Leslie 'Twiggy' Hornby

This essay has a total of 1300 words and 5 pages.

Leslie 'Twiggy' Hornby


"At 17 Leslie Hornby took hold of the world. At 21 she let it go, she was the original
waif, a 60’s phenomenon a superstar. She was Twiggy" (Vogue). Leslie Hornby was the
revolutionary woman who changed the idea of beauty in the eyes of the fashion industry and
the entire world. Twiggy exemplified the androgynous mod look that swept America as it had
Britain and much of Europe in the 1960’s. She healthily maintained a 5 ft 6 1/2 inch 90 lb
body. Based on her thin figure, a nickname of "Twiggy" was derived. Twiggy’s popularity
not only produced many people who tried to look like her but also drastically increased
the hourly wages of models. She paved the way for current top models like Kate Moss, Elle
MacPherson, and Linda Evangelista.


Twiggy was major trendsetter in America during the sixties even though she was born in
England. She was found by Nigel Davies in a salon, while working as a shampoo girl. He saw
her potential and immediately took her to get a haircut at a Mr. Leonard’s trendy salon in
London. Mr. Leonard put her picture in his shop window, and a short time later that
picture was featured in the London Daily Express with a caption that read "This is the
face of 1966" (Wilson). Davies, who preferred to be called Justin De Villeneuve, was quite
an interesting character with his past resume containing ex-model, ex-antique dealer, and
ex-hairdresser. After he discovered her, he (age 25) became Twiggy’s (age 15) agent and
boyfriend. He took her to Paris and a short while after her popularity grew, she was put
on the cover of Elle Magazine, as well as Paris Match and the British edition of Vogue.
During Twiggy’s peak success in Europe, De Villeneuve set up Twiggy Enterprises Ltd. where
he gathered a line of clothes, false eyelashes, cosmetics, dolls, and posters all endorsed
by Twiggy. The business brought in millions. Since Twiggy was so young, Justin ran the
entire business. She only had to agree to what she liked and put her name on it. The
thought of a Model taking advantage of her success to start an enterprise was completely
revolutionary. Once again Twiggy paved the way for models like Cindy Crawford, Claudia
Schiffer, Kate Moss, and Naomi Campbell all of which opened highly successful restaurants,
and made exercise tapes, clothes, calendars, posters, and many other products. The
enterprising aspect of being a top model was started by Twiggy and that influence is
commonly seen in the business world today.


Twiggy’s next step in her career was to travel to the United States. Twiggy’s success
soared when she made her first visit to America. On March 20,1967 the second she stepped
off the plane she was swarmed by fans, and was candy to the media’s eyes. She was like a
fever that spread. Everyone wanted a piece of her. Her pictures were everywhere. Twiggy’s
popularity allowed her to charge revolutionary high prices an hour. She charged as much as
$240 an hour opposed to a 50’s top model like Suzy Parker who only received about $40 an
hour (Century of Models). Once again Twiggy set the standard for 90’s top models to earn
outrageous sums of money. For example, the 90’s Twiggy (Kate Moss) earns about 26.3
million dollars a year.
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