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Edited by on October 22 2011 at 1:51 PM

When you think of “supermodel,” you can’t help but think of The Big 3. Or The Super Six. Or my favorite grouping, The Legion of Doom. Spawned from the decadence of the 80s, these gals became more than supermodels — they became divas. From Linda Evangelista refusing to wake up for less than $10,000 a day to the phone-throwing, blood diamond-wearing, catwalking behemoth known as Naomi Campbell, there have never and will never be supermodels the likes of these ladies. Yet their dominance over the zeitgeist was short-lived as they were replaced in the mid-90s by a series of bland waifs whose personalities would not detract from the clothes, i.e. they got knocked from their high horse. But you can’t keep a good super down and they are as in demand today as they were 25 years ago. 

Christie Brinkley (Feb. 2, 1954) Billy Joel‘s Uptown Girl was the reigning supermodel of the early 80s thanks to her three consecutive Sports Illustrated covers (1979-1981). After signing a record 20-year contract with Cover Girl, Brinkley came to embody the perpetually perky All-American girl of the decade. Recently, though, she went through a very public and very messy divorce and proved in a 2006 editorial in W magazine there was some grit beneath all that goddamn cheer.

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Story by Lester Brathwaite

I was center square from 1969 to 1978, during which I perfected the art of the zing as well as a crippling cocaine addiction. Bea Arthur was responsible for both. @LesFabian lester dot brathwaite at gmail

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