The world’s first supermodel embodied the Swinging Sixties in babydoll dresses and Mary Janes.
Progenitor of a lineage that includes Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and, now, Bella Hadid, Twiggy was the world’s first supermodel. Née Lesley Horny, Twiggy was discovered in 1966 by a fashion journalist at London’s Daily Express. The following year, she was covering Vogue and flying across continents to walk runways in France and Japan.
With her blonde crop and kohl-rimmed doe eyes, Twiggy became the face of London’s swinging sixties, embodying the era’s youthquake movement and colourful, Mod fashions. Think shift dresses, babydoll frocks, smart Mary Janes and boxy skirt suits, among others. Here, we look back at Twiggy’s supermodel style through a selection of her most iconic looks.
At a photoshoot, 1966
In 1966, celebrity hairstylist Leonard was looking for models to try out his new crop hairstyle for a series of test shots. A 16 year-old Twiggy answered the call — knowing little that the haircut would catapult her to international fame. Shortly after the chop, a fashion journalist at the Daily Express caught sight of the head shots and quickly arranged another photoshoot with Twiggy. A few weeks later, the images ran in the Daily Express, the paper declaring her “The Face of '66.” Here, Twiggy poses for an early photo session, looking very much the face of the Swinging Sixties in a pink shift dress and mirrorball earrings.
Modelling her own clothing line, 1967
Twiggy learned to sew at an early age and, during her youth, the would-be super made her own clothes. Those formative skills came in handy once again in 1967, when, hot off the heels of her international modelling debut, Twiggy launched her very own clothing line called “Twiggy Dresses.” Here, the model wears a babydoll dress from the label’s debut collection.
At the premiere of Yellow Submarine, 1968
Leave it to a supermodel to keep on the cutting edge of fashion. As the latter half of the 60s rolled around, Twiggy’s style shifted from the mid-decade’s Mod to the hippie-ish attire that would define 1969 and “the summer of love.” Here, in 1968, the supermodel wears a floaty peasant-inspired dress and headband that wouldn’t look out of place on the grounds of Woodstock.
At a press conference for The Boy Friend, 1971
Twiggy followed the success of her modelling career with a fruitful stint in acting, earning two Golden Globes for her turn in 1971 musical-comedy The Boy Friend. Here, at a press conference for the flick, the model-turned-actress pairs a sleek jersey gown with a very 70s crocheted vest.
At Heathrow airport, 1971
As the world’s first international supermodel, Twiggy was a frequent flyer. The super was often papped jetting in and out of London’s Heathrow airport (boyfriend-and-manager Justin de Villeneuve in tow) to destinations including Paris, Tokyo and New York City. Here, Twiggy is snapped returning from the Big Apple wearing a three-piece suit beneath and extravagant fur jacket. A look befitting of one of the fashion industry’s foremost icons.