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Twiggy And The Beginning Of The Skinny Model

Culture | December 5, 2016

Twiggy, a.k.a Lesley Lawson, was born in 1949 in London, England, to a factory worker mother and carpenter father. Twiggy’s inspiration to be involved in the fashion industry likely began with her mother who taught her to sew at an early age. This allowed Twiggy to create her own clothes and begin to find her fashion sense. The 5'6 and 112 pound Twiggy exploded in the fashion industry in her teenage years during the 1960s.

Twiggy in her Prime

Twiggy got her big break by signing up to be a model for a celebrity hairdresser. In 1966 Twiggy had her hair cut and colored by celebrity hair stylist Leonard of Mayfair. A professional photographer was brought in to photograph the cut, which was then hung in Leonard’s salon. A fashion journalist for the Daily Express saw the photos and set out to meet young Twiggy. The journalist had more photos taken of Twiggy and within weeks had prepared an article with Twiggy which discussed the beauty of the “Cockney kid” – this was the start of Twiggy’s modeling career. Following her entry into the modeling industry, Twiggy was quickly charging eighty GBP per hour, which was quite the salary during her time. Surprisingly, Twiggy did not understand what all the fuss was about her. She was quoted as saying, "I hated what I looked like....so I thought everyone had gone stark raving mad." By the Twiggy lunch boxes, lashes, and cosmetic endorsements, it was clear that others didn't share Twiggy's view of herself.

While also an actress and singer, Twiggy was most famously known for setting the stage for the thin model revolution. She became a British icon with her short blonde hair, blue eyes, tall and thin body frame, as well as an androgynous look. Twiggy was named the “Face of 1966” by the Daily Express in addition to being voted British Woman of the Year. Her modeling career spanned the globe, including France, Japan, and the United States.

Twiggy Today

By the 1970s Twiggy had married American actor, Michael Witney, and birthed a daughter in 1978. Michael Witney tragically passed away in 1983 due to a heart attack, and Twiggy met Leigh Lawson shortly after. The couple is still together today.

Once her modeling career began to die down, Twiggy remained in the public spotlight through other ventures. Not only has she successfully played roles on the big screen, on stage, and in television, she has also managed to gain a position on the best-sellers list for her autobiography. Although she is not as present within the modeling scene, she remains in the fashion industry for women her age. She has worked with Dannii Minogue to prepare a fashion line, as well as creating her own fashion line called the “Twiggy London” collection. She remains relevant by maintaining a fashion blog, as well as promoting breast cancer research and animal welfare.

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Karlin Moorehead

Writer

Karlin is a Montana girl who enjoys dancing awkwardly, telling bad jokes, and fluffy poodles. You can usually find her listening to Dave Matthews or brushing her teeth. Karlin currently lives in LA doing odd jobs, pondering the meaning of life and wishing she were lost in the forests of New Zealand.