‘The Super Models’ Explores Power And Impact Of Campbell, Crawford, Turlington And Evangelista: “They Were The First Influencers” – Contenders TV: Doc + Unscripted

‘The Super Models’ Explores Power And Impact Of Campbell, Crawford, Turlington And Evangelista: “They Were The First Influencers” – Contenders TV: Doc + Unscripted

The Apple TV+ docuseries The Super Models hearkens to the 1990s when four extraordinary beauties ruled the covers of fashion magazines and popular culture: Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista.

“It was a time when music and art and fashion were all coming together. And they were the first influencers … way before there were cell phones or anything,” executive producer and director Roger Ross Williams said during an appearance at Deadline’s Contenders Television: Documentary + Unscripted event. “They were on the pages of the Daily News and New York Post and the fashion magazines and the gossip magazines. They were everywhere.”

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Producer-director Larissa Bills added, “These women, I think, be it their force of personality plus the time, plus the culture, it became a zeitgeist where they were able to own their own image. And I don’t mean that literally because there’s certainly an element of other people owning the photograph, but they got to be bigger than the brand, bigger than the designer that was walking them down the runway, and they were the big draw, and everyone knew their names.”

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The four-part series explores each woman’s origin story. Crawford went from working in cornfields in Illinois to modeling wedding dresses at age 15. She says her father viewed the profession skeptically, believing “modeling was another name for prostitution.”

Campbell, as a Black woman, had it toughest of all, trying to make it in an industry that didn’t value women of color on a par with white models. But she would not be denied.

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“She was like… ‘I’m not going to be defined by the color of my skin. I’m not going to let it stop me,’” Williams said. “Naomi is, as we know, incredibly strong-willed, incredibly proud and powerful. And she was like, ‘I’m not going to let any of this define me. I’m going to just keep going.’ And I think that’s why Naomi Campbell is Naomi Campbell. No one’s going to stop Naomi Campbell, not even racism.”

Instead of seeing themselves as rivals, the four women became staunch supporters of each other. After Campbell found herself shut out of modeling opportunities because of her race, her friends stood up for her.

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“When Naomi was not getting booked for shows, they banded together. And they said, ‘If you’re not taking her, you don’t get me,’” Bills remarked. “It’s a bold move to make when you’re young and you’re successful. … But they [knew] their value and they knew Naomi’s value as well. And that’s all real, that’s what’s extraordinary.”

Check out the panel video above.

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