Linda Evangelista for WSJ. Magazine’s Men’s Fall Style Issue Digital Cover

Posted on September 05, 2023


Supermodel LINDA EVANGELISTA is WSJ. Magazine’s Fall Men’s Style Issue digital cover star, featuring cover and inside images photographed exclusively by STEVEN MEISEL for WSJ. Magazine.

The two fashion icons (and longtime close friends) come together exclusively for this shoot, and a first-time dual interview (extremely rare for Meisel) to celebrate their decades-long collaborations and a breathtaking new book, Linda Evangelista Photographed by Steven Meisel, Meisel’s first retrospective monograph, which Phaidon will publish this month. The legendary pair discuss their friendship over the years, with Meisel as champion, mentor, and sometime savior to Evangelista, with the two admitting that their new book is Evangelista’s brain-child — a way to celebrate life and explore their legacy, marking a big comeback after overcoming her much-reported health struggles.




Meisel on meeting Evangelista for the first time: “She just sparkled,” Meisel remembers.

Meisel and Evangelista on deciding to do the book now: “I just did [the new book] because Linda asked,” he says about his first retrospective monograph.

“And he said yes!” she chimes in. “There was no long, in-depth conversation…. We went to work…. Dare I say, I was kind of easy,” she adds. (Evangelista says she is still deciding on a breast-cancer research organization where she will donate her book proceeds.)

“It was the right time,” Meisel says. Choosing which photos to use was surprisingly easy. “We agreed—” she starts a sentence. And he finishes it: “Ninety-nine percent of the time.”

Evangelista on her breast cancer battle:  “I’ve kept it quiet. Only a handful of people knew. And I’m just not one of those people who has to share everything,” she says. “I thought to myself, I will share this one day but while I am going through it, absolutely not. I don’t want the Daily Mail waiting outside my door like they do every time something happens. ‘Linda seen for the first time since blah blah blah.’ ”

Evangelista on hair growth after second time undergoing chemotherapy: “This is all new hair,” she says. “It came back very dark. It’s even curlier than it used to be. The first time, I lost all the hair on top of my head, like my grandfather did.”

Evangelista on her first breast cancer diagnosis in 2018: “It was detected in my annual mammogram,” she says. “The margins were not good, and due to other health factors, without hesitation, because I wanted to put everything behind me and not to have to deal with this, I opted for a bilateral mastectomy. Thinking I was good and set for life. Breast cancer was not going to kill me.”

Evangelista on her reaction to a second breast cancer diagnosis last July: “Dig a hole in my chest,” she told him. “I don’t want it to look pretty. I want you to excavate. I want to see a hole in my chest when you’re done. Do you understand me? I’m not dying from this.”

Evangelista on tackling her treatment: “I just went into this mode that I know how to do—just do what you’ve got to do and get through it. And that’s what I did.”

Evangelista on her prognosis: Recently, she’s been told by her post–cancer care oncologist that her prognosis is good. It’s not quite the answer she was hoping to hear. “Not ‘great’? Why isn’t it great?” she asked. “Well, once it’s come back, there’s a chance,” she says the doctor told her. With what she describes as “a horrible oncotype score,” a number that represents the recurrence risk of cancer, Evangelista says her future is uncertain, which makes every day precious. “I know I have one foot in the grave, but I’m totally in celebration mode.”

Evangelista on whether she feels she did anything wrong in choosing to undergo CoolSculpting treatments that reportedly left her “horribly disfigured”: “I did,” she says. “I took a drink of the magic potion.”

“I love that movie,” she adds, referring to Death Becomes Her, the 1992 black comedy, starring Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn, in which a potion promising eternal youth wreaks havoc.

“I said to myself, Would I drink the magic potion?” she continues. “Of course I would.”

After the CoolSculpting commercials on television “got to my head,” she succumbed to the temptation. “It just backfired on me,” she says.

Evangelista on her son, Augustin James Evangelista Pinault, who will turn 17 in October: “He loves sports. We love going to games. You name it,” she says, listing some of his preferred teams, which include the Carolina Panthers (“Our favorite is American football; we’re crazy about it”).

“We travel to a lot of games as we enjoy it so much, and I was secure for many years knowing I wouldn’t be recognized.”

Evangelista on Salma Hayek, Augie’s step-mother, wife to Augustin’s father, François-Henri Pinault:  “I love that woman. She’s a woman’s woman. Just like me, [she’s] so family oriented, and so positive. She’s a blessing to us…. She was very, very generous and kind to me while I was going through my chemo.”

Meisel and Evangelista on their friendship:  When Linda comes over, they do “normal stuff,” she says, like watching TV, awards shows being among their preferred viewing. Linda learned to cook from her Italian mother, grandmother and aunts, and enjoys cooking seasonal dishes.

“Not that I was ever aware,” Meisel says archly. “The other night, she came over for dinner and we ordered in…. She says she’s a good cook…but I don’t know that.”

“I’m a great cook! You eat my food,” she counters.

The pair continue to press their points before he abruptly ends the discussion: “Fine, she’s a great cook.”


This article is featured in WSJ. Magazine’s Fall 2023 Men’s Style Issue available Saturday, September 16th. 


[Photo Credit: Stefen Meisel for WSJ. Magazine]

Please review our Community Guidelines before posting a comment. Thank you!

blog comments powered by Disqus