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American Beauty: 50 Years of Homegrown Supermodels

July 1, 2014

Lauren Hutton Photo: Getty Images

American Beauty: 50 Years of Homegrown Supermodels

When the Statue of Liberty struck a permanent pose on Liberty Island, she became the first in a long line of tall, gorgeous women to proudly represent Team USA. 128 years later, American bombshells have created and challenged beauty standards worldwide. This 4th of July, we salute these iconic beauties—including these dynamic divas from the ’70s…

Lauren Hutton

This Florida native tried to “fix” the famous gap in her teeth with everything from veneers to mortician’s wax, but thankfully, nothing worked. Instead, Hutton and her famous smile booked a ten-year contract with Revlon that started in 1973 and made her one of the highest-paid models of her generation. Hutton also appeared in many movies, including American Gigolo, and campaigns for Calvin Klein, Chanel, and more recently, The Row. Although Larry Flint offered her a million dollars to pose nude in Hustler, she declined the offer—although she did work a waitress at the infamous Playboy Club before graduating from Tulane University.

Pat Cleveland Photo: Getty Images

Pat Cleveland

A regular at Studio 54, this statuesque model got her start when Vogue editor (and future Old Navy icon) Carrie Donovan spotted her on the subway at age 15. After modeling for Ebony, she met famous fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez, who suggested she might get more work in Europe. In 1970, Cleveland settled in Paris and worked with Valentino, Saint Laurent, and Dior—and dated Mick Jagger, too. In 1973, Cleveland was one of 30 black models who walked at Versailles’ famous French-American fashion show, and the following year Cleveland was back in New York, and BFFs with Andy Warhol and Diane von Furstenberg. Today, Cleveland and her daughter Anna—also a model—serve as perma-muses for designer Zac Posen.

Marisa Berenson Photo: Getty Images

Marisa Berenson

Born Vittoria Marisa Schiaparelli Berenson, this model was the daughter of a Lithuanian Jewish diplomat and an Italian countess. Her grandmother was the famous fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli; her Christening portrait was shot by Irving Penn. Despite being rejected by agencies at age 15, Berenson persevered and became a fashion icon for the better part of the ‘70s. Known as “Queen of the Scene” for her hard-partying ways, the lanky brunette was famously photographed nude by Diana Vreeland and—ever the overachiever—scored two Golden Globe nominations for her supporting role in Cabaret. In 1978, she had her own episode of The Muppet Show; In 2010, she starred opposite Tilda Swinton in I Am Love.

Brooke Shields

Before she was Suddenly Susan, Shields was a child model, landing her first gig—for an Ivory Soap commercial—at just 11 months old. Shields preternatural beauty and uncanny poise inspired Eileen Ford to start a Ford Models children’s division. The New Jersey native earned her keep by booking a Vogue cover at age 14, followed by her infamous Calvin Klein campaign where she appeared topless and—according to the ad copy, anyway—went commando. By 16, Shields was on the cover of Time, earning $10k a day in modeling fees and beginning her acting career. In 1978, she starred as a child prostitute in Louis Malle’s drama Pretty Baby, and in 1980, she anchoredthe island epic Blue Lagoon. Shields took a break from stardom to attend Princeton University. Afterwards, she built a substantial film and TV resume, appearing on Friends, Two and a Half Men, and even Hannah Montana. In 2010, Shields discovered she was a descendent of the French royal family on an episode of Who Do You Think You Are?