Comeback Queen: Linda Evangelista
By Jack Turpen
“We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day” -Linda Evangelista
Linda Evangelista is a legendary supermodel of the 1990s. She is one of the most successful models to date. Her influence on fashion, along with Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, and more, will forever be remembered. During her momentous career, over 700 magazine covers have featured Evangelista. Originally from Ontario, Canada, Evangelista began her modeling journey at a young age. Her career took off after signing with Elite and moving to New York. She was acclaimed for her resemblance to the Italian-American actress, Sophia Loren. By 1990, Linda Evangelista was the face of both Revlon beauty and Versace. Known for her ever changing hair style, Evangelista made a name for herself within the fashion and beauty world.
The supermodels of the 90s will forever be remembered as titans of the industry. While many of those titans have continued working, Linda Evangelista’s life took an unexpected turn for the worse. In September of 2021, Evangelista came out with her story. Evangelista had been disfigured by a CoolSculpting procedure she had received. The procedure, which was meant to reduce the size of fat cells instead increased her fat cells in size in several areas on her face and body. She underwent several sessions of CoolSculpting between August 2015 to February 2016. Feeling pressured by the media she consumed, Evangelista admitted in an interview with British Vogue, that because she was ”a little vain” she ”drank the magic potion” not knowing it would be this ’magic potion’ that almost ended her career.
Evangelista was the cover of People Magazine in February 2022 in which she detailed her cosmetic surgery nightmare. The article, titled “Linda Evangelista Shares First Photos of Her Body Since Fat-Freezing Nightmare: 'I'm Done Hiding’” by Jason Sheeler, details her life in hiding. Evangelista expressed her worries saying “Versace won’t wanna dress me with that (swelled fat under her arms) sticking out”. In sharing her story, Evangelista was extremely open in her emotions, often finding herself to be choked up throughout the press. In sharing her story, she hopes it will speak to those who are going through a similar situation. After being in hiding for almost five years and undergoing several corrective surgeries, Evangelista is coming back, making her dramatic return to the industry.
After divulging into her story, Evangelista received love and praise for her vulnerability and honesty. One of the first people to send her a letter was Kim Jones, Fendi’s artistic director of women’s collections. Promptly following this exchange, Evangelista was the face of the latest Fendi Campaign in July. She is seen adorned in several stacked Fendi hats, holding a silver, sequined, baguette bagThis baguette bag and the comeback of Evangelista made for an iconic announcement of the return of their signature baguette bag for the company's 25th anniversary. Fendi presented their Resort 2023 collection in honor of the bag, in collaboration with Marc Jacobs, for which Evangelista was featured. Evangelista closed the show, as she was honored with a standing ovation. She was shown in a Tiffany blue, floor-length coat, silver gloves, and a matching silver baguette.
Following her Fendi feature, Evangelista landed the September issue of British Vogue. Evangelista is pictured on the cover wearing a red bucket hat, a matching red head scarf, and a metallic red jacket by Dolce and Gabbana.
Shot by Steven Meisel, and styled by Edward Enninful, Evangelista did a shoot with Vogue featuring several iterations on this new-found style. This floral set, by Richard Quinn, also featured a matching head wrap and hat.
The makeup artist, Pat McGrath, used tape and elastics to gently draw her jaw and neck back, to tighten the appearance. Evangalista prefaced during her interview with Vogue that this is not what her real jaw line looks like. She stated “for photos I always think we’re here to create fantasies. We’re creating dreams. I think it’s allowed. Also, all my insecurities are taken care of in these pictures, so I got to do what I love to do”.
In this next photo, Evangelista is seen in a tweed Chanel jacket, adorned in Chanel brooches, accompanied by a quilted Chanel bag. She is wearing a matching black head wrap, a velvet hat by Stephen Jones Millinery, and leather gloves by Paula Rowan.
With such a presence in the fashion world, it was only time before Evangelista made her comeback. Despite her setbacks, Linda Evangelista continues to be a legend of the industry. Forever grateful for her time, the world is happy to see her making a comeback in modeling.