Monday, March 29, 2010

Featured Icon: Suzy Parker (1932-2003) Model and Actress

Suzy Parker (October 28, 1932–May 3, 2003) was an American model and actress active from 1947 into the early 1960s. Her modeling career reached its zenith during the 1950s when she appeared on the cover of dozens of magazines, advertisements, and in movie and television roles. She appeared in several Revlon advertisements, but she also appeared in advertisements for many other cosmetic companies as well, as no model had an exclusive make-up contract until Lauren Hutton (for Revlon and Revlon's Ultima) and Karen Graham (Estée Lauder) signed them in the early 1970s. She was the first model to earn $100,000 per year and the only fashion model to have a Beatles song named after her, even if an unreleased one.

Suzy's photo appeared in Life magazine at age 15. That same year, one of her first magazine advertisements was for DeRosa Jewelry. Although she still lived with her parents in Florida, she stayed in New York City with her sister, Dorian when she had modeling assignments there. Dorian introduced Suzy to her fashion-photographer friends, Irving Penn, Horst P. Horst, John Rawlings, and a young Richard Avedon. Suzy became Avedon's muse. At age 61, she said, "The only joy I ever got out of modeling was working with Dick Avedon."


Parker became the so-called signature face of the Coco Chanel brand. Chanel herself became a close confidante, giving Parker advice on men and money as well as creating numerous Chanel outfits for her.


She was the first model to earn $200 per hour and $100,000 per year. Vogue declared her one of the faces of the confident, post-war American woman. 



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