Fashion's favourite chameleon is enjoying her comeback, but motherhood is what defines her now.
The beginning of her career
Evangelista moved to New York when she was 19, but her success wasn't immediate. It wasn't until three years later that she landed her first big shoot with French Vogue in 1987. Then came the famous haircut that launched her career into overdrive. At photographer Peter Lindbergh's suggestion, Evangelista agreed to let hairstylist Julien D'Ys give her a chic, androgynous bob. "I thought I was finished when they cut my hair," she told a British newspaper. "Eighteen out of 20 clients dropped my bookings. I rang Steven Meisel in tears. Within two months, I made the grand slam: covers of American Vogue, Italian Vogue, British Vogue and French Vogue."
Almost a decade later, Evangelista disappeared from the jet-set scene after a particularly unflattering appearance on the runways in Portugal. She set off for Saint-Tropez, where she lived in seclusion, reportedly packing on some pounds and letting her famous good looks slide. Her personal life was also in turmoil: she split from her fiancé, actor Kyle MacLachlan, and embarked on what was described as a "rocky romance" with French World Cup soccer star Fabien Barthez. Then, in 2001, she relaunched her career with a 28-page spread in Vogue. When asked to explain her absence, she told the interviewer that the miscarriage she suffered six months into her pregnancy (with Barthez) was devastating. "It was the hardest thing I ever had to go through," she says. "I'm not over it, and I never will be."
What keeps her looking gorgeous
Since her return to modelling, Evangelista has been signing numerous modelling contracts -- including her new deal with L'Oréal Paris -- and working the international runways. "It's so fabulous to be working for such an important brand -- especially because it's one that is accessible to all women," she explains.
Described as a natural beauty, Evangelista admits that she works hard at staying healthy and keeping in shape. "I know it sounds a bit clichéd, but I stick to drinking two litres of water each day and I don't drink alcohol or smoke," she says. "I also wear sunscreen every day -- even in winter. I do yoga and work out a little on a Power Plate machine that I have at home. I also walk wherever -- and whenever -- I can."
The other reason she's glowing is evident when she breaks into a smile at the mention of her young son, who was born last October. "I finally feel complete," she says when asked how he has changed her life. "I've never been away from him for more than three hours -- I can't bear it! I know that being so attached is probably not the best thing, but that's just the way it is. My priorities have changed: he comes first. The first person he sees when he wakes up is me. From now on, my life is Augustin. I feel blessed. Today, I have everything I could have ever dreamed of!"
Image courtesy of Paola Kudacki