Like all of my favourite beauty icons, it is Lauren Hutton’s ‘imperfections’ that make her a beauty icon. By defying the convention to remove the gap in her teeth, she proceeded to become the first ever model to earn a million dollars for a make-up contract (Revlon) and in doing so, made her gap toothed smile a truly iconic one.
It’s a real pleasure to write about subjects like Ms Hutton in such a homogenous age for women. Singers (Florence Welch, Jesse J, Lana Del Ray, Janelle Monai & neo-panto Gaga for example) and beauty icons such as LH provide a much-needed point of reference, a faint echo of a shout-out, another option to the bargain bin Barbie clones that have become the international archetype.
Born in Charleston North Carolina, Lauren and family then moved to rural Florida. After getting a degree at university she briefly became a Playboy bunny before eventually moving to NY, meeting legendary editor Diana Vreeland and starting a long standing relationship with Vogue, gracing the magazine’s covers more than 25 times.
Lauren made headlines all over the world when, in 1974, she negotiated a contract for the unprecedented sum of one million dollars, signing exclusively to Revlon where she remained for ten years.
I first saw her in the movie American Gigolo with Richard Gere, both head to foot in ultra-chic ‘in it’s simplicity’ Armani (who dressed the leads in the movie). She was wearing ‘heavy natural’ make-up and the type of hyper-gloss hair that only American women in the 80′s seemed to have and has rarely been seen since.
She’s a woman who has seemingly lived her life to the full, fearlessly.
Lauren was in a serious motorbike accident in 2000 which took a lot of physical rehabilitation to recover from. However, it didn’t stop her from creating a fantastic signature cosmetics line aimed at mature women (link below) and modelling for Gap (right).
A fierce campaigner for a variety of causes, Lauren has worked closely with organisations such as the Women’s Campaign Fund, the World Wildlife Foundation, the National Breast Cancer Coalition and also became the first television advocate of Hormone Replacement Therapy and Alzheimer’s disease.
For years she was offered millions to pose nude but had always declined. In true Lauren style, she agreed at the age of 61 for Big Magazine saying “I want women to not be ashamed of who they are when they’re in bed”
As outspoken as ever, she spoke to Hilary Alexander about photoshop and the preoccupation with ‘perfection’. Here is an except of the interview below from The Telegraph which begins with her discussing an ad for J Crew that she had just shot:
“You know what the best thing is? They left my wrinkles in. They didn’t retouch and make me look like a plastic egg. It’s ridiculous what’s happening, you can’t tell a Kate Winslet from a Cate Blanchett. Every studio is stuffed with 24-year-old boys and all they know of females is via computer games, cartoons and PlayStations, where every girl looks about 16. So they’ve got to have girls who look like that. It’s the same in fashion. It goes through these periods. Someone does it and everyone starts doing it. That’s one of the reasons none of the models have personalities like Kate Moss or Gisele Bundchen any more. All the young ones are retouched so nobody looks individual.”
Couldn’t agree more Lauren. Go girl.
Check out her Cosmetics line HERE
Follow Lauen on twitter HERE
See my Lauren Hutton Pinterest board HERE