HBO doc tells behind-the-scenes stories of models
This July 18, 2012 photo shows models China Machado, lfrom left, Kim Alexis and Beverly Johnson in New York. The models appear in a new documentary called "About Face" premiering on HBO on July 30. The film looks at topics like each model's career, aging and our culture's obsession with youth. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK (AP) — There was a time when models really were super. Cindy Crawford, Christie Brinkley, Claudia Schiffer and Nikki Taylor were household names, plastered on magazine covers, dominating advertisements.
Now that every model is called a supermodel, the list of recognizable names is much smaller and mostly retired. Giselle. Heidi Klum. Anyone else?
"The covers have been taken over by the celebrities and all of the makeup and hair ads have been taken over by celebrities," model Kim Alexis said in a recent interview, "And we want our jobs back."
The new HBO documentary "About Face: Supermodels Then and Now" documents the rise of these models from the '40s through the '80s, when Alexis said "You would see me on the cover of Glamour and Vogue and Mademoiselle and also doing a Cover Girl ad and a Maybelline ad all in the same magazine."
This July 18, 2012 photo shows model Kim Alexis in New York. Alexis appears in a new documentary called "About Face" premiering on HBO on July 30. The film looks at topics like each model's career, aging and our culture's obsession with youth. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
The documentary premieres Monday and shares the models' personal career and beauty stories.
Director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders said he came up with the idea for the documentary at a party for supermodels from the '70s and '80s.
"I walked into a party that my friend was giving and I looked around the room and saw these gorgeous women and thought, 'Geez, that's a photo or something. No one's shot them in a while it would be an interesting group shot.' And as I got to know them I thought, 'Oh, this is obviously a film.'"
"About Face" also introduces viewers to a time when modeling wasn't glamorous, says Greenfield, like when Carmen Dell'Orefice began modeling in the 1940s. She began modeling as a teen and is still modeling today at 81 years old.
"Carmen talked about how (modeling) was really not a profession you'd ever want your child to go into, and that changed and by the time models became celebrities and then parents thought, 'Oh, this is a good profession for my daughter.' That's a big change in 50 years."