7. 1976: Iman
Born Zara Mohammed Abdulmajid, Iman is an American-Somalian model discovered by famous photographer, Peter Beard who convinced her to move to America. This move turned out to be very profitable as she landed her first modeling job a year later in 1976 when she covered Vogue.
Though she was a very humble woman who insisted there is nothing special about her looks as she looked like a typical Somalian, the fashion world was in love with her and during her prime, she was the favorite of prominent designers such as Versace, Calvin Klein, Donna Karen, etc. Yves Saint-Lauren described her as his dream woman.
8. 1977: Janice Dickinson
Janice Dickinson came at a time when the industry was dominated by blue-eyed blondes. She was rejected by several modeling agencies and had to move to Paris where she quickly achieved prominence for her looks.
She later returned to New York and was signed by Ford Models which was one of the agencies that rejected her at first. She appeared on Vogue international editions 37 times while also covering other magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Playboy, Marie Clarie, etc. She is also a fashion photographer and an entrepreneur with her own jewelry line.
9. 1978: Cheryl Tiegs
Cheryl started her modeling career in high school and rose to fame with a swimsuit in which she appeared as a Seventeen year old. This ad attracted interest from reputable fashion magazines such as Glamour who immediately had a photoshoot with her and made her a cover model.
Her profile increased over time as she went on to cover magazines such as Elle, Seventeen, Harper's Bazaar, etc. She was the first model to appear twice on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. She is also an entrepreneur with her own fashion line and a philanthropist.
10. 1979: Gia Carangi
Carangi's rise to fame was nothing short of astronomic. She arrived in New York in 1978 at the age of 17 and by 1979, she was already a household name in the modeling industry and one of the best paid.
Her fast rise to fame was however followed by a sharp decline due to her drug addiction and lifestyle which resulted in her death from AIDS-related complications at 26. Within the short period, she covered magazines such as Vogue and Cosmopolitan and appeared in ads for top fashion houses such as Versace, Armani, Dior, and Yves Saint-Lauren.
11. 1980: Brooke Shields
Brooke Shields started as a child actor who became famous for the role of a child prostitute in the 1978 movie, Pretty Baby. In 1980, she featured in an audacious Calvin Klein advertisement where she said “You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing.” At a time, she was the youngest model to cover Vogue.
Shields was also a talented actress who starred in several movies and TV series. In 1983, she took a break to attend Princeton University where she graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Romance Languages.
12. 1981: Christie Brinkley
Cheryl Tiegs might have been the first to appear on two covers of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issues, but Christie did better. She appeared on the cover in an unprecedented three consecutive times and for 25 years was the face of Cover Girl.
Just like Cheryl, she was a California girl with natural beauty who didn't really consider modeling as a career before she was discovered in 1973. Apart from modeling, she also featured in movies, TV shows, and music videos.