Remember When Linda Evangelista Made Waking Up a Five-Figure Act?

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The loudest fashion statement ever made came from one of the ‘90s most powerful supermodels at the height of her career. Linda Evangelista, who turns 54 this week, infamously told a reporter in October 1990 that, “We have this saying, Christy [Turlington] and I… we don’t wake up for less than ,000 a day.”

The statement echoed around the fashion world and backlash quickly ensued. Though she continued to work, the quotation seemed to followed her everywhere. Through the years, it has often been twisted and heard differently like a game of telephone. Some popular versions include, “I don’t get out of bed for less than ,000 a day” and “I never get out of bed for less than ,000 a day.”

In hindsight, Evangelista once admitted, “I feel like those words are going to be engraved on my tombstone. It was brought up every single time I did an interview. I apologized for it; I acknowledged it; I said it was true; I said it was a joke. Do I regret it? I used to regret. Not anymore. I don’t regret anything anymore. Would I hope that I would never say something like that ever again? Yes. Am I capable of saying something like that again? I hope not.”

The Canadian-born, former Miss Teen Niagara was discovered by a model scout from Elite Model Management. She moved to New York City in 1984, and during her busiest period, she became a muse to photographer Steven Meisel as well as to fashion designers Gianni Versace and Karl Lagerfeld. In 1992, a fashion journalist declared Evangelista, “the world’s star model.” With over 700 magazine covers under her belt, her hard work, passion, and loyalty show dedication to her profession.

Evangelista was also a color chameleon, and had her hair dyed 17 times within five years. And unlike most of the other supermodels of the time with their longer locks, she chopped off her hair in 1988 with a boyish gamine crop—a bold move that almost cost her career. However, in 1989, her hair style was everywhere. Always being her authentic self, she said, “Sure, I like my short hair. It also quadrupled my rate. I did get sick of seeing it on everybody, though–every stewardess, every salesclerk and in every restaurant.“

Almost 30 years later after the ,000 quote, it still continues to be a reference.

Evangelista herself has admits, „I saw a movie, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and there’s a line in it where Brad Pitt says he won’t get out of bed for less than half a million dollars. That’s my line! Only now it’s a half million and it’s a man saying it.“

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