Last Monday, Dorian Leigh died at the age of 91. She was one of the first - for someone the very first - world's supermodel.
She was born in San Antonio in 1917 and after majoring in English and calculus studies at the NYU, she got a job for the Navy (doing mechanical drafting!) and then for the Eastern Aircraft Corporation (where she designed airplane wings!). She also was an apprentice copywriter for a while.
"There are many stories of how she fell into modeling, but all begin with her finding her way to the Harry Conover Agency. Mr. Conover advised her to go immediately to Harper’s Bazaar and tell the editor, Diana Vreeland, that she was 19. (She was 27.)
The first thing Ms. Vreeland said was never to touch her exquisite zigzag eyebrows. Dahl-Wolfe photographed her the next morning wearing a little black tulle hat trimmed with a pink rose. Ms. Leigh was on the cover of the June 1944 Harper’s Bazaar. Soon she was making $1 a minute, which she said astounded her."
Then she signed with Eileen and Jerry Ford's young agency (the now Ford Models) and became covergirl for Vogue (seven covers only in 1946), Harper Bazaar and all the most famous fashion magazines. After the legendary Revlon "Fire and Ice" ad campaign, she became the favorite model of Richard Avedon in late 40s - early 50s.
Her love and social life is also legendary. She married five times and have tons of romances (real or not: who knows?) with famous writers, photographers, journalists and musicians. She was Truman Capote's friend and she's even considered as a possible inspiration for the Holly Golightly character.
Her youngest sister, Suzy Parker, was also a famous model and actress (Dorian introduced her to Eileen Ford when Suzy was only 14 years old and she soon became the signature face of Coco Chanel...).
If you're wondering were a model goes after ending her working career...
"After modeling, Ms. Leigh opened what is usually called the first modeling agency in Paris, ran gourmet restaurants in France and had successful catering operations in the United States, among other endeavors. She wrote several books about food, including one about pancakes and another featuring fritters."
(again from here)
An interesting life, non...?