Linda Evangelista Biography

Model (1965–)
Linda Evangelista is a Canadian-born model who was one of the leading faces of the supermodel era of the 1990s.


Born in Canada in 1965, supermodel Linda Evangelista began her career in her teens, working for a local department store. After getting noticed at a small modeling contest, Evangelista began doing international work. By the mid-1990s, she was one of the most sought-after faces in the modeling world.

Early Life

Supermodel. Raised in a traditional Catholic family, Linda Evangelista was born May 10, 1965, in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, a small town near Niagara Falls. She began modeling in her early teens after landing some catalog work for a local department store.

When Evangelista was 16, a talent scout from the Elite New York Agency spotted the young model at the Miss Teen Niagara Contest. Modest work soon came her way, including a few international opportunities.

But Evangelista's modeling career nearly came to a screeching halt after she was asked to pose nude at a shoot in Japan. She refused, and then called the Canadian embassy to fly her home, ready to give up modeling work for good.

It was only after graduating from high school and listening to the advice of her mother that Evangelista decided to give modeling another try.

Commercial Success

In 1984, Evangelista moved to New York in hopes of ramping up her career. She bumped along for the next several years doing what she later described as fairly "mediocre" work.

Then, in the fall of 1988, accepting the advice of photographer Peter Lindbergh, Evangelista famously cut her long, light brown hair into a shorter bob. This new look shocked the fashion world, and organizers canceled 16 out of 20 shows she was scheduled to do.

But then, something funny happened. Everyone started talking about her new look, and with that notoriety came work. Soon, as Evangelista later recalled, she had "every Vogue cover around the world…and then people came around and decided they liked the short hair."

As one of the world's most recognized faces, Evangelista wasn't immune from becoming a bit of a diva. In 1990 she uttered a line that went down in the annals of fashion history when she said that models like herself don't get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day.

The comment certainly earned plenty of groans, but it did little to diminish her stature in the modeling world. In 1997, Evangelista received a special lifetime achievement award at the 1997 VH1 Fashion and Music Awards. In addition, MTV ranked Evangelista second in its list of top models of the 1990s.

After briefly retiring from the catwalk in 1998, Evangelista returned to modeling in 2001. She's continued to work well into her forties. In 2012 she appeared on the cover of the Italian edition of Vogue.

Personal Life

In 1987, Evangelista married Elite model agency boss Gerald Marie. The couple divorced in 1993.

Over the years, Evangelista has been linked romantically to a number of high-profile men, including French soccer player Fabien Barthez, Sex and the City cast member Kyle MacLachlan, and French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault.

Pinault whom she dated for several months beginning in 2005, is the father of her only child, a son named Augustin James Evangelista, who was born October 11, 2006.

Her relationship with Pinault, who is now the husband of actress Salma Hayek, took an ugly turn in 2012 when Evangelista sued for child support. After several days of courtroom drama, the former couple reached an undisclosed settlement.

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