When I wrote the post about fashion and designers, I‘ve mentioned that I was into modeling and models.
As I read fashion magazines around my 10-11, I noticed the models photographed. Late 1982 (on 2 ELLE France December issues), one model drew my attention. It was a lovely blue eyed and sublime young woman from Denmark : Renee Toft Simonsen. She won the Ford Agency contest face of the 80’s. She was going to be one of the few models whom can be honored to be called “supermodels”. She became one of my true favorites (basically, the only one !) and I always thought that she was the most gorgeous woman in the world (and still !). So, I started collecting on her and pen palled with dozens of fans around the world : “Models collecting business” as we nicknamed ourselves.
The trading was papers/covers/clippings and we posted abroad weekly anything we found out (and bought the magazines for) to our “traders” and their wishing lists. Renee entered into another dimension than fashion when she began to date Duran Duran bassist John Taylor in the mid-80’s and attracted Duran Duran fans ! The trading became hectic and it was quite a full time job to look through magazines at the newsstands and get the ones my pen pals might want. It was expensive too. Very expensive !
Anyhow, I kept on pen palling and trading until a Seventeen magazine confused me and my collection life. It was SEVENTEEN, US magazine, September 1989. I had subscribed to that magazine because I liked a fashion photographer, Paul Lange, and he was doing a lot of photos with it. On that particular issue, a blonde and skinny model drew my attention and I asked directly the photographer about her name. His answer was Niki Taylor. I’d been told that she did a few Italian GRAZIA magazines (along with another soon-to-be famous model : Carla Bruni) and did the August 1989 SEVENTEEN cover. I knew instantly that Niki Taylor would be a terrific and great model. It was printed on the paper. She was astounding and so fresh. So, I wrote to any of my pen pals and asked for “Niki Taylor only”. I stopped Renee Simonsen collection (she was kind of quitting the modeling business, though).
Here start my collection about Niki. Yes, I can call her Niki. I’ve been collecting on her for 23 years now and I know her career so well, that she could be a professional relative of mine. But I’ve never been (too) intrusive into her private life.
Niki is the incarnation of beauty, kindness and cleverness. She is smart, a great human being (due probably to her parents, whom are delightful and caring persons), and a strong woman. Her life is well-known by most Americans. She’s been through so much in a so very short time that she looks like invulnerable.
From her early years, 1989 and the fastness of her line of business (1991-1993) to the Red Cross Ambassador (2010-2011) and mother of 4, she’s been into so much joys and pains.
Apart from her divorce, her car wreck in 2001 (in which she nearly died, and went under 2 months of coma and months of recoveries and dozens of surgeries) her greatest pain is surely the loss of sibling Krissy, back on July 2nd 1995. I will post about Krissy later this month because she does deserve to be celebrated and that she is missed so much.
Anyhow, Niki endures a lot and despite her eyes looked darken on some pictures (especially the Delano layout from ELLE December 1995, a few months after Krissy’s passing), she was still smiling and looking healthy.
She is down to earth and surely knows that she is an exception in this modeling business (she’s one of supermodels, along with Cindy, Naomi, Christy, Linda, Helena, Claudia, Kate etc. You know the ones you don’t have to say the name to exactly identify whom they are, Supermodels of the 90’s). Been close to be a “retired model” but never stopped to work and been asking for commercial, advertising or even editorial. Putting Niki Taylor in a cover is being sure to double selling !
Nowadays, Niki works for her company, runs a shop, does TV shows, some editorials and covers, offers her face and fame to American Red Cross, helps others women through her NikiTaylorInc., enjoys her family, her friends and her way of life, raises four children (twin boys Jake & Hunter born in 1994, Ciel born in 2009 and Rex Harrison born in 2011) with her husband, Burney Lamar.
She shall never stop to incarnate the perfection to me. The older she gets, the more respect I have for her. I guess that everyone has its own heroes in life, people you are referring to whenever you need a bit of strength. For me, one of the happy few is Niki, someone whom gives me strength, happiness (knowing that she is blissed in her life lately) and the determination to go on. It might be a bit superficial or stupid to say so, to call a supermodel a leader, but her job doesn’t determine what she is inside.
Once a magazine referred to Niki as “Supermodel, Super sexy, Supermom, Super smart… Niki Taylor is gorgeous inside and out”, it sumps up it all.