In the late 1980s, a mysterious Frenchwoman emerged onto the European fashion scene. Known at the time only by her first name, Nadège’s pixie haircut, brilliant smile and effortless ability to adapt to any vision a creative team could dream up culminated in a tremendous career. The muse of the late Azzedine Alaïa and a frequent not only on runways but also magazine covers, editorials, and advertising campaigns, Nadège quit modeling during the height of her popularity in order to pursue family life. Here she looks back on the defining moments from her stratospheric career.

image courtesy Nadège Dubospertus

Donna Karan, 1990s
Photographed by Herb Ritts.

Herb was the very first photographer I worked with and who gave a decisive boost to my career. Probably one of the kindest people I ever met. He chose me for a job when I had practically no photos in the book except a few simple tests. He was struck by a close-up of me smiling and chose me for my first job in Los Angeles when I still didn’t speak English. From that moment on, my career started to take off.

image courtesy Nadège Dubospertus

20 Ans, July 1989
Photographed by Barbro Andersson. Styled by Corinne Nocella. Hair by Claude de Angelis.

Barbro is one of the sweetest people I met in the fashion industry and I have been really lucky to work with her at the beginning of my career. This was my first cover for a magazine and for this reason, I am very attached to this shot.

image courtesy Nadège Dubospertus

Vogue US, April 1993
Photographed by Steven Meisel. Hair by Garren. Makeup by Denise Markey.

What about the immense Steven Meisel, another great Master with whom I had the honor of working. Steven is a true image artist and what I have always admired about working with him is the obsessive care and control of every detail, from hair and make-up to styling. He supervised everything from A to Z. Furthermore, every model must be willing to immerse herself in any situation during her shooting. This editorial demonstrates that! Trying to stay calm with a snake crawling on you is possible even if it was not so easy at all! When I first saw the snakes I wanted to run away, but Steven calmed me down. But during the shoot, at a certain point, the other girls [Meghan Douglas, Carla Bruni, Kristen McMenamy, Linda Evangelista] started to get more than nervous and you have to know snakes sense your fear. It was a moment of panic, but electrifying!

image courtesy Nadège Dubospertus

Vogue Paris, February 1991
Photographed by Tiziano Magni

I am attached to this cover of French Vogue because I think it’s a powerful image and also because the photographer who made it, Tiziano Magni, was also my partner in life for a certain period. What I liked about him as a photographer was that he could see something in you that you might not even be aware of and bring it to life. He could bring out your essence.

image courtesy Nadège du Bospertus

Vogue US, June 1992
Photographed by Patrick Demarchelier. Styled by Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele. Hair by Eric Gabriel. Makeup by Mary Greenwell.

Patrick is a genius. His magic was to create images of pure beauty and simplicity in no time. Shooting with him was always so easy and such a pleasure! We had a lot of fun with him as you can see from this shot for Vogue US with Christy Turlington [and Beverly Peele] taken in the Caribbean. Styling was by the great Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele.