This Michigan girl became the idyllic embodiement of the California supermodel when she launched her modelling career in the 1970s: Christie Brinkley.
Born Christie Lee Hudson in Michigan, as a kid her parents divorced and her Mum remarried David Brinkley and they moved to Los Angeles.
Moving to Paris at age 18 to study art, Brinkley was discovered by photographer Errol Sawyer while at the post office.
Signing with John Casablancas Elite Modelling, Brinkley’s look as a California surfer was genuine but rare in the world of modelling in the early 1970s. Introduced to photographers Patrick Demarchelier and Mike Reinhardt, Brinkley was soon introduced to Eileen Ford and signed three national advertising campaign contracts.
Featured numerous times on the cover of Glamour Magazine, Brinkley was the first model to sign a lengthy contract with a beauty brand – a 25 year contract with CoverGirl.
As well, she became the first model to be on three consecutive Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues, the first issue in 1979.
A successful catwalker since the 1970s, Brinkley became notorious in consequent decades for her acting, marriage to musician Billy Joel and her continuing editorial work, appearing on covers of over 500 magazines so far in her career.
As one of the most successful models of the 20th century, she’s reputedly worth US$80 million in the 21st century.