Saturday, June 23, 2012

Singular Sensation

The late nineties ushered in a new group of models with distinctive looks and a new attitude, riding on the wave of the original Supers. Models like Georgina Grenville, Danielle Zinaich, Kylie Bax, Kiara Kabukuru, Maggie Rizer, Erin O'Connor and Karen Elson rose to prominence gaining favour with the industry's elite. Amongst this motley crew of illuminating beauties was the Mexican sensation Elsa Benitez. Hailing from Hermosillo, in north-western Mexico, Benitez entered modelling's fray at age fifteen as a semi-finalist in the 1992 Ford of the World competition. Benitez modelled locally before signing with Elite Model Management in 1996. Benitez' distinctive, sultry ethnic look garnered the attention of super photographer Steven Meisel. With Meisel's backing, Benitez swiftly ascended modelling's ladder appearing on three Vogue Italia covers in the space of a year.

Elza Benitez
US Vogue - December 1996
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - thefashionspot.com

In an industry predominantly populated with caucasian models, Benitez ethnic looks were a breath of fresh air bringing a much needed diversity to the pages of American Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, British Vogue and W Magazine. Blessed with soulful brown eyes, a heavenly body ready-made for couture and bathing suit modelling, and an endearing overbite, Benitez was sought after on the runway and as a cover girl. Benitez' charming demeanour and relatable beauty landed her on the covers of a diverse array of publications including the German, British and Italian editions of Vogue, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Mademoiselle, Self, Italian and British Elle, and Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue. Benitez also scored high profile campaigns for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta, Escada and Cover Girl Cosmetics, and was photographed by Herb Ritts for the Pirelli Calendar. Benitez continues to model to this day primarily as a commercial catalogue model and is one of the few Latin American models to gain entry into the exclusive world of high fashion modelling.

British Vogue - June 1997
Photographer - Robert Erdmann
Source - bellazon.com

US Vogue - December 1996
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - thefashionspot.com

US Harpers Bazaar - Unknown
Photographer - Unknown
Source - bellazon.com

US Vogue - Unknown
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - bellazon.com

Paris Vogue - December 1998
Photographer - Ruven Afanador
Source - bellazon.com

Kylie Bax & Elsa Benitez
US Vogue - December 1996
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - bellazon.com

US Vogue - Unknown
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - bellazon.com

Vogue Italia - September 1996
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - nymag.com

British Vogue - June 1997
Photographer - Robert Erdmann
Source - bellazon.com

British Vogue - Unknown
Photographer - Robert Erdmann
Source - bellazon.com

Vogue Italia - September 1996
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - nymag.com

D Magazine - Circa 1997
Photographer - Unknown
Source - bellazon

Vogue Italia - April 1996
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - nymag.com

German Vogue - August 1998
Photographer - Unknown
Source - bellazon.com

US Cosmopolitan - May 1997
Photographer - Patrick Demarchelier
Source - bellazon.com

British Vogue - April 1997
Photographer - Robert Erdmann
Source - bellazon.com

Vogue Italia - August 1996
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - bellazon.com

Maggie Rizer, Elsa Benitez & Eugenia da Silva
Vogue Italia - June 1998
Photographer - Steven Meisel
Source - bellazon.com

2 comments:

  1. You're preaching to the converted here. I saw a TV ad with her in which young boys swoon in her presence - they weren't acting!

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    Replies
    1. I agree, Elsa really is quite special. I only wish that there were more Latin American models in the industry. Thanks for checking in at Inoubliable!

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