From Naomi Campbell to Gigi Hadid: Relive These Supermodels' First-Ever Fashion Week Appearances

Before your favorite supermodels became household names, they kicked off their careers with a Fashion Week appearance. See how Gigi Hadid, Karlie Kloss and more got their start.

By Alyssa Morin Sep 15, 2020 10:00 AMTags
Related: Gigi Hadid Saves Chanel's Fashion Show as YouTuber Crashes

Model behavior!

New York Fashion Week might be coming to a close on Sept. 16, but that doesn't mean you can't ooh and aah over your favorite runway looks and supermodels from years past.

Before the biggest names in fashion became household names, they kicked off their careers with a Fashion Week appearance. Yes, some were already booking ad campaigns, magazine covers and beauty deals, but others got their big break on the catwalk.

Legendary stars like Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford and Kate Moss (to name a few) proved they could strike a pose and strut their stuff down a runway.

And they knew it, too. The way Linda famously put it in 1990, "We have this saying, Christy [Turlington] and I... we don't wake up for less than $10,000 a day." 

Naomi would later add, "I make a lot of money and I'm worth every cent."

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Empowering Moments That Changed Fashion Week Forever

So get nostalgic and relive your fave models' first-ever Fashion Week appearances in our gallery below.

From a young Karlie Kloss to Ashley Graham's knock-out NYFW debut, you'll be surprised to see how some of these stars got their start.

Naomi Campbell

While Naomi is the epitome of a runway model, she didn't debut her famous walk until the late 1980s. During Paris Fashion Week in 1986, the legendary supermodel strutted her stuff for Chanel, YSL and more.

Ashley Graham

The 32-year-old star made waves for Addition Elle during NYFW in 2015. What's more? Ashley collaborated with the brand on a line of sexy lingerie pieces.

Cindy Crawford

While she's better known for her killer print ads, this supermodel proved her fierce walking skills when she first appeared in Donna Karan's spring 1991 show. 

Kate Moss

Even early on in her career, Kate's supermodel chops were evident. Case in point? She looked in her element at the Calvin Klein runway show in 1992 during NYFW. 

Slick Woods

Long before she became Rihanna's muse and nearly gave birth during the Savage x Fenty runway in 2018, Slick Woods traipsed down Jeremy Scott's NYFW show in February 2017.

Tyra Banks

Even during her inaugural runway season at Paris Fashion Week circa 1991, Tyra already had the smize down for the Michele Klein show.

Gigi Hadid

Considering she's already a household name, it's hard to believe Gigi only made her inaugural runway appearance in Feb. 2014 (and for Desigual, no less!). 

Iman

This high-fashion force never walked a catwalk that she didn't immediately rule, which included her first: The Michael Vollbracht show in 1981.

Claudia Schiffer

Unlike most models, Claudia landed a top spot in Chanel's Spring 1991 show when she just started out. Following her Fashion Week debut, she frequently worked with the fashion powerhouse.

Linda Evangelista

A member of the original supermodel crew, Linda first graced Calvin Klein's runways in 1989.

Winnie Harlow

Winnie first captured our hearts on America's Next Top Model, in which she appeared in the 2014 cycle. Following her elimination from the reality series, she hit the runway for Ashish during London Fashion Week in 2014.

Bella Hadid

Before booking gigs with Dior, Chanel, Oscar de la Renta and many others, Bella made her debut at the Desigual show. She sashayed down the runway in 2014. Fun fact, the star's older sister also made her Fashion Week debut with the luxury label.

Joan Smalls

The current Givenchy darling got her first runway break from Rachel Roy during the spring 2009 presentation. 

Miranda Kerr

The veteran Victoria's Secret Angel nailed her first runway at Heatherette's fall 2005 show.

Kaia Gerber

Like her famous mother, Cindy Crawford, Kaia is no stranger to Fashion Week. However, she got her start in 2017 after she modeled for the Calvin Klein Collection show during New York Fashion Week.

Cara Delevingne

There's no denying the electricity Cara brings to the fashion industry. Her first runway at London Fashion Week was no different when she modeled Burberry's spring/summer 2012 show.

Gisele Bündchen

The iconic supermodel posted a candid throwback of her first runway show. "I am grateful that at 14, I was given the opportunity to start this journey," she shared at the time. "Today after 20 years in the industry, it is a privilege to be doing my last fashion show by choice and yet still be working in other facets of the business."

Heidi Klum

Double take! A then-brunette, Heidi slipped on her first ultra-sexy Victoria's Secret ensemble in 1997.

Jourdan Dunn

The model got her big break at Marc Jacob fall 2007 show.

Candice Swanepoel

Before she got her Victoria's Secret Angel wings, she carried a (still chic) backpack for Tommy Hilfiger's spring 2006 show.

Chanel Iman

The model made her runway debut during New York Fashion Week spring 2007, walking for Proenza Schouler amongst other big-name fashion houses. 

Kendall Jenner

Before she was Karl Lagerfeld's muse, the supermodel got her start by modeling evening-wear for Sherri Hill in 2011. 

Karlie Kloss

At just 15 years old, Karlie already had her strut down pat for Calvin Klein spring 2008 show.

Doutzen Kroes

The Dutch model emerged onto the scene during the Oscar de la Renta 2005 show. 

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