Canadian-born Linda Evangelista’s odyssey in the fashion industry is emblematic of resilience and transcendence. Born to Tomaso and Marisa Evangelista on May 10, 1965, Linda grew up in a household where she was the middle child, flanked by her older brother Jim and her younger sibling, Danny. Her first steps in the modeling world were hesitant, marred by an unpleasant experience during a stint in Japan. Taking a two-year hiatus, Evangelista almost bid adieu to the industry before a change of heart prompted her to continue.
The Elite Years and Fashion Partnerships
A critical move to New York and subsequent collaboration with Elite Model Management in 1984 helped catapult Evangelista to the upper echelons of fashion. It wasn’t long before she graced her first major magazine cover with L’Officiel, setting a precedent for over 700 more to follow, including but not limited to Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle.
Linda was recognized by fashion luminaries Karl Lagerfeld and Gianni Versace for her talent and devotion in modeling Chanel and Versace collections as well as iconic brands including Valentino Dolce & Gabbana and Yves Saint Laurent fashion houses – earning them worldwide admiration in return. Her success became known within fashion circles worldwide. Lagerfeld famously lauded Evangelista’s professionalism, remarking, “There is not another model in the world as professional as she is.”
Pop Culture Moments and Marital Life
Evangelista’s influence extended beyond the runway and into the pop culture zeitgeist. Her appearance in George Michael’s “Freedom” music video and her stint as the face of Revlon were watershed moments in her career. On the personal front, Evangelista’s marriage to Gérald Marie, a former French modelling agency boss, drew headlines for its complexity, especially given her recent allegations of abuse against Marie in the upcoming Apple TV documentary, “The Super Models.”
Motherhood and Relationships
Evangelista’s life took another pivotal turn when she became a mother. Her son, Augustin James Evangelista, was born from her relationship with French businessman François-Henri Pinault, who later married actress Salma Hayek.
The Unfortunate Setback
In 2021, a venture into cosmetic treatments resulted in a calamitous outcome for Evangelista. A cryolipolysis procedure, more commonly known as CoolSculpting, led to paradoxical adipose hyperplasia (PAH)—a rare but devastating side effect that caused her fatty tissues to expand rather than reduce. A $50 million lawsuit for damages ensued, marking a pause in her career and leading her to retreat from the public eye.
However, 2022 marked Evangelista’s grand reentry into the industry. Making headlines once more, she graced the cover of Vogue’s September issue, photographed by her longtime collaborator Steven Meisel. This comeback not only signifies her unwavering spirit but also cements her status as an enduring fashion icon.
Even after enduring a series of highs and lows, Evangelista’s net worth remains an estimated $40 million, showcasing her lasting impact on the industry.
Linda Evangelista’s journey exemplifies the ups and downs inherent in the volatile world of fashion. But it’s her resilience, professionalism, and undeniable talent that make her not just a supermodel, but a supernova, ever brilliant even when faced with setbacks. As Evangelista embarks on new chapters with her involvement in the Apple TV documentary, her legacy and influence are far from fading; rather, they’re evolving into a tale of triumph over adversity.