Top 10 Supermodels of the 1980s

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Playboy: These are some of the biggest and most popular magazines in the world but without the beautiful women gracing their covers and filling their pages, they wouldn't be what they are today. The supermodels of the 1980s stole our hearts by being staples in these publications, as well as for being the faces behind our favorite brands, such as CoverGirl, Guess?, Calvin Klein and Victoria's Secret. They were beautiful and they knew it too. In this WatchMojo.com video, we count down our picks for the top 10 supermodels of the 1980s.
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The pages of our favorite magazines wouldn’t be the same without these women. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 supermodels of the 1980s.

#10 – Frederique van der Wal


Before her bedroom eyes and fabulous bod made her famous as a Victoria’s Secret model, this Dutch knockout was a western Misfit for Guess? and one of Revlon’s Most Unforgettable Women in the World. Frederique covered Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar during the '80s and later used her success as a springboard for various projects.

#9 – Rachel Hunter


While she gained exposure through her 1990 marriage to Rod Stewart, Hunter had already been modeling for several years, including an appearance in Sports Illustrated’s February 1989 Swimsuit Issue. As her global recognition grew, the blond-haired, blue-eyed stunner was on her way to becoming a CoverGirl spokesperson and runway model in the years to come.

#8 – Kathy Ireland


The '80s marked the beginning of Kathy Ireland’s 13-year run as a featured model in Sports Illustrated. Most notable was the auburn beauty’s 1989 cover for its 25th anniversary, which remains the magazine’s best-selling issue. While she also appeared on many other covers and helped sell numerous products, Ireland branched out into acting and later became one of the world’s most successful models-turned-businesswomen.

#7 – Carol Alt


With baby blues and legs that go for miles, it’s little wonder Carol Alt was called the most beautiful woman in the world. Including her mainstream breakthrough on the front of 1982’s Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue, she graced hundreds of magazine covers during that decade alone. Add numerous ad campaigns, posters and calendars and it was easy to see why Life Magazine named Alt "The Next Million Dollar Face."

#6 – Brooke Shields


Brooke Shields' modeling career began before her first birthday, and in 1980 she made history as Vogue’s youngest cover star. The teen then slipped into a pair of Calvin Klein jeans for sexually suggestive ads that helped the designer become a household name. Her pretty features and memorable eyebrows made her the Face of the '80s, while risqué acting roles cemented her presence in the limelight.

#5 – Janice Dickinson


She declared herself the first supermodel. While that's arguable, Dickinson's success in the profession cannot be denied: ad campaigns and gigs with high-profile designers quickly earned her more money than many others. Dickinson even went on to cover Vogue over 30 times. These days, her claims of bedding numerous celebs and her time as a judge on “America’s Next Top Model” have kept her in the spotlight.

#4 – Elle Macpherson


With an incredibly lean and athletic 6-foot-tall frame, Macpherson didn’t get the nickname The Body for nothing. Following her 1986 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover, she set the record for cover appearances on the magazine over the next two decades. In no time, Macpherson went from an Australian girl next door to The Big Elle, and crossed over into acting and business.

#3 – Iman


Somalia-born Iman's tall, slim figure, long neck and smooth brown skin first caught the eye of an American photographer. It wasn't long before she became Vogue’s first African cover girl and strutted her stuff on the catwalk for celebrated designers like Yves Saint Laurent. After breaking barriers in the fashion industry with her exotic looks, Iman became involved with film, charity and cosmetics and famously married David Bowie.

#2 – Paulina Porizkova


Her central European features and 5'11” figure earned her the honor of being the first Czech native, as well as the youngest woman, to appear on the front of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue when she was pictured in 1984. She quickly landed on Playboy, but solidified her status as THE model of the 1980s by bagging the most lucrative modeling contract to that point: a $6 million payday with Estee Lauder. The decade also saw her marry The Cars' frontman Ric Ocasek and begin her acting career.

#1 – Christie Brinkley


With her blond hair, blue eyes, winning smile and slender build, Christie Brinkley embodied the all-American female ideal. It wasn’t long before she nabbed a CoverGirl partnership that lasted for two decades and became the first model to cover Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue for three straight years. While this led to successful calendars and numerous contracts, Brinkley’s pop culture status was reinforced after her high-profile marriage to Billy Joel and her role in the hit, “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”

Do you agree or disagree with our list? Be sure to visit WatchMojo.com for more great top 10s.
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