Two years earlier, Lindbergh had photographed a similar group shot for American Vogue, but it was not immediately embraced. He lined up Turlington, Evangelista, and Patitz with Estelle Léfebure, Karen Alexander, and Rachel Williams, in loose white button downs on a Santa Monica beach. The editor at the time, Grace Mirabella, threw the pictures in the trash. She was let go from the publication soon after, and Anna Wintour took the reigns. Wintour’s vision was more suited to Lindbergh’s and she asked him to shoot the first cover under her tenure. The photographer lamented to The Guardian that he couldn’t stand the type of women that Vogue seemed to cater to before. “I’ve never been impressed by somebody who came in with a crocodile bag, you know?” he mused.
Lindbergh may not have photographed the everyday woman, but he did bring the loftiest of supermodels down to earth. His refusal to retouch his portraits is being resoundly echoed in the industry today. “The cosmetic companies have everyone brainwashed,” he told The Guardian. “I don’t retouch anything. ‘Oh, but she looks tired!’ they say. So what if she looks tired? Tired and beautiful.”