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George Michael's Leading Ladies Share Memories, Photos of '90s Video Heyday
In George Michael’s pop prime, starring in the rugged Englishman’s videos became almost a rite of passage, marking a grand arrival for models from all over the world.
1990’s David Fincher-directed “Freedom! ’90” wrangled together supermodels who banked a reported $15,000 a day. Gianni Versace closed his Milan Fall 1991 show with the song and its video models walking in unison.
In 1992, “Too Funky” boasted pieces from acclaimed designer Thierry Mugler, which several runway stars wore. Michael’s influence on fashion and style is undeniable.
With the shocking news of Michael’s death on Christmas Day, we're looking back at some of the "It girls" and models he worked with for "Freedom! '90" and beyond.
Naomi Campbell, 46
In "Freedom! '90", Campbell dons a leather bra, short shorts and studded biker boots belonging to stylist Camilla Nickerson's boyfriend, dancing so hard she shakes water out of a glass. Campbell is still an omnipresent model and pop-culture icon, acting on Fox's rap drama Empire.
Linda Evangelista, 51
Her’s is the first face we see in the video, nestled in an oversize turtleneck sweater, legs bare, cueing up “Freedom ’90” on the loft’s stereo system. Later on in “Too Funky”, the Canadian model wears a huge white fur coat while walking down a chaotic runway with stylized blond hair. Today, she’s creative director and face of skincare line Erasa.
Tatjana Patitz, 50
With her hair blonde and curly, Patitz lounges in a leopard print top as she sings along to Michael’s "Freedom! '90" lyrics. Patitz has retired from modeling and rides horses when she’s not raising her children.
Christy Turlington Burns, 47
In "Freedom! '90", Turlington’s 5-foot 10-inch frame was elongated by a white linen sheet wrapped around her body. Stepping toward a window’s light with her hair gelled back, Turlington's body appears to go on forever. Today, Burns is the founder and chief executive of Every Mother Counts, a nonprofit dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for all mothers-to-be.
Cindy Crawford, 50
Crawford steamed things up in the iconic video with her head cocked back, facing the ceiling as she bathes in a tub. While Crawford rarely walks the runway anymore, she is the co-creator and face of skincare line Meaningful Beauty, as well as an author. Her daughter, Kaia Jordan Gerber, is on her way to supermodel ascension.
Estelle Lefébure, 50
In Michael's video for "Too Funky", Estelle struts in wearing a patent leather outfit, thigh-high boots and a choker. “I will never forget this moment,” Lefébure wrote recently of her time on this shoot. “I was so lucky to meet and work with you. Such an incredible, nice and talented person.”
Tyra Banks, 43
Wearing a sheer green robe with long, curled locks, Banks was a centerpiece, shimmying in "Too Funky." Today, Banks is better known for being executive producer and former longtime judge of her hit TV show, America's Next Top Model.
This Christmas is beautiful yet sad as I remember @GeorgeMichael and his amazing talent and the beauty he created with songs.— Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) December 26, 2016
Nadja Auermann, 45
Also starring in "Too Funky," Auermann rocks a black lace gown and red pout as her blonde ponytail whips with every turn. Earlier this year, Auermann was featured in Giorgio Armani’s New Normal campaign honoring ageless beauty.
Tania Coleridge, 50
With severe bangs, the English model conjures Betty Page as she wears a studded bustier and black pumps in Michael's "Father Figure." Tania plays his love interest, locking lips in his apartment and riding around in his taxi. Today, she is a mother of three.
Kathy Jeung, 52
When she met George, Kathy was a DJ and aspiring makeup artist. She soon became his girlfriend. She was featured wearing lingerie in his controversial video for "I Want Your Sex," in which George wears a cross earring as he dismisses the Bible and sings about sexual desires. She’s since become a renowned makeup artist, with clients like P!nk, Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Rita Ora. Jeung was featured in Billboard's Rock the Look video series.
This is very hard to write - I normally post about light fluffy things...but 1 week ago my dad passed away and I was grappling with posting about it on social media, it felt very personal and private and I wasn't ready to put into words all that my dad meant to me...he was 90 so I could put his passing into perspective....and I was with him when he went peacefully with no distress...and is now with my mom and brother Patrick in heaven... Then yesterday the news about #GeorgeMichael...just #heartbreaking...like my childhood with my dad and family, I spent some of the best times of my life with George - I can barely encompass in words what George means to me, I treasured our #specialfriendship - to just scratch the surface with no exaggeration, he was the most generous, hilarious, brilliant, talented, #truefriend - for now I'll just say #iloveyouyog #iloveyougeorge #alwaysinmyheart #bestfriend #ripgeorge #yog #loveyoualways #heartbroken #lastchristmas - All my love to George's family, dad, sisters Melanie and Yioda, his friends, especially #DavidAustin #AndrewRidgeley @shirliekemp @kenny_goss - George can now be with his beautiful mom in #heaven _ #iloveyoudad #yougavemelife #forevergrateful