Flashback Friday! ‘The Supers’ Cover ‘Vogue,’ Dishing on Modeling, Motherhood and #MeToo

Naomi Campbell couldn’t quite believe she was reuniting with her fellow ‘Supers’ Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista to shoot the cover of Vogue’s iconic September issue

“My reaction was, is this really happening?” Campbell, 53, told the publication in a behind-the-scenes video of the shoot. “Just to get us all together shooting with Edward [Enninful] and Anna [Wintour], it was a joy,” she added.

“One of my favorite things about the fashion industry is these friendships from people all over the world,” noted Crawford, 57. “The hair, the makeup, Edward, it really is like your second family.”

The four modeling legends defined the fashion industry in the ‘90s and became known as ‘The Supers’ around the world. 

“I’m blessed that I came up at that time, I wouldn’t have wanted to come up at another time,” continued Campbell, adding in the Vogue cover interview, “There was a sisterhood there, defined by caring and loyalty: When one is down you pick the other one up.” 

Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford.

Rafael Pavarotti/Vogue 

“There is something about our early years that really felt very joyful and really celebratory,” noted Turlington, 54. “Even though life was certainly not perfect, when you look back there is a sense of fun.”

“It can feel lonely up on that runway so to pass someone is always reassuring, you don’t feel so alone,” added Evangelista, 58, who also recalled the overwhelming response to the foursome starring in George Michael’s music video for his single “Freedom! ’90”. “It was insane. We are not the Beatles,” she said. 

Meanwhile, Campbell also looked back on her most memorable issues of Vogue and opened up about how she has seen the industry change for the better.

Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford.

Rafael Pavarotti/Vogue 

“I had no idea at the time when I shot that French Vogue that I was the first woman of color to ever be on it,” revealed Campbell. “And British Vogue, that was also a very important moment for me being British and being the first Black British model on the cover. The most important changes for me that I’ve seen and that I’ve advocated for is being diverse and inclusive and finally we’re at a place where I can say things are moving in a great direction.”

The four stars also hope that gracing the cover of the magazine in their 50s proves that “age is just a number,” Campbell added.

“The world puts a lot of pressure on women as they age, we can still have fun, we can still be beautiful, we can still be visible,” said Crawford, who at one point in the interview also joked that she’s more known now as “Kaia’s mum” — referencing her model daughter Kaia Gerber, 21.

Vogue’s September issue cover.

Rafael Pavarotti/Vogue 

“I hope this cover speaks to everyone, to all the people who’ve been supportive of us from the ’90s to all the people that have followed us,” continued Campbell. “To all the women out there to show that age is a number and it doesn’t mean anything. Today you are who you are as an individual.”

Evangelista also opened up about her thoughts on getting older. “I don’t mind and I never did mind aging,” she said in the cover interview. “Aging gets us to where we want to be, and that’s for me a long life. [Late makeup artist] Kevyn Aucoin was so afraid of wrinkles and he never got them. I want wrinkles — but I Botox my forehead so I am a hypocrite — but I want to grow old. I want to watch my son [Augie] grow into a fine young man. I just want to stick around.”

Last year the mother of one spoke with PEOPLE following nearly five years in seclusion. Evangelista claimed the procedure CoolSculpting, promoted as a noninvasive alternative to liposuction, left her “permanently deformed” and “brutally disfigured” and she was “in hiding” and feeling “shame.”

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“I couldn’t live with it anymore,” Evangelista told Vogue of the aftermath of the procedure. “I wanted to go outside.”

Along with Campbell, Crawford and Turlington, Evangelista is part of an upcoming Apple TV+ documentary series called The Super Models. The four-part series, produced by its four stars, revisits the supermodels’ iconic careers, the world of elite modeling and their lives beyond the catwalk. 

The fashion industry was not immune to the #MeToo movement, but for Turlington and Crawford, mistreatment was something they thankfully didn’t experience while modeling. 

“It’s just luck and grace, honestly,” said Turlington. “I felt like my career took off pretty quickly, so maybe there were more eyes on me and they couldn’t get away with stuff. But I don’t even think it was that: Predatory people are predatory people.” 

For Crawford, she thinks coming into the industry at the “older” age of 20 and declining invites to glitzy parties played a part. 

“You’d get invited to a party on someone’s yacht and I’d think, ‘What do you even wear on a yacht? What fork do you use?’ ” she told Vogue. “So I would just not go and, yes, I probably missed out on some fabulous opportunities but probably avoided some less than fabulous opportunities as well.”

Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington modeling for Versace in Milan in 1991.

Paul Massey/Shutterstock

Meanwhile, Campbell said her closeness with courtier and shoe designer Azzedine Alaïa was important to her experience. “That man protected me from so much,” she said of Alaïa, whom she lived with in Paris from age 16, and who was a father figure to her until his death in 2017.

Campbell revealed that the one time someone did cross a line with her, she told Alaïa, he made a call and it never happened again. “I come from a strong line of Black women, Jamaican women. If something felt wrong, I told it. I spoke up,” she added. 

The star, who recently became a mom of two, also reflected on being photographed by a British tabloid leaving an NA group meeting in London in 2001. 

“I was made to feel ashamed of my recovery,” said Campbell, who at the time hadn’t opened up about her recovery and drug addiction. “It wasn’t that I was in hiding, but this is something you talk about when you are ready.”

“I am very much a believer in recovery,” she added to Vogue. “Recovery saved me.”

Vogue’s U.S. September 2023 issue is available on newsstands nationwide on Aug. 22. The Super Models debuts on Apple TV+ on Sept. 20.

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