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Isabella (also known as Isabelle, Isabel) Cowan is an 80s model, represented by Riccardo Gay, Milan.

 

Born: London, UK (However moved to Australia and did a lot of VOGUE work there.)

 

Height: 1.74
Bust: 89
Waist: 61
Hips: 88
Shoes: 40
Hair: Blonde
Eyes: Hazel

 

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Isabella graced the cover of Vogue five times in 1980 and appeared in 24 consecutive editions of the magazine. 

 

"The first cover I did for Vogue was for the June 1980 edition. The shoot took place at Bondi Beach in summer, starting at 5am, and Patrick Russell was the creative director. In those days he chose everything from the clothes to the accessories. I think I got paid $120 a day at the time. Patrick made me feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. He was my favourite photographer. The shoot took half a day and I remember it was a hot morning and I was nearly fainting – I actually fell off the wall I was sitting on. I never anticipated a life in modelling. I was born in London and moved to Melbourne from Switzerland at 15. I began working as an au pair at 16 on the advice of my stepfather. It was through this part-time job that I met photographer Rennie Ellis, who was a friend of the family, and he encouraged me to do some modelling. I went to Milan and worked for the likes of Salvatore Ferragamo, La Perla and [the US department store] Filene's. I guess I was the right look for the time. I had naturally curly hair and it was the '80s. I had an abundance of work as a result. Maybe if I had straight hair my fate would have been different. I modelled for eight years and then went part-time at 25. I was six months pregnant with my daughter and didn't tell anyone and continued doing shoots. 

In the '80s, models tended to do their own hair and make-up. There was no entourage that came with the big jobs, unless it was for a major campaign or a TV commercial. I had to carry around the biggest bag – in it were 20 pairs of shoes in various colours, make-up, belts and jeans. I had my wardrobe on my shoulders. That's how we did things back then. We were free to express ourselves through photography, which was nice."

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