Vintage Models: Suzy Parker

You can't really talk about vintage models without covering Suzy Parker, whose icy sophistication defined glamour in the 1950s on dozens of magazine covers. Known for her elegant, aloof appearance in front of the camera (likened to Grace Kelly), in person she was a chatterbox dubbed "my most challenging muse" by Richard Avedon. When she later became an actress photographer Horst quipped that "maybe she could do for the movies what she never did for me--hold still." Audrey Hepburn's beatnik-turned-reluctant-model character in Funny Face was actually inspired by Suzy Parker (who also makes a cameo in that film). Still despite her chattering tendencies, Suzy Parker became the first model to earn more than $100 an hour and more than $100,000 a year. Some of my favorite photographs of her come from later in her career, where she is studying scripts for films--her natural beauty shines in those images--red hair, green eyes, an abundance of freckles, and a sort of elegant repose. The fancy clothes are packaged away, there are no professional hair or makeup artists on call, and yet you still can't take your eyes off of her...


to top