"‘Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.’ – Lauren Hutton"
About the Model
One of the world’s original supermodels, Christy Turlington has come full circle since appearing on the scene in the late ’80s in Duran Duran’s “Notorious” video. A yogi, student, philanthropist, wife, mother, designer, businesswoman, and model again, Turlington personifies “a model turned.”
Born in Walnut Creek, California, Christy was discovered while horseback riding when she was just 13. Although she signed with a small San Francisco agency and took assignments during school holidays, she didn’t take up modeling full-time until graduating from high school.
Christy’s allure took the industry by storm, and her rise to the top happened fast. While likely most recognizable as the face of Calvin Klein fragrances and Maybelline, Turlington lent her spectacular beauty to campaigns for top houses such as Chanel, Burberry, and Valentino. By 1990, the stunner was known as one-third of the “Trinity” that also included fellow supermodels Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista, so named thanks to photographer Steven Meisel booking them together so often. The trio later appeared in George Michael’s “Freedom” video.
In the ’90s Christy graced the big screen as well. She appeared in “Catwalk,” a documentary covering life on the runway, Robert Altman’s fashion mockumentary Prêt-à-Porter, and Unzipped, a documentary about designer Isaac Mizrahi. As Turlington’s success became larger than life, the green-eyed beauty remained focused and soon discovered she had many other passions. In 1994, she left a full-time modeling career to attend New York University.
At 30, the ever-evolving stunner graduated cum laude with concentrations in religion and philosophy. Although Turlington maintained a connection to the fashion world with select jobs and contract obligations, she shifted toward the pursuit of what she felt was more spiritually fulfilling work. Backed by Puma, Christy developed Nuala, a yoga-inspired line of active apparel. She later launched Sundari, a skin-care collection, and wrote a book called Living Yoga: Creating a Life Practice.
After practicing yoga for nearly a decade, Christy finally gave up smoking in 1995. A year later, her father received a diagnosis of late-stage lung cancer and died six months later. In an industry where smoking was still somewhat in vogue, Turlington became an outspoken advocate and filmed an anti-smoking PSA. She remains committed, and her passion has evolved toward advancing women’s health in general. She recently created Smokingisugly.com, an online resource for those looking to quit their habit.
In June 2003, the woman dubbed the “Face of the 20th Century” by the Metropolitan Museum of Art married actor and director Ed Burns. U2 frontman Bono stood in as father of the bride and gave Christy away, the bride in a silk Galliano gown. The couple live in New York with their children, Grace and Finn, and their dog, MicSpic (named for Turlington’s Spanish and Burns’ Irish heritage).
Christy’s life is an impressive culmination of all her passions. In 2006 she was featured in Vogue’s “Return of the Supermodel,” and that she did. As the face of the Chloé 2006 spring ad campaign, Turlington fulfilled a yearning for fashion’s yesteryear, and returned to Maybelline as the mature but never more beautiful face for Instant Age Rewind Cream Foundation.
As always, Christy takes the weight of her celebrity seriously and continues to use it to improve the world. Most recently, Turlington was named an ambassador for CARE, an organization dedicated to fighting global poverty. As Christy continues to evolve and age with remarkable grace, it’s fair to say she’s a model model.