Christy Turlington was born on January
2nd, 1969, in San Francisco, California. As a young girl she busied
herself with her passion for horses. Encouraged by her sport-minded
father, she entered local competitions. She trained after school
each day in Coral Gables, where she grew up with her two sisters.
Photographer Dennie Cody spotted her horseback
riding near her Miami home when she was 13. Although reluctant
at first, her parents finally gave their consent, and the young
girl with splendid green eyes was hired by a local agency. There,
she had her first photo shoots during nights, weekends, and after
classes. Her first job was a series of ads for a store chain,
Emporium Capwell, for a hundred dollars per hour.
As the months passed, the bookings began to pour
in. Within no time, there wasn't a soul in the Miami fashion world
that wasn't familiar with this young woman's face, and fashion
agencies wouldn't hear about any other model. Soon, news of this
budding new talent reached New York, where modeling's highest
priestess, Eileen Ford, offered her a contract in Paris.
Her first shots were, for the most part, failures,
and she was quickly dismissed. She immediately returned to the
United States. It was at this time that such names as Linda Evangelista,
Stephanie Seymour, and Cindy Crawford started to gain notice.
It was also at this time that brunettes were finally in after
a decade of blonde supremacy. Christy's time would soon come.
Eillen Ford, reluctant to give up on Christy's opportunity for
stardom, sent her to New York's most prominent magazines and photographers.
Christy Turlington was only 16 at the time.
Working with photographer Arthur Elgort, she
eventually gained coverage on American Vogue, who had requested
her for a series of photos. Christy Turlington would wait two
more years, first completing her high school education, before
pursuing a career as a professional model. In 1987, her career
took off when Italian Vogue chose her for its cover. The most
sought after photographers began to pour in: Herb Ritts, Patrick
Demarchelier, Irving Penn, Bruce Weber, Peter Lindbergh, and Steven
Meisel all came rushing to Christy Turlington.
Designers such as Versace, Chanel, Christian
Lacroix, and Azzedine Alaia requested that she be in their shows.
By this time, she had pretty much secured her supermodel status;
she had really made it. In 1989, Christy signed an exclusive contract
with Calvin Klein to represent their perfume Eternity. Then Maybelline
beauty products acquired Christy's services to be the star model
for their campaigns.
Christy still understands the value of money.
"I don't handle money as if it grew on trees." In fact,
the proceeds from her calendar sales go directly to the American
Foundation for El Salvador, an association that provides aid to
the poor, in the small Central American country that was her mother's
homeland. She is also the benefactor to a number of other organizations,
including causes for cancer and animal rights.
Internationally admired, Christy Turlington is
one of the greatest classic beauties to ever enter the modeling
industry. In fact, her beauty was immortalized when the Metropolitan
Museum of Art commissioned 120 castings of her face to replace
the heads of their mannequins. As an equally busy businesswoman,
she is one of three partners involved in the development of the
Fashion Café in New York. In whatever endeavor the world
should ever find Christy Turlington, one thing is certain; she
will never cease to amaze, both on and off the runway.