Jean Shrimpton: The 'Most Beautiful Girl' Of The '60s (And First Supermodel), Then And Now

By | November 7, 2020

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Glamour 1965: Model Jean Shrimpton wearing shrimp-colored suede suit with cardigan jacket by Viola Sylbert for Highlander Sportswear, black straw hat by Emme Boutique, gold earrings by Trifari. (Photo by Francesco Scavullo/Condé Nast via Getty Image

Considered to be the world’s first "supermodel," Jean Shrimpton was the It-Girl of the 1960s who epitomized the sought-after "Swinging London" look, setting the mold for how fashion would become. She was acclaimed as the “Most Beautiful Girl In The World,” “The Face Of The ‘60s,” and “Most Photographed In The World” with her large eyes, fringe bangs, slim figure, and long legs. Shrimpton not only posed for the covers of all the top magazines of the untamed decade, but she can also be credited as liberating women through one simple statement piece: the mini skirt. 

The term "supermodel" became common in the '80s, to refer to the likes of Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, and Cindy Crawford; and '70s stars like Lauren Hutton and Beverly Johnson have been retroactively deemed supermodels. But before all of these, there was Jean Shrimpton.

Jean Shrimpton Worked On A Farm As A Child

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Source: Magnum Photos

Shrimpton was born in Buckinghamshire in 1942 and started her glamorous life working with animals on her family’s rural farm. As many women were unfairly encouraged to do, Shrimpton had intended on becoming a secretary and enrolled at Langham Secretarial College in London when she was 17. As fate would have it, she ran into director Cy Endfield at a drugstore and was invited to audition for his film Mysterious Island. While the audition was unsuccessful, Endfield suggested she attend a modeling academy which prompted Shrimpton to transfer over to a London modeling school, the Lucie Clayton Charm Academy. At age 17, she was a full-time model.