In October 1981, Life cited Shelley Hack, Lauren Hutton, and Iman for Revlon, Margaux Hemingway for Fabergé, Karen Graham for Estee Lauder, Christina Ferrare for Max Factor, and Cheryl Tiegs for Cover Girl by proclaiming them the “million dollar faces” of the beauty industry. These supermodels negotiated previously unheard of lucrative and exclusive deals with giant cosmetics companies, were instantly recognizable, and their names became well known to the public.
In the early 1980s, Inès de La Fressange was the first model to sign an exclusive modeling contract with an haute couture fashion house, Chanel. During the early 1980s, fashion designers began advertising on television and billboards. Catwalk regulars like Gia Carangi, Cheryl Tiegs, Christie Brinkley, Kim Alexis, Paulina Porizkova, Yasmin Le Bon, Kathy Ireland, Brooke Shields, Carol Alt, and Elle Macpherson began to endorse products with their names, as well as their faces, through the marketing of brands such as the beverage Diet Pepsi to the extension of car title Ford Trucks.
As the models began to embrace old-style glamour, they were starting to replace film stars as symbols of luxury and wealth. In this regard, supermodels were viewed not so much as individuals but as images.