Modeling is one of the biggest industries in the entire world. And for good reason. Almost everywhere you look, you will see a magazine, billboard, website, pop-up ad, or commercial with a model posing with or for a product to help sell that item. It’s a billion-dollar business brimming with famous names and burgeoning stars. Of course, not every single model will become a household name; there are just so many of them. However, four of the most iconic and influential models are undoubtedly Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington, and they happen to be the focus of Apple TV+’s latest limited series.
A four-part docuseries, The Super Models is an inspiring, compelling, and entertaining journey through the lives of the iconic model quartet. The show obviously speaks to audiences who are fans of fashion, however, it also offers more than enough to keep viewers who aren’t particularly well-versed in the industry, fully engaged the whole way through.
The series not only delves into the rise of the four supermodels and various fashion photographers, but it also offers audiences a nostalgic trip back to the ’80s and ’90s throughout its clips, images, fashion, and music. This does take up a chunk of the show, and at times takes away from the inspirational rise of the model quartet, however, these moments do segue well into the four models’ journeys.
Could this four-part series have instead released as a movie? Perhaps. But if you don’t mind sitting through four hour-long documentary episodes, and fancy learning something new, or even just spending time watching the lives of Cindy Crawford, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista, and Naomi Campbell, as well as the progression of fashion and modeling, then Apple TV+’s latest documentary series is for you.
The Inspiring Rise of These Iconic Supermodels
Directed by Academy Award-winning documentarian Roger Ross Williams (the first African-American director to win an Oscar, for his short Music for Prudence) and Larissa Bills, The Super Models takes audiences on a journey through the lives of Evangelista, Campbell, Crawford, and Turlington and their inspiring careers. The modeling quartet discuss their lives before the industry, diving into their family lives and what they were like as children, all before hurling audiences into their successful careers.
They are all inspiring and incredibly powerful role models, and of course supermodels. These four have tackled racism and sexual harassment, but no matter what, they always stood up for themselves, and that was back in the ’80s, which was an even more chauvinistic time compared to today’s industry standards. Their careers have spanned decades, with the quartet working with icons like Stephen Meissel, Valentino, and Vivienne Westwood, as well as for magazines like Vogue and brands like Versace. The quartet helped shift the landscape for the model industry forever.
This is all without mentioning walking the runway at some of the biggest fashion shows in the world, with A-list attendees like Mariah Carey, Elton John, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Madonna.
A Compelling Docuseries Despite the Niche Subject
As inspiring and intriguing as a deep dive into the life of a celebrity can be, a documentary has to keep its audiences hooked and entertained. Thankfully, The Super Models does a great job at this. It’s fast-paced, full of exciting interviews with some of the industry’s biggest names. The first two episodes fluffily fly by; they’re a comfortably easy watch, without a lot of hard-hitting or melodramatic moments.
Sadly, the lives of these models weren’t as fluffy and easy as all that. The Super Models delves into some darker territory and impactful moments roughly half-way through the show. It’s harrowing to learn about Linda Evangelina’s horrific abuse from the hands of her ex-husband, Gérald Marie, who we later find out raped and sexually assaulted other models in the industry. On top of that, the show does delve into the manipulative standards of beauty, and the invasive and compromising photos the paparazzi will take of the models, such as taking phot.
Likewise, Naomi Campbell was disgracefully labeled as abusive, outspoken, and difficult to work with, all because she didn’t want to undertake a terrible offer from a former modeling agent. The series explores these topics with such delicacy, that the drastic shift in tone during the latter half of the third episode doesn’t feel jarring at all.
A Nostalgic Trip Back to the ’80s and ’90s
Every clip, every needle drop, and every image will take audiences all the way back to the nostalgic decades of yesteryear. Apple TV+’s The Super Models goes through every culturally impactful moment in fashion, which will transport audiences through various media shifts like the creation of hip-hop, as well as the moment that ‘voguing’ became so popular, especially for the gay and drag communities.
Big Name Interviewee’s
Perhaps one of the most important aspect of any documentary are the interviews. Fashion fans will be delighted to know that The Super Models features some of the most revered names in the industry, from designers like Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano to magazine editors from Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue. Their personal anecdotes and memories paint a glowing portrait of the models themselves.
Of course, it’s the interviews with the four main subjects that makes the series function. Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelina, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington are all very engaging and revealing, immersing the audience into the personal and cultural side of a massive institution.
The Super Models releases September 20th on Apple TV +