An Early "Supermodel"

Wed Mar 5 04:41:37 UTC 2008

Although the collocation "super model" had been used earlier, currently the earliest known use of "supermodel" in the modern sense is in the 5/19/1967 issue of the Salisbury (Md.) Daily Times, in reference to Twiggy, see  However, the term was also used, again in reference to Twiggy, in the June 1967 issue of Playboy:
"Twiggy, London supermodel and an international celebrity at 17, oversees lunch date Shel [Silverstein] sketching away at Alvaro's, mecca for rich young Britons."
Reprinted in Shel Silverstein, Playboy's Silverstein Around the World 156 (2007).  The magazine would have hit newstands in early May, so this actually predates the Salisbury Daily Times cite.  It seems to support the view that Twiggy actually was the first model widely known as a "supermodel."
John Baker

The American Dialect Society -

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