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October 13, 2016

30 Stunning Photographs of Jean Shrimpton, One of the World's First Supermodels, Taken by David Bailey During the 1960s

Jean Shrimpton is known for being one of the world's first supermodels, the highest-paid model of the 1960s and the face of "Swinging London," as well as for popularizing the miniskirt.

When fashion photographer David Bailey spotted a then-relatively unknown Shrimpton at a photo studio, he was instantly taken with the gamine beauty. Despite the fact that Bailey was married at the time, the two soon began a romantic relationship that would last four tumultuous years. In Shrimpton's 1990 autobiography, she wrote of Bailey, "We were instantly attracted, and whenever we worked together this attraction created a strong sexual atmosphere."

Bailey insisted on using Shrimpton for a British Vogue shoot in 1962, helping to catapult both of their careers. One of the first models to be labeled a "supermodel," Shrimpton was the highest-paid model of her time. Speaking about Shrimpton in 2001, Bailey told the BBC, "She was magic and the camera loved her too. In a way she was the cheapest model in the world—you only needed to shoot half a roll of film and then you had it." Saying she was lucky rather than ambitious, Shrimpton told the Guardian in 2011, "I never liked being photographed. I just happened to be good at it."

With her long, lean figure and wide eyes, Shrimpton popularized the waifish look and was nicknamed "the shrimp." In 1965, when she appeared at Derby Day in Australia, wearing a white shift dress that ended four inches above her knees, Shrimpton caused a scandal and popularized the miniskirt.

Shrimpton tried her hand at acting, starring in the 1967 film "Privilege," but she quickly gave up on the idea of an acting career. In 2012, Time magazine included Shrimpton in its list of "All-TIME 100 Fashion Icons," calling her "the embodiment of swingin' London in the 1960s."


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