Dorothy Virginia Margaret Juba was discovered by a Vogue editor in 1949 in an Automat on the first floor of the magazine’s office building and walked out the door with her first modeling check and an exotic new name (based on the first two letters of her decidedly unexotic first three names) just a few hours later. She quickly became the highest-paid model in the world and a favorite of photographer Richard Avedon. She’s responsible for so many iconic covers and images from the decade that she more or less became synonymous with the 1950s high-fashion aesthetic; long of neck and limb, high of cheekbone, with a signature winged eye and an impossibly tiny waist. She served as the face of the fashion industry by portraying a parody of herself for the 1957 Audrey Hepburn/Fred Astaire film Funny Face. She is one of a handful of women who could rightly claim she helped originate the very idea of a supermodel. Her life was not a happy one, but rather than focus on that we would prefer to honor her by paying tribute to her highly influential work as a model and the massive catalogue of gorgeous high-fashion imagery that is her legacy.
[Photo Credit: Pinterest, Worthpoint.com, eBay, avedonfoundation.org]