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The ice queen of the runway - Nadja Auermann

The ’90s was one of the greatest decades of runway fashion to this date. The era of amazing silhouettes, statuesque models and creative designers. The 90’s runway gave us many gorgeous models whose impact can still be observed. Out of all the runway models from that time, there was one with blue eyes, platinum blonde hair and pale skin that stole the attention of everyone whenever she walked the runway. Nadja Auermann’s intriguing charm was caught by designers and luxury houses and soon she was ruling the runways of every major fashion cities. Known as Marlene Dietrich in the fashion industry, due to her striking resemblance to the Hollywood actress. Nadja holds the record of a model with the longest legs in the world in the Guinness Book of Records.

Hailing from Germany, Nadja was the odd one among all the girls in her school. Because of her skinny, long figure she was a bit of a tomboy. Boys were intimidated by her due to her height. Like the rest of the fashion models, she was scouted by an agent in a café in Berlin. Determined to succeed as a model, she moved to Paris right after graduating high school and signed with a modelling agency. Within her few days in Paris, she met designers and photographers out of which one was Karl Lagerfeld. It was like a father figure to her away from home. Her friendship with Karl remained till his last days. Due to her loyal friend, she walked for Chloe, Chanel, and Karl Lagerfeld. Her appearance in George Michael’s Too Fancy music video also led to her getting noticed as a new face in the 90’s era. By the mid 90’s she saw a lot of success. One day she had an epiphany to change her looks. She cut her hair and dyed it platinum blonde. That is how she was put on the map. Suddenly she was getting everyone’s attention, even while walking down the streets to get food. The Modeling Industry nicknamed her a Blonde Angel. Her new look used to remind people of Hollywood actress Marlene Dietrich. A new look brought a new vibe and took her career to a whole new level. She became a real-life icy queen with Elsa charm and legs for days. 

She has dominated the runways of major brands such as Chloe, Givenchy, Salvatore Ferragamo, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Valentino, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes, Prada, Viktor & Rolf, Versace, Fendi, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Vivienne Westwood, and Jil Sander. 

Her walk was like a chameleon, changing in every other runway show. After seeing how much her career evolved with just one look, she started changing her looks frequently. The industry embraced all of her new looks. This became the reason behind her skyrocket career in a much shorter period of time. Her golden-cyborg bodysuit and matching opera gloves in Thierry Mugler Autumn/winter 1995 20th anniversary show is still one of the most iconic runway moments of all time. Her persona, the way she worked with the garment along with her catwalk was all so mesmerizing that no one is able to match that standard Nadja reached to this day. 

Nadja has been featured in many ad campaigns too. Her resume consists of Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Dior, Versace, Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent, Hermes, Donna Karen, Karl Lagerfeld, H&M, Valentino, Blumarine. By 1990 she was announced as the international spokesperson of Shiseido.  

Her long legs and perfectly sculpted face have graced the covers of many glossy magazines. From Vogue to i-D while working with renowned photographers like Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton, Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier, Richard Avedon, Craig McDean, Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh and many more.

She continues to grace the runway with her walk. Recently she walked for Balenciaga Spring 2020 show. The best thing about Nadja’s face is it can be sexy or completely unsexy or sophisticated.

It’s notable that all the 90’s models had their own individual characteristics that made them stand out from the others, unlike models from today’s generation. Now every model is being forced to fit into the mould of full lips, tall figure young models. Back then women used to feel empowered with the way they were born, they were celebrated. Each model used to have her own distinctive characteristics. It was more about acceptance and inclusivity than unreal beauty standards.

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