Linda Evangelista was dressing for success at an early age.
As a girl growing up in St. Catharines, Ont., mom Marisa Evangelista recalls her daughter’s eye for fashion statements that would later make her famous.
“I remember she’d get my clothes and high heels and dress up,” Marisa said. “So she was always interested in dressing up and fashion.” Marisa, who still lives in St. Catharines, wasn’t surprised by her daughter’s career choice. “I knew that was in her and along the way it developed.”
Even while attending Denis Morris High School in the city, she’d have to wear a school uniform, “and was always trying to enhance it.”
“She’d add a little scarf, maybe a bow — just a little something extra.”
Evangelista, 48, would ultimately become an international supermodel, one of the most photographed faces in the world, and appear on hundreds of magazine covers.
Her career has included modeling for fashion biggest players including Chanel, Christian Dior, and Yves St. Laurent.
She has graced the cover of magazines ranging from Elle and Marie Claire, to Vogue. The supermodel also appeared in music videos with pop star George Michael.
Evangelista was born into a working-class Italian Catholic family rounded out by her mom, father Tom and brothers James and Dan. Her big break came after being discovered at the 1978 Miss Teen Niagara beauty contest.
After high school, she moved to New York City, where she now lives, and signed with Elite Model Management.
Her career took her to international heights, where she was noted for creative and cutting-edge style changes.
Evangelista is also known for considerable philanthropic and charity work, including the American Foundation for AIDS Research and fundraising with rocker-friend Bryan Adams for a hospital breast-screening centre in St. Catharines.
Evangelista received a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame in Toronto in June 2003.
Mom reports Linda is “a really good person, a devoted daughter” and visits Niagara often to see family and friends: “She really has always been very tight with the family here.”
Born in St. Catharines — 1965
Discovered at Miss Teen Niagara beauty pageant — 1978
Signs contract for cosmetics company L’Oreal Paris — 2007
Features in Prada campaign — 2008
Linda Evengelista/ Bryan Adams fundraising connection to the St. Catharines breast-screening centre:
* Original concert with Bryan Adams took place Feb. 1998 with 3,000 people attending at the Jack Gatecliff Arena. The concert raised $200,000 for breast screening equipment.
* The Breast Screening Centre at the St. Catharines General Hospital was named in their honour in late 1998, called the Evangelista-Adams Centre for Breast Screening (name still remains as of today)
* In Sept. 2008, Bryan Adams returned for a second concert to help raise funds for the new digital mammography unit needed at the centre. That concert raised $240,000