It could be argued that Canada’s first internationally famous models to appear on the cover of a magazine were the Dionne Quintuplets, whose images were used to promote a number of products in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
However, until the 1980s, few Canadian models worked outside the Canadian fashion industry and even fewer appeared on the cover of an international fashion magazine. Halifax born Joanna Shimkus was the first to appear on the cover of Paris Vogue a few times in 1968 and 1969. Montreal’s Dayle Haddon found success in the 1970s including several Paris Vogue covers, as well as the cover of 1973’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.
As Canadian fashion became more international in the 1980s, so did the reputation of Canadian models. Scarborough’s 14 year old Monica Schnarre won the Ford Models ‘Supermodel of the World’ contest in 1986 and became the first Canadian model to appear on the cover of U.S. Vogue.
Since then, many Canadian-born models have appeared on the covers of some the most prestigious fashion magazines including American, Italian, and Paris Vogues, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel, and Elle. The top three most popular Canadian cover models have been Shalom Harlow, Daria Webowy, and way out in the lead — Linda Evangelista, who appeared on the covers of nearly 700 magazines during her career which spanned mostly from the late 1980s to the early 2000s, but continues today.