Birth Date: May 10, 1965
Birth Place: St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
Height: 5' 9½"
Quote: "I can do anything you want me to do so long as I don't have to speak."
Quote: "I don't get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day."
It was a haircut that did it for Linda Evangelista – or rather, several haircuts and, later, various changes of color. The Canadian model had been modelling for several years, picking up around $600 per shoot for "mediocre" work until she went for the chop and parted with her long, light brown hair.
When British Vogue picked up on some shots Arthur Elgort had taken of her, she went stellar. Years later, after retiring from the modelling scene, she would make a comeback on the cover of the US edition of the magazine that first made her famous.
Born on May 10, 1965, into a large Italian-Canadian family in St Catherines, a small town near Niagara Falls, Linda developed striking good looks and was first spotted while just a teenager at a local beauty contest. An early modelling experience almost made her turn her back on the business, however. While in Japan on a work assignment, she contacted the Canadian embassy and was flown home after being asked to do nude photos. Later, nudity was not something Linda minded.
After Linda finished high school, her mother persuaded her to give modelling a second chance and she signed with the Elite agency in New York. In 1984, she moved to Paris, but good jobs were slow to come and it took three years to land her first assignment for Vogue.
After marrying her first husband, model agency boss Gerald Marie in 1987, Linda started to get higher-calibre work before hitting pay dirt with that famous haircut. While it was she who uttered the now infamous line about not getting out of bed for less than $10,000 a day, her fees soon shot up and in 1990 it was reported that she had earned double that for an afternoon's work.
But it wasn't really work for Linda. She has always said she loves modelling – the clothes, the glamorous locations and everything that goes with it. She has been accused of earnestness, but in what is essentially a frivolous world, Linda is a consummate professional – she turns up to work on time and is rarely pictured at show business parties.
When she started out, Linda had no idea just how big a name in fashion she would become. "I've become bigger than the product," Evangelista said in an interview in the mid-Nineties. "I never thought it would be like this. I'm amazed. I was always obsessed with fashion, with the magazines, the models and the poses. Now, Arab princes want to marry me."
After she divorced Gerald in 1993, Linda moved to the States full-time, where she met and fell in love with Sex And The City star Kyle MacLachlan. The couple split after a long engagement, and in 1998, a year after she had announced her retirement from the modelling scene, Linda met Manchester United and France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez. She became pregnant by him in 1999, but had a miscarriage at six months.
No one quite knows if Linda's comeback is merely a fashion moment, or the renaissance of a truly awesome fashion icon, but it's good to have her back in front of the cameras, especially as she enjoys her job so much. No one could have put it better than the eminently quotable model herself when, aged 30, she came up with another corking one-liner: "I will be walking the catwalks with a cane if I have to!"
Linda Evangelista Filmography
"Sex and the City" .... Saleswoman (1 episode, 2003)
- A Woman's Right to Shoes (2003) TV Episode .... Saleswoman
The Loss of Sexual Innocence (1999) (uncredited) .... Italian Woman
"Primero izquierda" (1 episode, 1992)
- Episode dated 6 February 1992 (1992) TV Episode
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