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Supermodel Linda Evangelista loves her job, a glass of wine and a good cigar.
Mervyn Rothstein
From the Print Edition:
Linda Evangelista, Autumn 95

(continued from page 5)

There is, though, a reason for all that activity--a very important reason. "You do that because you're like an athlete," she says. "You say that your time is now; it's not in 20 years."

But, she says, the relentless march of time in the fashion business has eased somewhat in recent years; the shelf life of a model, especially of a supermodel, is much longer than anyone would have imagined a decade or so ago. "I used to think there was this clock ticking over my head," she says. "The longest career span was three years. But I started at the same time as many other top models, and we're still here. We're still working. And I never, ever thought that would happen."

She pauses for a moment, takes another sip of her Chianti, the ruby red in the glass just a little brighter than the red of her lips. "I think a lot of things have changed for the better in the fashion industry," she says. "I'm so proud of the fact that we don't have to be the stereotypical button-nosed, blue-eyed blonde beauty, that we don't all have to be five foot nine. You can be whatever height and still be beautiful. You can be whatever race and still be beautiful. And you can be whatever age now, and I think that's wonderful.

"We're like old shoes now," she says of herself and her supermodel compatriots. "Yes, you buy new ones. New ones are fabulous. You wear the new ones. But every once in a while you go and put on the old ones. Because they're comfy. And they fit. And they make you happy. And I think that's what happens in our business. They bring us back."

There's something to say for the thirty-something generation, she says, even though youth also has its advantages. "New models are incredible to watch, because they do things that are so different. But at the same time, if there's a problem with the garment, I know how to fix it with my body. It's just that practice makes perfect. I don't mean I'm perfect, but I've gotten better, much better, at what I do."

She is, she believes, much better in other ways, too. "I don't have a problem with turning 30," she says. "All my friends turned 30 and were completely freaked out by it. But I was happy to turn 30. I would never want to be 22 again. I've grown, and I've learned a lot. I like myself better now than I did back then. I'm not in such a rush anymore. I used to be in such a rush for everything. There's still much to improve on, but I'm content."

She has, for instance, no burning desire to do what several other models have tried to do--make it in the movies. "I'm not going to say I'm not interested, but my dream was to be a model. It wasn't to be an actress. I don't think all models become great actresses. I get offers, but the stuff I've been offered is not anything I would care to do. If a beautiful script falls from the sky, and it has a major star and a major director, of course I would say I'm interested. But I think people who are born to act should be actors. I don't know if I was born to act."

Part of her contentment comes from her personal life. Her relationship with MacLachlan began in late 1992. She has just bought a house in Greenwich Village, but her main home is in California's Hollywood Hills, where she heads whenever she has time off. And where she loves to cook.

"Basically, you'll find me in the kitchen," she says. "Mostly Italian or healthy Mexican food. Very healthy food: turkey burgers and stir-fry. All my favorite dishes I can't eat, like pizza and pasta. I love pasta."

Her other hobbies include gardening, playing the accordion and photography. "When I'm home, I'm busy editing photos and printing them and working on them. But basically, when I'm not working I really just veg out. And then I end up doing all the stuff I was supposed to do and all the chores--the banking, seeing the accountant, the dry cleaning." She smiles. "And every once in a while I will get a facial."

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