Twiggy is best described as one of the first international supermodels who took the fashion industry by storm in the late 20th century. A fashion icon, she is best remembered for her thin boyish frame, distinctive physical features, and for appearing simultaneously on the covers of several elite fashion magazines. Although she retired from modeling after a few years, the legacies she left behind triggered a life-long love for fashion among many women. Upon leaving the modeling industry, Twiggy switched to singing and acting, recording albums and starring in many roles. She also banded together with notable individuals and firms during her active years in the show business. Her career, which has spanned over five decades, is still active although the former model has apparently slowed down on taking up roles in the industry.
Biography of Twiggy
Twiggy was born Lesley Hornby in Neasden, Middlesex, England, on 19th September 1949. She is the third daughter of William Norman, a carpenter from Lancashire and Nellie Lydia, a printing firm factory worker. Twiggy’s maternal grandfather is Jewish while her great-great-grandmother, Grace Meadows, rapidly became known to many people in 1897 after reports of her death at a Mare Street, Hackney-based store (Messrs Mclllroys store) went viral. Meadows was killed during a stampede of excitable shoppers at a bargain sale.
Twiggy has two older sisters. Shirley is fifteen older than her while Vivien is seven years her senior. She was educated at an all-girl high school called the Brondesbury and Kilburn High School but there’s no information suggesting that she went to college.
At the age 16, precisely in the first month of the year 1966, Twigger visited Leonard of Mayfair, a London-based hair salon owned by celebrity hairdresser Leonard, where she had her hair colored and cut short by the hairdresser, who invented a new crop haircut and was looking for models on whom to try it on. After styling her hair, Leonard invited a professional photographer (Barry Lategan) to take several photos of Twiggy’s new hairstyle, following which he hung them in his salon. Not long after, a fashion journalist from Daily Express called Deirdre McSharry visited the salon and requested to meet Twiggy.
After meeting her, Deirdre took more photos of her and later featured images and an article about Twiggy on a publication a few days later, declaring her “The Face of ’66”. That was how the former model’s career took off. Even though she was short for modeling, her slim figure and “streamlined, androgynous sex appeal” helped in pushing her to the forefront. The singer’s hairdresser boyfriend called Nigel Davies immediately offered to be her manager. And after he got the job, he quickly changed his name to Justin de Villeneuve and convinced to change her nickname (Twigs, which she got due to her thin frame) to Twiggy.
Following her physical transformation, which includes sporting a short boyish bob with false eyelashes and big darkly lined eyes, Twiggy’s adolescent physique became trendy for both girls and boys even though her overall look was significantly different from that of glam/curvaceous top models of that era. Twiggy quickly gained international recognition, got featured on the cover of the U.S. edition of Vogue (April 1967) while her name became a brand in connection with several products such as dolls, lashes, lunch boxes, and pens.
She, however, bade the modeling industry goodbye after four years and then switched to singing and acting, for which she won two Golden Globe Awards (Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy and New Star of the Year – Actress) in 1972 for her role in her debut project, The Boy Friend. In the course of her flourishing career, Twiggy has been photographed by top-notch photographers such as Steven Meisel, Bert Stern, Annie Leibovitz, Cecil Beaton, Ronald Traeger, Richard Avedon, Norman Parkinson, and Melvin Sokolsky.
To date, she is still at the forefront of fashion for women of her age. She recently launched her own fashion line called “Twiggy London” collection as well as a fashion blog to tell people more about the line. She is also the brain behind the trendy “Twiggy effect” maxim, which has helped women in their 60s and 70s to remain stylish.
Her most recent album titled: Romantically Yours was released on 21 November 2011, through EMI while her archive images along with that of Jane Birkin and Jane Shrimpton were used for Tod’s Fall/Winter campaign in the year 2016.
5 Interesting Facts You Need To Know About The English Model – Twiggy
1. Net Worth
The iconic singer/actress/former model has a net worth of $50 million, although some sites claim her assets are bigger than the figure mentioned above.
2. She Has Married Twice
Twiggy entered her first marriage in the year 1977 with American actor Michael Witney. They welcomed their daughter, Carly Witney, the following year. Sadly, Michael died from heart attack in 1983, leading to the end of their marital relationship.
She first met her second husband, Leigh Lawson in 1984. Four years later, they met again while working on the movie, Madame Sousatzka. The pair fell in love and eventually got married in the same year in Sag Harbor, New York (on Long Island). Leigh later adopted Carly and she, in turn, adopted his name. Currently, Twiggy and her family are living in London and they have a home in Southwold, Suffolk, as well.
3. She is an Activist as well
According to information on her official website, the singer/actress is a promoter of the anti-fur campaign, animal welfare, and breast cancer research. She has also designed and signed her own card for Thomas Coram Foundation for Children, a renowned UK-based charity.
In the 2019 New Year Honours (appointments by some of the 16 Commonwealth realms), Twiggy was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for her immense services to charity, arts, and fashion. The former model was gazetted under her husband’s, Lesley Lawson.
5. Height and Body Measurements
Lesley Lawson stands at a height of 5 feet 8 inches, which is proportional to 1.78 meters. When she launched her modeling career, Twiggy had a 31-23-32 figure and weighed eight stone (51 kilograms). Details about her other body measurements are not available right now.