“Baby in a billion”: the story of Lisa Fonssagrives first supermodel

Long before Gisele Bundchen, Cindy Crawford and Linda Evangelista conquered the catwalks of the world, the formal rules Lisa Fonssagrives first supermodel. Her story is an example of how life can change thanks to a happy coincidence.

Lisa Fonssagrives, nee Lisa Birgitta Bernstone was born on 11 may 1911 in Sweden. Worried about your daughter’s future parents gave Lisa in the school of cooking. But this was not the dream fragile girl. She left school and went to Paris to learn to dance. There she met her first husband, dancer Fernand Fonssagrives.

Maybe Fonsegrives could become a famous dancer, if not for the fateful meeting. Once Lisa was back from dance class and was confronted in the Elevator with the photographer Willy Mavado. Fascinated by the beauty of Lisa, Maiwald invited her to take part in a fashion show of hats.

During the demonstration, headwear Fernand took a few photos of his wife, who later took it to the editor of Vogue. This started a modelling career Lisa Fonssagrives. Three years later she became the main model of Vogue, only on the cover of this edition of Fonssagrives appeared over two hundred times. She also starred for Time, Vanity Fair and Harper’s Bazaar.

Feature posing Lisa Fonssagrives was the fact that she was dancing in front of the lens because the pictures turned out alive. One of the most acclaimed photographs were taken in 1937 by Erwin Blumenfeld where Lisa is teetering on the beam of the Eiffel tower.

When the Second world war, Lisa and Fernand moved to America. The couple was not so strong, they gradually moved away from each other. In 1947 Vogue asked photographer Irving Penn to do a group portrait of twelve of the most popular models this year, among them was Lisa Fonssagrives. So Lisa met her second husband. Their marriage lasted 42 years, until his death Lisa.

Lisa Fonssagrives continued to work as a model until the late 50-ies. Her career became one of the longest in the profession. “Baby in a billion” and “the amazing Lisa” — so called it American magazines. The Lisa star disease did not suffer, and called themselves simply “good hanger”.

Giving birth to a child, Lisa decided to completely surrender to motherhood and left the model, but Irwin continued to shoot her for themselves: at home, on a walk with the kids. Until the end of her life, she remained his Muse. Lisa Fonssagrives died in 1992. Irvine survived his wife by 17 years.

“If I had to live my life again, I would not began to change,” admitted Lisa, Fonssagrives in a recent interview.

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