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Linda Evangelista was the victim of a predatory modelling agency when she was a teenager.
The 57-year-old supermodel was just 16 when she was offered a modelling contract for the summer by a Japanese agency but they tried to force her into taking nude pictures and she quickly left.
Linda told the September issue of British Vogue: “I arrived, and there wasn’t anyone to collect me. I was so lost and obviously I didn’t have a cell phone. I went to the agency and it was all, ‘take your clothes off, we need your measurements’, but they already had my measurements. They wanted me naked and it wasn’t a ‘would you do nudes’ conversation, it was a ‘you will do nudes’. I left and called my mother and she said, ‘Get out now and get to the embassy.’ So that’s what I did, and they got me home.”
Linda’s career took off in 1990 and she became one of the most famous supermodels in the world, racking up over 60 magazine covers.
The fashionista admitted that she didn’t always take care of herself as she tried to keep up with the hectic lifestyle but she says she never took drugs as she was “terrified” of them.
She said: “How did I keep going? This is the truth: I was young. You could go out and eat salty fried food and drink Champagne, sleep at 3am and be up again at 5am. Drugs were offered to me, but I never touched them, I’m not saying I was an angel…but I was terrified of drugs.”
And Linda quickly discovered how to stand up for herself, when it came to being paid.
She said: “I had the power of being able to hold out. That’s all it came down to. But also, I was thinking about different industries. Athletes aren’t all paid the same – some are paid more for what they bring to the game. It wasn’t a matter of thinking I was better… but I knew my worth.”
The September issue of British Vogue is available via digital download and on newsstands from Tuesday 23rd August. Read the full article at https://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/article/linda-evangelista-british-vogue-interview