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Linda Evangelista - Biography

The Canadian 'chameleon' fashion model was born in 1965

Linda Evangelista smiling at a Paris Fashion Week event in the 90s
Hannah Watkin
Hannah WatkinContent Writer
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Born 10 May 1965, Linda Evangelista was delivered into a large Italian-Canadian family in St Catherines, a small town near Niagara Falls, in Canada. Linda developed her striking good looks at a young age and like so many future super models, was spotted while just a teenager at a local beauty contest. 

Early career

After a successful early start in the business, Linda almost turned her back on modelling after a poor experience in Japan. While on a work assignment she contacted the Canadian embassy and was flown home after being asked to pose nude and the experience made her quit modelling altogether. 

MORE: Linda Evangelista's most unforgettable runway moments 

But after finishing high school, Linda's mum persuaded her to give modelling a second chance, which led the young Canadian to sign with the New York agency Elite. In 1984 she relocated to Paris, but good jobs were slow to come and it was three years before she landed her first assignment for Vogue. Work with many more international publications followed, including Harper's Bazaar, Glamour, Elle, and Rolling Stone

Further success

A dramatic change of look in 1988 led to even more success, and Linda became one of the world's top models in the 90s. She appeared on the 1992 Vogue 100th issue cover, the highest-selling issue of the magazine to this day. In 1998, she retired from modelling, although she later returned to model again on a Vogue cover in 2001.

DISCOVER: 90s supermodels: where are they now?

Personal life

In 1987, aged 22, Linda married her first husband, Elite model agency boss Gerald Marie. Following their 1993 divorce, Linda moved back to the States where she met Sex And The City star Kyle MacLachlan at a photo shoot. The couple dated for six years and eventually got engaged, although they later parted ways. 

In 1998, after announcing her retirement from modelling, Linda began stepping out with French footballer Fabien Barthez. The couple went on to announce they were expecting a baby, but sadly Linda suffered a miscarriage at six months. In 2006, the runway star, then 41, announced she was expecting again, but kept mum about the identity of the child's father. When Augustin James Evangelista made his entry into the world on October 11 he fulfilled Linda's most dearly held wish. It was revealed in 2011 that Francois-Henri Pinault was Augustin's father.

In the mid to late 2010s, Linda made a departure from regular events and social media appearances. Then, in 2021 she revealed her reclusively was the result of having has what she described as a "brutally disfiguring" failed cosmetic procedure. Despite the incident causing her "profound sadness", Linda made a rare return to the runway in September 2022 to kick off New York Fashion Week.

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