissed by modeling agents for her gap. She was often told to not smile in her pictures or use morticians’ wax to cover the gap. Eventually, Hutton embraced her gap and continued to book modeling gigs and worked with famous photographers like Richard Avedon. Hutton made her acting debut in 1968 and has starred in numerous films since then.

Did You Know?

In 1974, Lauren Hutton made history when she became the first supermodel to land a million-dollar-a-year contract (with Revlon Cosmetics).

3. Veruschka von Lehndorff (May 14, 1939 – Present)

Current Age (as of July 2020): 81 years, 2 months, 12 days
Country of Origin:  Königsberg, East Prussia (modern day Kaliningrad, Russia)
Years Active: 1959 – Present
Other Occupations: Actress

Veruschka von Lehndorffphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Veruschka von Lehndorff, who went by just Veruschka at the height of her career, is one of the world’s first true supermodels. During the 1960s, Veruschka was “the most beautiful woman in the world” by the photographer Richard Avedon. Veruschka had a booming career for the next few years, but left the industry in 1975 due to disagreements with Grace Mirabella, the newly appointed editor-in-chief of Vogue. In more recent years, Veruschka has been modeling every once in a while, appearing in catwalks for English fashion designer Giles Deacon and a few other brands.

Did You Know?

At her peak, Veruschka von Lehndorff appeared on all four major Vogue magazines’ (American, Italian, French and British) covers.

2. Carmen Dell’Orefice (June 3, 1931 – Present)

Current Age (as of July 2020): 89 years, 1 month, 23 days
Country of Origin:  New York City, New York, USA
Years Active: 1946 – Present
Other Occupations: Actress and Author

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Using the more traditional definition of a supermodel, Carmen Dell’Orefice is widely considered to be the oldest supermodel in the world. Dell’Orefice was first discovered when she was just 13 years, but her career did not take off until a few years later. In the early days of her career, Dell’Orefice worked with some of the most famous fashion photographers of the time, including Irving Penn, Gleb Derujinsky, Francesco Scavullo, Norman Parkinson, and Richard Avedo.

Like Daphne Selfe, Dell’Orefice did retire from modeling for some time, but returned to the industry in more recent years. Since coming back to modeling, Dell’Orefice has worked with Anna Sui, Stéphane Rolland, Thierry Mugler, and Guo Pei.

Did You Know?

Carmen Dell’Orefice appeared on the October 1947 cover of Vogue at the age of 16, making her one of the youngest Vogue cover models ever.

1. Daphne Selfe (July 1, 1928 – Present)

Current Age (as of July 2020): 92 years, 25 days
Country of Origin:  Hertfordshire, England
Years Active: 1949 – Present
Other Occupations: Actress and Dancer

photo source: Wikimedia Commons

At 92, Daphne Selfe is the oldest supermodel in the world. While Selfe might not have become an international superstar until more recently when she was declared the World’s Oldest Professional Model by the Guinness Book of World Records, she has been in the industry since 1949! Selfe is also well-known in her home country, England. Beyond modeling, Selfe has worked as a dancer and actress.

Did You Know?

Daphne Selfe did take a break from modeling after she got married but returned in 1998 when she was asked by fashion label Red or Dead to walk in their show at London Fashion Week. Since then, Selfe has worked for D&G, DKNY, Olay, Evian, Nivea and H&M, and many more brands.



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