Cindy Crawford Producing TV Show About 1980s Model Wars

Noël Duan
Assistant Editor

Five supermodels on a 1990 British Vogue cover: Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford. (Photo: British Vogue)

Just when you thought the Golden Age of One-Named Supermodels (Linda, Cindy, Naomi, Christy) was over, icon Cindy Crawford is bringing it back. The supermodel is developing a drama for NBC, based on the modeling industry in the ‘80s, when Ford Modeling Agency and Elite Model Management competed for the top international models. Variety reports that this show, tentatively called “Icon,” will be Crawford’s television producing debut. Robin Bissell, who wrote The Hunger Games scripts, will be writing and co-producing the show.

Don’t expect actual supermodels to appear in the show, as Variety reports that Crawford says the show is completely fictionalized — but if real life is any indication, we’re in for some soap opera-quality theatrics. During the ‘80s model wars between Ford and Elite, top models like Esmé Marshall left Elite for Ford Models. John Casablancas, the legendary founder of Elite, who discovered the careers of models like Crawford herself, Gisele Bündchen, Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum, and Linda Evangelista had claimed that Ford founder Eileen Ford was trying to sabotage him. Ford replied with a $32.5 million lawsuit. Casablancas told People in 1980, “Eileen Ford’s game is crystal-clear. She wants my skin. There’s so much ego and conniving in this business — anyone will do anything. But I am a warrior. I will fight. I will never sleep with both eyes closed as long as that woman is around.“ Beverly Johnson, the highest-paid black model of 1980, notoriously defected Elite for Ford before returning back to Elite after a week.

Before social media supermodels became a sensation, there were Amazonian women strutting the runways and making the magazine covers. Many models didn’t make it through the backstabbing trenches of the ‘80s model wars, as People reported, but Crawford, the former high school valedictorian who became a beauty icon, will hopefully be telling their lost stories through this new drama.


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