In honour of the late George Michael we wanted to revisit the influence he has had not only on the music industry but on fashion and the modelling world too! He’s left a legacy of hits in the pop world but it was his later video of ‘Freedom 90s’ that inspired our modern definition of the supermodel and shaped the 90s image.
Deeann featured in ‘The Crawl’ music video

After deciding he would no longer feature in front of the camera, the singer didn’t stop producing videos and decided instead that models would perform the song in his place. The idea came about when all five supermodels, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford appeared together on the January 1990 cover of British Vogue.

It was this unique concept along with the powerful direction of David Finches and styling by Camilla Nickerson which made the video that changed how we view models, women and their role in the music industry.

Whilst at the time it wasn’t unusual for models to appear in music videos (take Christie Brinkley’s appearance in Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” for example) they usually played the love interest of the singer, they weren’t the focal point themselves. In showing the women as the performers as opposed to the performer’s girlfriend, the video challenged the nature of gender and power.

Freedom 90s demonstrates that a models job is not just to take pretty pictures. They have to perform, take on the role desired by the client and can be a tool for change!

Deeann featured in ‘The Crawl’ music video

Since it’s release 26 years ago other stars have mirrored George Michael’s approach, featuring female models as the key focus in their videos. From Kate Moss appearing in “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” by The White Stripes in 2003 to Taylor’s girl gang of models and actresses in her “Bad Blood” video.

To celebrate the 26th Anniversary of the music video, Vogue and Instagram teamed up with the next generation of supermodels to produce a new take on the 90’s classic. The likes of Adriana Lima, Joan Smalls, Irina Shayk and Taylor Hill along with other big names, took to the streets of New York sporting the SS17 runway trends and lip syncing to the pop anthem.

But which version do you prefer?

Can’t choose? The Tyne Tees team agree – more models all round!


Our ‘supermodel’ Jayne