world's first supermodel

The title of the world’s first supermodel is often attributed to British model Lisa Fonssagrives. She gained fame in the 1940s and 1950s for her iconic elegance and versatility, working with renowned photographers and designers of that era. While there have been models who achieved recognition and success before her, Fonssagrives is often credited with setting the standard for what would later become the supermodel phenomenon.

Grace and Glamour: The Timeless Legacy of Lisa Fonssagrives, Fashion’s First Supermodel

The world of fashion has seen numerous charismatic and influential personalities throughout history. Among them, one name stands tall as the trailblazer who laid the foundation for the supermodel phenomenon we witness today. Join us as we delve into the captivating story of the world’s first supermodel and celebrate her significant contribution to the industry.

Defining the Supermodel

Before we embark on our journey to discover the world’s first supermodel, it’s crucial to understand the essence of this term. A supermodel transcends traditional modeling by achieving an iconic status, captivating the global masses with her beauty, talent, and unmatched charisma. These individuals grace runways, magazines, and campaigns, leaving an indelible mark on the fashion landscape.

Early Life and Entry into Modeling

Born Lisa Birgitta Bernstone in 1911, this Swedish beauty transcended the conventional boundaries of modeling, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. Lisa Fonssagrives’ journey to supermodel status began in the 1930s. Her early life in Sweden laid the foundation for a career that would redefine the standards of beauty in the fashion world. Venturing into modeling, Fonssagrives quickly captivated the industry with her striking features, poise, and versatility, catching the eye of photographers and designers alike.

Lisa Fonssagrives
Lisa Fonssagrives – World’s First Supermodel

The Rise of Lisa Fonssagrives

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the fashion world witnessed the meteoric rise of Lisa Fonssagrives. Her striking beauty, grace, and impeccable style set her apart from her contemporaries and laid the groundwork for the supermodel archetype. Throughout her career, Fonssagrives collaborated with legendary photographers like Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, and Horst P. Horst, among others. Her ability to embody different characters and styles showcased her versatility, making her a muse to many designers and photographers of the time.

Lisa Fonssagrives - World's First Supermodel
Lisa Fonssagrives – World’s First Supermodel

Versatility Beyond Modeling

What sets Fonssagrives apart is not just her beauty but also her multifaceted talent. Beyond modeling, she was a skilled dancer and artist, bringing a unique artistic sensibility to her work. This versatility contributed to her longevity in the industry and solidified her status as a true trendsetter.

Lisa Fonssagrives - World's First Supermodel
Lisa Fonssagrives – World’s First Supermodel

Achievements and Influence

Fonssagrives’ contributions to the fashion industry were not limited to her gorgeous looks. Her unique ability to bring life to garments and communicate the vision of designers elevated her to unprecedented heights. She became an inspiration for aspiring models worldwide with her powerful presence and ability to capture the essence of fashion.

Moreover, Fonssagrives was not confined to the runway or photo shoots. She extended her talents to other artistic mediums, prominently collaborating with her husband, sculptor Fernand Fonssagrives, who beautifully captured her essence in his artwork. Together, they formed a creative partnership that crossed the boundaries of fashion and art.

Legacy and Enduring Influence

Lisa Fonssagrives’ legacy continues to resonate among models and industry professionals alike. Her impact goes beyond her modeling career, as she helped redefine the standard of beauty and influenced subsequent generations of models. Fonssagrives remains an enduring symbol of elegance, grace, and timeless beauty, cementing her place in fashion history as the world’s first supermodel.


In the grand tapestry of fashion history, Lisa Fonssagrives emerges as the archetype of the modern supermodel. Her mesmerizing presence, undeniable talent, and versatility revolutionized the modeling industry of her time. Through her collaborations with iconic photographers and designers, she left an indelible impact that still echoes in the fashion world today. Let us celebrate her pioneering spirit and acknowledge her as the trailblazer who paved the way for future generations of supermodels worldwide.

Featured Image Credit – Image by macrovector on Freepik

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