She was discovered at the age of 16 by a newspaper photographer. He noticed Cindy at work during her summer job of detasseling corn and took a picture of her. The photo and positive feedback she received were enough to convince her to take up modeling. She entered the Elite Model Management’s Look of the Year contest at 17 and was the runner-up. The Elite modeling agency in Chicago then started representing her.
In 1981 she caught the attention of the fashion editor Birte Strandgaard, who convinced photographer Leif Nygaard to do some photos of her. Simonsen subsequently participated in the Ekstra Bladet Contest and won 2nd place.
An aspiring photographer friend took pictures of Porizkova and sent them to the Elite modeling agency in 1980, hoping they would notice her own photography skills. However, instead of taking the photographer on board, Elite head John Casablancas noticed Porizkova’s attractiveness and potential, and offered her a ticket to Paris.
Before Vera Wang became a national symbol for creativity and success, she was a talented and spirited fashion editor for Vogue Magazine. In 1981 she began featuring a new face in her glamorous editorial pages. Today artist Wanakee Pugh credits Ms. Wang for giving her a tremendous start that launched a successful twenty-year modeling career.
The legendary Wilhelmina Cooper, another tall, voluptuous brunette, recognized the potential in Catherine’s classic features and luxurious dark hair and signed her to an exclusive contract.
At age 15 (1978) Nancy DeWeir was discovered by ad exec Vincent Teschetti ( Vice President of BBD&O) while traveling on the Long Island Rail Road with her mother to have dinner in the city with her father, who worked in the Twin Towers.
I was at the airport with my brother, and we missed our connecting flight by five minutes. We were going from Pittsburgh to Charlotte and then catching a flight from Charlotte to Houston. So, we were stuck in Charlotte, just waiting around the terminal for a few hours, and I met my mother agent there.
My sister [Marthe van Stuijvenberg] was a model. I went to her first test shoot, and the photographer was like, “Jump in.” It’s funny because we’re total opposites. I’m sort of narrow, and my sister is like a goddess — all the guys stare at her. There was never a rivalry between us because we’re in such different markets.
There’s this thing in England, in Birmingham, called the Clothes Show. It’s just like little booths with clothes and sales. I went with the arty girls from school and an agent from Select, my mother agency, came up to me. He was this huge, 6-foot, 2-inch guy and he bolted towards me as soon as I came in the door. He kept trying to get me to go with him to the agency right then and there. At first I was pretty weirded out.
Somebody found me on the Internet. There’s this Web site called Max Models in Poland, with models, photographers, stylists, makeup artists, everybody on it, and people are scouted on it. It’s really popular in Poland now because everyone wants to be a model, but three years ago it wasn’t really big. One of my friends put my pictures on it, and then I was contacted by my mother agency. They told me I had a very interesting face.
Milou van Groesen
My mother agency, A Models Amsterdam, found me in a tram station in Amsterdam. I was with a friend, and I saw this couple looking at me. I was like, “Why are they staring?” I was wearing red pants and I thought that was why. But then they came over and were so nice and gave me their card. They turned out to be awesome people, so I was like, “Let’s do it.”
There was a modeling competition in Irkutsk, where I’m from in Russia. I didn’t compete though. When I went and the judges met me they were like, “You don’t need to do this. You can just get signed now.”