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Twiggy was the world's first supermodel: a skinny kid with the face of an angel who became an icon. 'She'll last a couple of weeks', a bystander quipped in 1967 when she took New York by storm. Thirty five years on and Twiggy is still a force to be reckoned with in the fashion world.

In early 1966, Lesley Hornby found herself propelled to the heights of international fame as the world's first supermodel - Twiggy. 

With her waif like figure, boyish hair cut and striking eye lashes she created an image that would epitomise an era. Twiggy became the idol for millions of teenage girls of the sixties revolution

By the age of 17, Twiggy was one of the most famous faces on the planet: her photograph was even encased in a time capsule and sent into space. By this time in the sixties, Twiggy had already become a household name across the globe, an icon whose image graced the covers of Vogue, Tatler and even her own American publication Her Mod, Mod Teen World.

During her years as a model, Twiggy posed for some of the top photographers, including Barry Lategan, Melvin Sokolsky, Richard Avedon and Bert Stern who would make three films about her extraordinary trip to the United States in 1967.

Although Twiggy officially retired from modelling in 1970 when  she was cast in 'The Boy Friend' she has been involved in  various modelling assignments, highlights include posing with  David Bowie to create the classic shot that became the cover    of  his Pin Ups album. Since 2005, Twiggy has acted as the face of Marks And Spencer in their successful advertising campaigns.  

 

 
 

 

!
- The Daily Express, February 23rd 1966

Back in 1966, Lesley Hornby was about to change her name and experience her first taste of fame which all began on a January afternoon and a trip to Leonard's hair salon in Mayfair....

"I was in the salon for about seven hours and they were cutting and colouring it, it was all extremely exciting for me. He was brilliant, I went from this mouse like brown to the colour which I have kept now."

Following the hair cut, Twiggy tells of the photo shoot that was to follow.

"Well after the hair cut I got on the bus to Barry's (Lategan) and met this really sweet lovely man who was to take my photos, I mean I'd never been in front of a camera before!"

Barry Lategan, describes the first photo shoot which were to produce the shots for the Face Of '66

"She appeared with this short hair cut which was an extraordinary transformation in her because her face came out more prominently and she's got a beautifully modelled face, totally well proportioned and there was something very new to me because she had painted her own eyelashes below her eyes and this was something no one had been doing or had done, she sat in front of the camera and it was dazzling..."

Barry Lategan, talks of the photos taken at the session  

"There are so many adjectives to describe what 'photogenic' actually is, but my photos of Twiggy show the result of that."

"I spent the afternoon photographing her, we photographed her side on, Leonard changed her hair into a curl, he put a plait down the side of her, we smoothed her hair away we just tried different ways to show this hair cut. A few days later I made prints and as usual Leonard displayed them in his salon." 

Twiggy speaks about what happened after her photos were displayed in Leonard's salon...

"Leonard hung them up in his salon and Deidre McSharry of the Daily Express saw them and said "Who is this girl?" Anyway she phoned us up and we went along to her office and she wrote this big article on me which appeared in the Daily Express declaring me the new 'Face Of '66' and it all happened from there really!"


THE MODELLING YEARS
1966 - 1970 

1966

  • Twiggy is named the Face Of '66 by the Daily Express

  • Twiggy's slim figure and short, boyish hair represented youthfulness and the new-found Sixties freedom

  • Twiggy records her first single 'Beautiful Dreams' for Ember records, released in the UK and then distributed throughout the world. 

  • Twiggy releases her first line of clothing called Twiggy Dresses. The range was aimed at the teenage market.

1967

  • Twiggy makes the promotional trip to New York. Whilst in the US, Bert Stern makes three documentaries about her visit 'Twiggy In New York', 'Twiggy In Hollywood' and 'Twiggy, Why?' for the ABC network. Legendary songwriters Leiber & Stoller even penned the theme song for the documentaries 'I'll Remember You - Twiggy'.

  • Twiggy graces the covers of various American magazines, Vogue, Newsweek, Harpers Bazaar etc.

  • Twiggy's own magazine is published in the US under the title Twiggy: Her Mod Mod Teen World.

  • Mattel release the original Twiggy Barbie doll

  • In the UK, the Independent television network Granada, film their own documentary, titled 'Twiggy'. The documentary showed Twiggy at home with her family and modelling for Vogue.

1968

  • Twiggy makes a promotional visit to Japan where her single Beautiful Dreams reaches the top spot. She is featured in a fashion show at the Budokwai Stadium and films commercials for Toyota cars and Choco Flakes.

  • Twiggy poses as screen icons Marilyn Monroe, Ginger Rogers, Greta Garbo, Theda Bara and Rita Hayworth for Queen magazine.

  • Twiggy Dresses are launched in Germany, involving a promotional visit to Munich.

1969

  • Twiggy films a commercial for Diet Rite Cola directed by Melvin Sokolsky, the advertisement sees her singing and dancing. 

  • Twiggy is the youngest person to be featured on the TV show This Is Your Life, broadcast on ITV in December

  • Twiggy is cast by Ken Russell in his film version of 'The Boy Friend' as a result Twiggy retires from her modelling career.


TWIGGY MEMORABILIA

Below is a comprehensive list of the Twiggy merchandise produced throughout the sixties. As a result of Twiggy's promotional tour of the US in 1967, several companies marketed their products using Twiggy's endorsement. This resulted in the production of Twiggy lunch boxes, dolls, tote bags, board games, tights etc.

UK Merchandise

  • Twiggy Dresses

  • Twiggy Coat Hanger (supplied with Twiggy dress)

  • Twiggy Tights

  • Forget Oxfam Feed Twiggy Badge

US Merchandise

  • Twiggy Board Game (Milton Bradley 1967)

  • Twiggy Barbie Doll (Mattel 1967)

  • Twiggy Lunch Box and Thermos (Aladdin 1967)

  • Twiggy Paper Dolls (Whitman 1967)

  • Twiggy False Eye Lashes (Yardley)

  • Twiggy Tights (Hampton Trimfit 1967)

  • Twiggy Dress Up Kit (Colorforms 1967)

  • Twiggy Binder (Mattel 1967)

  • Twiggy Treasure Box (Mattel 1967)

  • Twiggy Fashion Tote Bag (Mattel 1967)

  • Twiggy Pen (Scripto 1967)

  • Twiggy Sweater

  • Twiggy Magazine titled Her Mod Mod Teen World

  • Twiggy By Twiggy (Biography written by American journalist)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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