You've Got "It"
Trendy, sexy, stylish—an "It" girl has a number of different qualities, plus a little something that's hard to pin down. Here, as New York Fashion Week kicks into high gear, are 20 young women who helped define the zeitgeist at the moment when they made their biggest splash.
HER MOMENT: 1967, the height of Twiggymania.
THE "IT" FACTOR: A 17-year-old Cockney kid weighing in at 91 pounds, Twiggy was a self-described "funny, skinny little thing, all eyelashes and legs." Yet she embodied the spirit of Swinging '60s London and became a global sensation.
HER MOMENT: The 1970s.
THE "IT" FACTOR: She modeled and co-starred in "Cabaret," but her unofficial title—the Queen of the Scene—reflected her "It" girl status. Andy Warhol was her wedding photographer. Yves Saint Laurent called her "the girl of the '70s."
HER MOMENT: 1965, the year she bonded with Andy Warhol and inspired Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone."
THE "IT" FACTOR: A socialite turned Warhol superstar, Edie—who died in 1971 at the age of 28—has been called the eternal "It" girl.
HER MOMENT: 1965 to 1970.
THE "IT" FACTOR: As Mick Jagger's girlfriend, Faithfull was at the epicenter of '60s London. She made headlines when police found her wearing only a fur rug during a raid at Keith Richards' house and inspired Rolling Stones songs including "Wild Horses" and "You Can't Always Get What You Want."
HER MOMENT: 1966 to 1969.
THE "IT" FACTOR: After her small but sensational role in 1966's "Blowup," Birkin moved from London to Paris, hooked up with singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg, and with him recorded the erotic duet "Je t'aime ... moi non plus," which sold 4 million copies.
HER MOMENT: Now.
THE "IT" FACTOR: Jane Birkin's youngest daughter, Doillon is a model/singer who draws media attention even when she's not in the spotlight. Last fall she made a side trip between front-row appearances in Milan and Paris, and W magazine ran a story with this headline: "Lou Doillon Went to Biarritz Because Even 'It' Girls Need a Break From Fashion Week."
HER MOMENT: The early 20th century.
THE "IT" FACTOR: In the first decade of the last century, Nesbit showed up on everything from magazine covers to playing cards. She had a notorious affair with Stanford White—he was 47, she 16—but got married a few years later. Her husband then shot the famous architect, and Nesbit returned to the spotlight as a key witness in a murder trial.
Princess Stephanie of Monaco
HER MOMENT: The mid-'80s.
THE "IT" FACTOR: After the 1982 death of her mother, Grace Kelly, Princess Stephanie seemed to be all over the place, designing a swimsuit collection, posing for the covers of Vogue and Vanity Fair, and releasing a hit single, "Irresistible," in 1986. A decade later she settled down and married her bodyguard.
HER MOMENT: 1994-2000.
THE "IT" FACTOR: Novelist Jay McInerney gushed that she was the new "It" girl and "the coolest girl in the world" in a New Yorker profile in 1994, just before 19-year-old Sevigny made her screen debut in "Kids." She went on to become a style icon who never lost that cool. Interestingly, she's also a practicing Roman Catholic.
Ines de la Fressange
HER MOMENT: 1974-1983.
THE "IT" FACTOR: One of the classiest "It" girls ever, Ines de la Fressange was so articulate that she earned the nickname "the talking mannequin" when she began modeling in 1974 at age 17. She later served as muse to Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, who strangely turned on her when, in 1989, she modeled for the bust of Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic (seen here).
HER MOMENT: The mid-'60s.
THE "IT" FACTOR: Called "The Face of the '60s," the groundbreaking supermodel nicknamed "the Shrimp" (seen here with actor Terrence Stamp) helped launch the miniskirt in 1965 when she wore one to a horse race in Australia.
HER MOMENT: 1992-1999.
THE "IT" FACTOR: "It" girl turned major filmmaker seems like a contradiction in terms, yet Sofia Coppola pulled it off, appearing in music videos, surrounding herself with cool friends (Donovan Leitch, Zoe Cassavetes) and hanging out at runway shows before she began directing movies like "Lost in Translation" and, more recently, "The Beguiled."
HER MOMENT: The Roaring '20s.
THE "IT" FACTOR: F. Scott Fitzgerald said she had "something to stir every pulse in the nation." A major sex symbol back in the day, Bow starred in a silent romcom called "It" in 1927, at the age of 21. That's just one of the reasons she came to be known as the "It" girl.
HER MOMENT: 2015-present.
THE "IT" FACTOR: The 2016 International Model of the Year got her start posing for Baby Guess ads when she was two years old. More recently, she has dated musicians, walked countless runways and showed up in magazines ranging from Paper to Sports Illustrated.
HER MOMENT: 1965-1970.
THE "IT" FACTOR: Yet another "It" girl who liked to hang out at Andy Warhol's Factory, the Italian-born Pallenberg was a model and actress, fluent in four languages and a muse to the Rolling Stones. After a two-year relationship with Brian Jones, she had three children with Keith Richards and, in 1970, co-starred with Mick Jagger in "Performance."
HER MOMENT: The 2000s.
THE "IT" FACTOR: She's been called "the golden girl of the Guinness dynasty." A muse to the late designer Alexander McQueen (seen here in 2004), she lives in London and New York and is romantically linked to French philosopher Bernard Henri-Lévy. Her debut album, released in 2016, was described as "somewhere between Marlene Dietrich and Marianne Faithfull."
HER MOMENT: The 1970s and '80s.
THE "IT" FACTOR: Iman has Anita Pallenberg beat—born in Mogadishu, she speaks six languages. After making her modeling debut in Vogue, she learned to love the nightlife in the heyday of disco, dated Warren Beatty and eventually married David Bowie.
HER MOMENT: 1993-1998.
THE "IT" FACTOR: She starred in 1995's "Party Girl," and the title fits. Here she is ready to chow down on eats from McDonald's at a 1996 party for Details magazine. In those days Vogue couldn't stop writing about her.
HER MOMENT: The 1940s.
THE "IT" FACTOR: Today you know her as Anderson Cooper's mom, but Vanderbilt married a movie producer and alleged mobster when she was just 17, divorced him a few years later, and then made it her mission to hook up with stars like Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando.
HER MOMENT: Just before and after "Love Story."
THE "IT" FACTOR: MacGraw objects to the "It" girl label. "Please spare me 'it' and 'cool' and 'try too hard,'" she recently told New York magazine. "Being cool is like a rope around your neck." Sorry, but you can't tell us this photographer's assistant turned model turned movie star didn't have it.
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