Suzy Parker (1932-2003) is considered by many as the first supermodel. Her long and extremely successful career was launched in 1946 with a little help from her sister Dorian Leigh (Parker), also a top model of the time. Dorian had to convince the rest of the fashion elite that Suzy's height 5'9 was not a problem - Suzy was considered quite the giantess. Suzy was probably even more successful than her sister - she was the face of countless campaigns and a very common sight in Vogue.
Suzy later became an actress, and had some success in that profession. She married three times and had four children.
Among her admirers are Eileen Ford who said "She was the most beautiful thing you can imagine" and Richard Avedon who has once said "Suzy Parker gave emotion and reality to the history of fashion photography. She invented the form, and no one has surpassed her." He has also said that Suzy was almost too beautiful for his taste as a photographer, as he liked a challenge.
I love her and have ever since I saw this famous pic on the cover of Life magazine. It is one of the most famous pics ever.
Her face looks very modern and yet it is hard to believe how young she was cause she looked older. She is one of the few supermodels whose life had a happy ending. Vanity Fair did an article on her about two years ago.
In "The '60s: A Decade in Vogue," a great coffee table book, there is a color photo of Suzy with her infant daughter from her second marriage, who has the unlikely and lengthy name of Georgia Belle Florian Coco Chanel de la Salle.
Coco Chanel was the child's godmother.
In "Chanel ... and Her World," by Edmonde Charles-Roux there is a picture of Chanel with the stable of mannequins she used consistently, and Suzy, of course, is one of them. She met the designer in 1952.