According to fashion folklore, their highest recorded fees include Christy Turlington's three million dollar contract with Calvin Klien and one signed by Claudia Schiffer, who at the peak of her reign was the face Chanel for one full year, earning 15 million dollars.
The mythology that followed the Big Six was curated Gianni Versace and Azzedine Alaïa - designers who created collections intended to show off the female form. The order of their day was endless legs, super sexy curves, impossibly high cheekbones, full brows, and gorgeous feminine faces.
The Canadian born model was discovered by Elite modeling agency when she just 16-years-old. Her career took off when it was suggested by French hairstylist Julien d'Ys that she cut her tresses into a short gamine cut - the hairstyle eventually became known as The Linda.
In 1991, it was rumored that the fashion house Lanvin paid Evangelista $20,000 to walk in their haute couture show for the spring/summer season, an amount that was considered excessive. Male model Tyson Beckford recounted in an interview that Evangelista was instrumental in getting higher rates for models.
The German model has appeared on over 1000 magazine covers according to Glamour. At age 17, she “was spotted” in a nightclub in Düsseldorf, Claudia eventually moved to New York where she signed with Elite.
Shiffer has appeared in advertising campaigns for Chanel, Versace, Balmain, Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld, Alberta Ferretti, Bulgari, Chloé, Escada, Blumarine, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Max Mara, Louis Vuitton and countless more.
Recruited at the age of 15, by the late 1980s, Campbell, with Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista, formed a trio known as the "Trinity", who became the most recognizable and in-demand models of their generation. In March 1991, in a defining moment of the so-called supermodel era, Campbell walked the catwalk for Versace with Turlington, Evangelista, and Crawford.
Born in Croydon, South London, Kate was discovered at 14-years-old while walking through an airport. Arriving at the end of the "supermodel era", Moss rose to fame in the mid-1990s as part of the heroin chic fashion trend. Her collaborations with Calvin Klein brought her to fashion icon status. Her 5'8" waifish frame was a contrast to the Amazonia body shapes of the other five supermodels. She once said, "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels" although she later told US television host Megyn Kelly she wouldn’t say it today.
After finishing high school Crawford moved to New York City from Chicago and in 1986 and signed with the Elite. She was featured on countless glossy magazine covers - a partial count in 1998 totaled over 500. Crawford has walked the runways for Chanel, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Christian Dior, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors, Todd Oldham, DKNY, and Valentino. Her daughter Kaia Gerber is one of today's most sought after models.
In 2008, casting agent James Scully said Turlington was "the greatest model of all time". He added, "You could combine every model to this day into one person, and they wouldn't come close (sorry, girls)." Her facial features - which are almost too perfect - made her a beacon for beauty campaigns which elevated her to one of the most recognisable faces in the world.
The American born supermodel is still featured in campaigns for Calvin Klien and Maybelline today. She also has modeled for Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan, Prada, Valentino, Versace, Louis Vuitton.