Twiggy Lawson is an English model, actress, and singer widely known by the nickname Twiggy. She was a British cultural icon and a prominent teenage model in swinging sixties London.
Twiggy is best remembered as one of the first international supermodels and a fashion icon of the 1960s. Her greatest influence is Jean Shrimpton, whom Twiggy considers to be the world’s first supermodel.
Twiggy was soon seen in all the leading fashion magazines, commanding fees of £80 an-hour, bringing out her own line of clothes called “Twiggy Dresses” in 1967, and taking the fashion world by storm. Twiggy’s look centred on three qualities: her stick-thin figure, a boyishly short haircut and strikingly dark eyelashes.
Twiggy arrived in New York in March 1967 at Kennedy Airport, an event covered by the press.
That year she became an international sensation, modelling in France, Japan and America, and landing the cover of Paris Vogue in May, the cover of US Vogue three times, in April, July and November, and the cover of British Vogue in October.
After retiring from modelling in 1970, Twiggy then embarked on an award-winning acting and singing career, starring in a variety of roles on stage and screen, and recording albums. In 1971, she made her film debut as an extra in Ken Russell’s The Devils.
In 1974, she made her West End stage debut in Cinderella; made a second feature, the thriller W (co-starring with her future husband Michael Witney); and hosted her own British television series, Twiggs (later renamed Twiggy).
In 1983 she made her Broadway debut in the musical, My One and Only, starring and co-staged by Tommy Tune, for which she earned a Tony nomination. She played opposite Robin Williams in the 1986 comedy Club Paradise. In 1987, she played a vaudeville performer in the British television special The Little Match Girl, and in 1988 she appeared in a supporting role in Madame Sousatzka opposite second husband Leigh Lawson.
In 2005, she joined the cast of the television show America’s Next Top Model for Cycles 5–9 as one of four judges, and a year later, she appeared on the cover of the “Icons” issue of Swindle magazine. She also returned to modelling, fronting a major television, press and billboard campaign for Marks & Spencer. Her involvement in the advertising campaign has been credited for reviving Marks and Spencer’s fortunes.
She also started an HSN fashion line called the “Twiggy London” collection, and has begun a fashion blog to discuss the line. Women in their 60s and 70s are remaining stylish today, and this trend has been termed the “Twiggy effect”.