These 12 stunning women became household names in the 1980s as they conquered runways and gazed back at us from the pages of glossy magazines. In honor of Cindy Crawford's 51st birthday on Feb. 20, 2017, we're taking a "catwalk" down memory lane to look at the lives of these '80s supermodels then and now, starting with the birthday girl herself… Cindy kicked off her catwalking career after placing second in Elite Model Management's Look of the Year contest when she was just 17. Despite winning an academic scholarship to study at prestigious Northwestern University, the high school valedictorian and her trademark mole eventually decided to drop out of college to model full-time. "I feel like I lived through the heyday of modeling," Cindy — who also served as the original host of MTV's "House of Style" for six years and enjoyed a brief marriage to Richard Gere in the early '90s — told ES magazine. "Models are not really getting covers now, and they're not getting the big cosmetics contracts and that's where the money is. It's actresses and singers and reality TV people."
Cindy Crawford technically retired from modeling in 2000, but let's be honest — she hasn't really gone anywhere. She still occasionally poses for pictorials and lends her image to promoting products, but she's more focused on expanding her business ventures to include a cosmetic line, Meaningful Beauty, as well as a furniture line. On Feb. 1, 2016, Cindy clarified comments she made to Rhapsody Magazine about supposedly retiring from modeling. Taking to Instagram, she explained, "Every year, I tell my kids I'm retiring. It's a running joke in our family. And yet every year, opportunities pop up that really excite me. While it's true that I'm eager to shift my focus a bit to concentrate on my businesses, friends and family — I'm not making any final statements." She's also mom to two equally stunning children with her second husband, restaurateur (and BFF to George Clooney) Rande Gerber: son Presley Gerber and lookalike mini-me daughter Kaia Gerber, who's already following in Mom's modeling footsteps.
Czech-born Paulina Porizkova was just 18 when she landed her first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover in 1984. The same year, she met the man she'd later marry — The Cars' frontman Ric Ocasek — when she starred in the band's "Drive" video. In 1988, she began another enduring relationship when she became the face of Estée Lauder — remember how lovely she looked dressed as a bride in those "Beautiful" fragrance ads?
Paulina Porizkova continued to model, tried her hand at acting ("Her Alibi" co-starring Tom Selleck is our personal fave) and settled down to raise her two sons with husband Ric Ocasek. She very briefly appeared on "Dancing With the Stars" in 2007 — she was the first celebrity voted off that season — and from 2008 to 2010, she served as a judge on "America's Next Top Model." She's also became an author: She followed up her '90s children's book with the 2007 novel "A Model Summer," a tome about a Swedish teenager who spends a summer — you guessed it — modeling in Paris.
Linda Evangelista — who once famously told Vogue she and her supermodel cohorts "don't wake up for less than $10,000 a day" — started her career modeling in her Canadian hometown. She was discovered by an international agent while competing in the Miss Teen Niagara pageant (she didn't win). Within just a few years, she'd landed major fashion magazine covers and designer ad campaigns and in 1985, became Chanel legend Karl Lagerfeld's muse. But her career really skyrocketed when, in 1988, she took a risk and cropped off all her hair, cementing her position as one of the three most in-demand models of the era. The other two? Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell.
Although Linda Evangelista briefly retired in 1998 to settle on the French Riviera, it didn't last. By 2001, she was back with a vengeance and remains a working model today. Following her 1993 divorce from an Elite agency modeling exec, she famously dated actor Kyle MacLachlan and Hard Rock Cafe owner Peter Morton. But the real bombshell came five years after the 2006 birth of her son Augustin when she revealed during a heated child-support case that his biological father was French billionaire Francois-Henri Pinault — aka Mr. Salma Hayek.
It's not hard to guess why Time magazine nicknamed Elle Macpherson "The Body" back in 1989. But the Australia-born beauty had planned to be a lawyer and only started modeling in the early '80s to help pay for her law books. After a commercial for Tab cola led to more exposure, Elle graced all the big fashion magazine covers and in 1986 made the first of five appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue.
Elle Macpherson, aka "The Body," trademarked her nickname in the '90s — "I just thought it'd be a good business venture," she told late-night host Jimmy Kimmel — and smartly capitalized on her reputation by releasing a series of calendars and workout videos in the '90s. She also launched a lingerie line that continues to be hugely successful today. The Revlon spokeswoman — who's still rocking bikinis at 52 — also ventured into TV: In 2010, she became the host of "Britain & Ireland's Next Top Model" and she served as a judge on NBC's "Fashion Star." These days, she's running her empire while also being mom to two boys with her ex-fiance, French financier Arpad Busson. In 2013, Elle wed billionaire Jeff Sofer.
California girl Kathy Ireland appeared on a slew of magazine covers — from Seventeen and Teen to Vogue, Glamour and Cosmopolitan — during her early modeling career. But she's probably most famous for gracing the pages of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue for 13 consecutive years, including three of those on its cover.
Kathy Ireland made a smart move when she agreed to launch a sock line, which led to a whole apparel line, at Kmart in the early '90s. Its wild success led the mom of three — who's been married to physician Greg Olsen since 1988 — to found a brand-marketing company that now creates and sells everything from clothing and shoes to jewelry and lighting and even operates and maintains luxury wedding venues all over the world. By 2012, Kathy's company was reportedly bringing in $2 billion in sales per year, earning her the title of world's richest supermodel.
Texas-born, Colorado-bred Jill Goodacre and her epic curves shot to fame — and helped a young company called Victoria's Secret grow its brand — when she modeled for the lingerie business's catalogs back in the '80s and early '90s.
Jill Goodacre married jazz musician Harry Connick Jr. in 1994 and retired from modeling to raise their three beautiful daughters and serve as a muse to her devoted husband. "She is my best friend and I love her," the former "American Idol" judge told More of his better half. "She is the only wife I will ever have. We have been lucky."
Stephanie Seymour's first big gig was posing for Cosmopolitan at 14. She quickly carved out a lucrative career for herself as one of the first stars of the Victoria's Secret catalog in the '80s and, like most big models of the era, also appeared on the cover of Vogue and in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. But her most memorable job might have been her role as then-boyfriend Axl Rose's doomed bride in Guns N' Roses' video for power ballad "November Rain."
Stephanie Seymour continues to model to this day. But after ending her tumultuous relationship with Axl Rose, she took her young son from a previous marriage and settled down with publishing mogul and art collector Peter Brant, with whom she's welcomed three more children. Her middle sons, Peter Brant II and Harry Brant, are social butterflies who move in artsy society circles and have even have been dubbed "the new princes of the city" by The New York Times. "It makes me happy when my sons come home and tell me, 'We bumped into Donatella [Versace] and she says hi,'" Stephanie told Harper's Bazaar.
London-born Naomi Campbell found fame when she appeared in two music videos: at 7 in Bob Marley's "This Is Love" clip, and at 12 in Culture Club's "I'll Tumble 4 Ya" video. There was no stopping her after that. She was scouted while out shopping and shortly before her 16th birthday, she landed the cover of British ELLE. She broke down race barriers in the modeling world and soon was gracing every major runway and magazine cover of the '80s, earning herself membership in "The Trinity" — the nickname given to the three most successful women of the supermodel era (Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista were the other two members of the exclusive club).
More than 500 magazine covers later, Naomi Campbell's modeling career is still going strong. She's also dated some of the world's most famous men — including boxer Mike Tyson, Oscar winner Robert De Niro and U2 bassist Adam Clayton — and has dabbled in acting, most recently stealing scenes in FOX's hit "Empire" in 2015. And despite a well-earned reputation for having anger-management issues (just ask her old assistant about the cell phone), she's long been a generous and motivated supporter of several international charities, leading the late, great South African leader Nelson Mandela to call her his "honorary granddaughter."
California-born Christy Turlington had already been modeling for a few years when her catwalking pal Yasmin Le Bon (yes, Simon Le Bon's wife) got her to appear in Duran Duran's "Notorious" video at just 17. After that, her career echoed the song's name and Christy became not just a leader in the fashion world, but a huge pop culture phenomenon. She cemented her status with an unforgettable appearance in another classic video — George Michael's "Freedom! '90" clip — which co-starred the era's other huge models: Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Tatjana Patitz.
Not content to simply trade on her pretty face, Christy Turlington went back to school in 1994 and five years later graduated cum laude from New York University with a degree in comparative religion and Eastern philosophy. Since becoming a mother to two children with husband Ed Burns, whom she wed in 2003, she's continued modeling — she and her gorgeous hubby even teamed up to sell Calvin Klein's Eternity fragrances with a steamy 2014 ad campaign — but has also become a passionate advocate for improving the safety of pregnancy and childbirth through her nonprofit, Every Mother Counts.
New Zealand-born Rachel Hunter kicked off her modeling career as a teenager. By the late '80s, she'd landed a Cover Girl contract and a place in the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. After dating rocker Kip Winger in the '80s, she met modelizing musician Rod Stewart at a nightclub and married him in 1990 after a whirlwind romance.
In 1999, Rachel Hunter left Rod Stewart (eventually divorcing him in 2006), with whom she'd had kids Liam and Renee (seen here with Mom in 2014). Although she continued modeling, she also started to dabble in acting and hosting, and in recent years has also appeared in several reality shows including "Dancing With the Stars," the BBC's "Strictly Come Dancing" and "Are You Hot?," where she served as a judge alongside Lorenzo Lamas.
Carla Bruni was chosen to be a face of Guess jeans in the late '80s, kicking off a career that saw her strutting and posing for everyone from Givenchy and John Galliano to Christian Dior and Versace. By the '90s, Carla — who famously dated Eric Clapton and Mick Jagger during her modeling heyday — was reportedly among the 20 highest-paid fashion models of the era.
Carla Bruni quit modeling in 1997 to launch a music career and, perhaps surprisingly, it's gone pretty well. Her first album — she sings in French — found success following its release in 2003 and a second followed in 2007, a third in 2008, a fourth in 2012 and a live album in 2014. But even on her best day musically, Carla is now better known as the former first lady of France following her 2008 marriage to then-President Nicolas Sarkozy, with whom she welcomed a daughter, Giulia, in 2011 (she's also mom to son Aurélien from a previous relationship). Despite her prestigious political role, she continued to release new music. Très bien!
A summer job turned into a lucrative career for Carol Alt: She landed the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 1982 and appeared on hundreds of other magazine covers during her reign as one of the top models of the '80s, even earning the nickname "The Face."
Carol Alt has also tried her hand at acting, but these days, she's perhaps best known for her insanely youthful good looks at 56. Her secret? She took a doctor's advice 18 years ago and is now an advocate for raw-food diets — she's even written several books onthe subject. "When you hit 40, when you hit 50, you need an edge. Botox is not the answer," she told Sarah Best's blog. "I'd like to grow old gracefully and that's only possible if you're healthy."