is a theory that the era of the supermodel is over. The faces that
typified the wordCindy Crawford, Elle Macpherson, Naomi Campbellmay
not have faded into history, but they do represent an identifiable
era. The era's influence on the present is waning, when you consider
that some of their contemporaries are no longer with us: Gianni
Versace, Princess Diana.
History buffs may debate how events become history.
When you're living it, it's hard to discern. But it may be premature
to dismiss supermodelling altogether when you consider the presence
of Brazilian model Ana Hickmann.
In January, we predicted that Ana Hickmann would
be the 'model of the moment'. Model agent Paolo Zampolli told Lucire
at the time that she reminded him of the "real" supermodels. Then,
there were approximately 16 web pages devoted to the 20-year-old.
While search engine Northern Light has 85 items, Google now logs
to a fault, 5'11" Hickmann instantly has presence.
It is an unintentional mystique: the effortlessness of the way
she carries herself stands out, as does her beauty.
In half a year, Hickmann has overtaken Gisele Bündchen
as one of GQ Italia's
most beautiful women in the world (July 2001), coming in at number
10. That places her three places against the model whom many considered
a benchmark amongst the wave of Brazilian models that surfaced in
the late 1990s.
There may be complaints that many models are not
identifiable nowadays, but that is due not to the decline of the
supermodel phenomenon, but media becoming more segmented. It has
consequently become more rare, without a major television appearance,
for a model to capture the imagination as Hickmann has in six months
across two media.
Supermodels are about personalities. They did
not all begin with contracts with cosmetics' companies. The process
then remains as it is today: submission of photographs to an agency
or a "discovery", promotion, reputation, image. The 2000s may have
begun with less of an emphasis on promoting famous faces as the
acting sorority moved in to fashion as spokeswomen, but there is
no denying that some namessuch as Hickmann'scan capture
a mood, a time, a Zeitgeist.
Is there a Hickmann magic? Perhaps. Some of the
rise in her popularity can be chalked up to ID's promotion as we
mentioned in January, and the quality of the photographers, make-up
artists and hairstylists she has worked with, but the model herself
can take a great deal of credit.
Modest to a fault, 5'11" Hickmann
instantly has presence. It is an unintentional mystique: the effortlessness
of the way she carries herself stands out, as does her beauty. Though
there are models that exceed her height, Hickmann manages to seem
taller through posture and her overall appearance. Her photographs
for Arena, shot by Antoine Verglas at the beginning of the
year, have earned her a plethora of male fans, but even the Frenchman's
quality does not expose the sense of character Hickmann possesses
in person. Softly spoken without any trace of the twang of New York,
the model has arguably graduated into the supermodel mode. Her humility
is what makes her easy to work with. Her star can only shine more
brightly as she reaches her 21st birthday.