Christy, Cindy, Linda, Naomi—the greatest of all time, the original supermodels. There were models christened “super” before them (Jean Shrimpton, Twiggy, Donyale Luna) and some after (Gisele Bündchen, Natasha Poly, Bella Hadid). There were even some who got the superlative treatment during Christy et al’s peak: Kristen McMenamy, Carla Bruni, Helena Christensen, and Nadja Auermann, among them. But there will never be anyone like the OGs. Together with the late Tatjana Patitz, they were known as the Big Five, a name given to the group featured on British Vogue’s era-defining January 1990 cover photographed by Peter Lindbergh.

Each of them had gradually come to prominence in the mid-to-late ’80s, but the ’90s were their prime, and no one could resist their charms. Not Gianni Versace, who brought them together on his fall 1991 runway to lip sync “Freedom! ’90” after their appearance in George Michael’s sensational music video. And not Miuccia Prada or Rei Kawakubo either, both of whom hired them throughout the decade. And certainly not Vogue: The four models have graced the magazine’s covers across all editions over 200 times. How could anyone resist? Their magnetic allure came not just from their looks but from their unique sensibilities: Cindy was the bombshell, Christy the all-American beauty, Naomi the runway maven, and Linda the ultimate chameleon.

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