It was a haircut that gave Linda Evangelista her big break. The Canadian beauty had been modelling for several years - picking up around $600 per shoot for "mediocre" work - until she swapped her long, light brown hair for a gleaming copper bob. British Vogue picked up the shots of her new look and Linda's career went stellar. "It was the day she was born," said Chanel maestro Karl Lagerfeld of the model's transformation.
Linda made her debut on May 10, 1965, into a large Italian-Canadian family in St Catherines, a small town near Niagara Falls, Linda developed striking good looks and was spotted while just a teenager at a local beauty contest. An early modelling experience almost made her turn her back on the business, however. While in Japan on a work assignment she contacted the Canadian embassy and was flown home after being asked to pose nude.
After finishing high school Linda's mum persuaded her to give modelling a second chance, leading the young Canadian to sign with New York agency Elite. In 1984 she relocated to Paris, but good jobs were slow to come and it was three years before she landed her first assignment for Vogue.
In 1987, aged 22, Linda married her first husband, Elite model agency boss Gerald Marie, and gradually started to land higher-calibre work. It was her dramatic change of look which really propelled the model into the big time though. With her fees skyrocketing, Linda famously commented that she didn't get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day - a comment which became part of fashion history.
Despite her quip Linda has always said she loves modelling the clothes, the glamorous locations and everything that goes with it. And in an industry renowned for its egos and eccentric behaviour, the statuesque stunner has a reputation for the seriousness with which she approaches her work. A consummate professional, she turns up on time and is rarely pictured living the high life.
Following her 1993 divorce from Gerald, Linda moved back to the States where she met Sex And The City
star Kyle MacLachlan at a photo shoot. The couple dated for six years and eventually got engaged, although they later parted ways.
In 1998, a year after she had announced her retirement from modelling, Linda began stepping out with French footballer Fabien Barthez. The couple went on to announce they were expecting a baby, but sadly Linda suffered a miscarriage at six months. It was a difficult time for the model who described the loss of her baby as "the hardest thing I've ever had to go through."
Three years later, however, the original supermodel was back. Thirty six years old and as in-demand as ever she was soon back shooting covers with star photographer Mario Testino.
Motherhood remained a priority, though, and in 2006 the runway star, then 41, announced she was expecting again, while keeping mum about the identity of the child's father. When Augustin James Evangelista made his entry into the world on October 11 he fulfilled Linda's most dearly held wish.