The fashion and music worlds have never exactly stayed in their separate corners, so it comes as little surprise when models become the visual muses for our favorite rockstars. Sometimes the result is little more than a pretty face playing an artist’s love interest. Other times, however, the addition of that supermodel X-factor tips it all over the edge.
Our top 10 music videos featuring supermodels list comes on the heels of Duran Duran’s new model-filled “Girl Panic!” clip, but we certainly don’t forget about the golden age of supermodel music videos, the early ’90s. You may notice Naomi Campbell all over our list — she’s found her way onto as many music video sets as designer runways through the years.
10. “November Rain,” Guns N’ Roses (1992)
Model: Stephanie Seymour
Guns N’ Roses’ “November Rain” video is probably remembered more for its length (9 minutes), budget (rumored to be $1.5 million), and tragic and complicated (or tragically complicated?) plotline. However, it’s certainly aided by the presence of Vogue covergirl, Playboy model, and Axl Rose’s then-girlfriend Stephanie Seymour, who marries and dies within the video. We’d say her beauty is properly mourned by Axl.
9. “Change Clothes,” Jay-Z Feat. Pharrell (2003)
Models: Naomi Campbell, Jessica White
Jay-Z brought his saucy swagger to the runway in the flashy “Change Clothes” video, which featured a bevy of models including — but of course — Naomi Campbell. She just can’t stay away from music video sets, and we’re guessing that before Beyonce came around, Hova couldn’t stay away from models.
8. “Love Will Never Do (Without You),” Janet Jackson (1990)
Models: Antonio Sabàto Jr., Djimon Hounsou
Janet Jackson showed that if the boys — including brother Michael — could show off a little eye candy in their videos, so could she. So she picked the hottest male underwear models — Calvin Klein boys Antonio Sabato Jr. and Djimon Hounsou — to lovingly caress and dance around her in the black-and-white, Herb Ritts-directed “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” video.
7. “In The Closet,” Michael Jackson (1992)
Model: Naomi Campbell
Much like his sister Janet’s 1990 clip with director Herb Ritts, Michael Jackson gets sexy with a supermodel in this sepia-toned clip from Ritts. In one of Jackson’s more suggestive videos, the King of Pop dances with his lover, played by the sultry Naomi Campbell.
6. “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself,” The White Stripes (2003)
Model: Kate Moss
A big perk of being a rockstar — like, say, Jack White — is having one of the world’s most famous supermodels pole-dance in your music video. But how often do we actually see it happen? In 2003, the White Stripes and famed director Sofia Coppola convinced Kate Moss to don black lingerie and swing around on a stripper pole for the “I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” video. Perhaps the most simple clip on our list, but possibly the most erotic. Eat your heart out, Pete Doherty.
5. “Girl Panic!” Duran Duran (2011)
Models: Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Eva Herzigova, Helena Christensen, Yasmin Le Bon
While the supermodel-filled “Girl Panic!” debuted only days ago, Duran Duran reminded us that it’s been a while since we’ve seen a truly stellar use of models in music videos, thus catapulting the nine-minute clip to this list’s top five. If there’s a music video with more than three supermodels in it, there’s some sort of rule that Naomi Campbell has to be one of them. That said, Campbell shines as a lovably cocky Simon Le Bon (Duran Duran frontman), while Cindy Crawford embodies John Taylor, Eva Herzigova as Nick Rhodes, Helena Christensen as Roger Taylor, and Yasmin Le Bon as “the anonymous guitarist.” Band members, however, play bellhops and nosy journos in the cheeky clip from the masters of supermodel music video — a “Girls on Film” legacy they even nod to in “Girl Panic!”
4. “Stacy’s Mom,” Fountains of Wayne (2003)
Model: Rachel Hunter
In the ultimate ode to MILFs, then-34-year-old Rachel Hunter became the subject of teenage fantasies as the title character in the “Stacy’s Mom” video. Fourteen years after she first appeared as a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, Hunter pole-dances, sunbathes, and most notably, recreates a key scene from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”
3. “Uptown Girl,” Billy Joel (1983)
Model: Christie Brinkley
Before Christie Brinkley became Mrs.
2. “Wicked Game,” Chris Isaak (1991)
Model: Helena Christensen
Herb Ritts makes our list again, with another black-and-white video set outside. Chris Isaak’s breakthrough hit “Wicked Game” didn’t only sound sexy — it had one of the sexiest models of the era in its video, frolicking naked with the singer-songwriter himself. He’s shirtless, she’s shirtless, everything’s in slow motion (yes, running). There’s even sandy lovemaking.
1. “Freedom,” George Michael (1990)
Models: Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Tatjana Patitz
George Michael brought together a stunning cluster of supermodels for his 1990 “Freedom” video; not that we were surprised — he’s something of a master at assembling the most beautiful women in the world (see 1992’s “Too Funky” for further proof). Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford and Tatjana Patitz flaunted their sexuality as they mouthed the words to Michael’s mega-hit. The only thing missing? The fabulous Michael himself, who also choose to set fire to key career symbols in the clip.