CRAWFORD was cast by photographer Steve Landis for her first magazine
cover back in late July 1984 in Paris. . . . See
a Polaroid from this shoot.
met Cindy Crawford at a small birthday party for another ELITE
model, Stephanie Seymour at the Paris restaurant CHEZ FERNAND.
Steve recalls that ”It was an incredible evening if you
really think about it, here at the same table together, and all
just beginning their careers were three girls who would become
the very definition of the word supermodel.“ (The third
and perhaps greatest model of the three was Linda
Evangelista, whom Steve Landis had already cast and booked
for a hosiery advertising promotion with British VOGUE, which
they would shoot on location in London a few weeks later.
the model agencies like to wine and dine the young photographers
with the fashion models. And as used to being around beautiful
women as we are,(fashion photographers that is), it was a special
night to remember having Cindy Crawford seated next to me on my
right Stephanie Seymour on my left, and Linda Evangelista across
from me at the modelparty."
"I was really impressed with Cindy Crawford's look, and requested
to her agency that she come to show me her book on a go- see (appointment)
the next day. She did, and we had a conversation about her modeling
experiences up till that point. I learned that she was from the
outskirts of Chicago. After some early rough going, not being
instantly accepted in that same town, Cindy Crawford had begun
to work very regularly for the great local and internationally
renowned photographer VICTOR SKREBNESKI.
summer, like so many other hopeful young models, Cindy Crawford
had come to Paris to develop her book. After a brief stop in Italy,
where, while working for PATRICK DEMARCHELIER, on a job for, I
was told, ITALIAN VOGUE, they'd convinced her into letting them
chop off her long hair. Well, it may have been a beautiful
summer in Paris, but let's just say Cindy was not too happy. Like
so many young girls who get used to long hair for most of their
lives, and equate that long hair with sexiness, the short cut
was a bit of a shock to Cindy. I told her she looked very fresh
and sexy, very modern actually. She didn’t buy it and told
me that she was going to grow it out as soon as she could. She
had her own opinion and didn’t care what others thought,
she felt better with long hair and that was that.
” Well for me it was actually a great opportunity, that
haircut, because I had just been assigned to photograph a beauty
story on the subject of short haircuts by the French fashion
magazine 20ANS. I needed to find four different girls with
short haircuts or girls willing to cut their hair short. I actually
already knew, that Cindy Crawford was destined to be a major star,
and was determined not to let the opportunity to work with her,
and have her in my book, slip away. But the pressure was on because
she was only going to remain in Paris only for another week or
so, before she went home to the States. (Sometimes you need not
only talent but great timing to achieve something memorable. .
. when in doubt, take the timing.) So I decided to take her with
me personally, to the magazine's offices in the 15th district
of Paris. When we got there, I immediately started telling them
'Isn't she great? Why don't we also do a cover try with her?'
Well I must have been really anxious because I think I asked them
at least three or four times before they agreed to let me also
do the cover try with Cindy. Elisabeth Chicot did the fashion
styling, while the highly talented make-up artist Mary Greenwell
and the exceptional hair stylist Guillaume of Mod’s Hair
in Paris completed the creative team. Shortly after I turned in
the film from the shoot, the art director and editors confirmed
to me that we did indeed have the October 1984 cover of 20ANS.“
”A great thing about Cindy Crawford was that she really
was humble, and had sort of a matter of fact attitude about her
modeling. She did not realize at all, how much potential she had,
and just how lucky she was, really being blessed to have one of
those faces that the camera just loves. When I asked her about
eventually moving to New York to take her modeling to the highest
level, she seemed to think that things were going well enough
in Chicago and why would she need to move to New York? I said
because the top photographers in New York, such as the great RICHARD
AVEDON, were going to love her. She really didn't know that she
was that special.
”About one month later I was visiting with the late great
director artistic, MARTIN SCHMULGRUBER, of FIGARO MADAME, in his
office in Paris, and we were talking about of course what else,
models. The conversation turned to Martin describing what he thought
was a great model. He said, 'this is a great model' as he held
up a sheet of film of Cindy Crawford. 'You see. . . I can use
almost every single shot of her, more than thirty out of a roll
of thirty six, I have so much choice. . . that to me is a great
model.' I agreed and said that my experience had been similar,
just having shot her for the 20ANS cover. He said that they had
just decided to use her on a cover also, photographed by TOSCANI,
on what turned out to be the next day after I'd shot her for 20ANS.
It was funny, we were like little kids both claiming bragging
rights as to who was first.“
Crawford’s first cover and the “afiche”
(poster, above) that hung in the streets all over Paris to promote
the issue. 20Ans is a hip magazine for teenage girls in
France. Over the years many girls who went on to much bigger
fame got their start on the cover of 20Ans.
the photographer . .
Steve Landis has travelled through many parts of the world during a career in professional photography incorporating the areas of photojournalism, fashion, beauty, and celebrity portrait photography for major publications for over 25 years. Steve has turned his life over to Yeshua the Messiah, (Jesus the Christ) and now primarily photographs weddings, family, actor, and executive portraits.
"I have been greatly blessed during my life and give the glory and thanks to Yeshua for a renewed life of peace and joy," states Landis.