Linda Evangelista: From supermodel to mom to anti-aging evangelist

Linda Evangelista: From supermodel to mom to anti-aging evangelist

Canadian model who defined an era was in Toronto to be honoured as creative director of anti-aging company Erasa.

It pays to be Linda Evangelista’s son.

More than 25 years after she uttered one of the most famous lines in fashion history — “We don’t wake up for less than $10,00 a day” — she filled me in the other night in Toronto about her 11-year-old son getting wind of the wily quote not so long ago.

It was when they’d heard it riffed on in the animated television series Teen Titans, of all places, and she’d had to explain it to him, shortly after which dear Augustin, her boy, serendipitously found himself in a trivia competition at the family-friendly haunt Dave & Busters.

“They asked, ‘Who said, “I don’t get out of bed for less than $10K a day?”’ . . . and he screamed ‘Mommy!’ And then: ‘Linda Evangelista!’ I couldn’t believe it. He came home with the biggest prize . . . it was a miniature pool table or something. He couldn’t get it through the door!”

She told me the story with an absurdist’s relish combined with a seminally haunting gaze — one that defined an era, as designer Stefano Gabbana once affirmed: “Linda is the model. If you talk about models of the sixties and seventies (sic), the first name is Veruschka. In the eighties and nineties (sic), it’s Linda.”

A funny undercurrent, however: forever etched now as one of the ne plus ultra “supers,” together with the likes of Cindy and Christy et al, the Canadian icon’s most enduring bequest to the culture might indeed be her contribution to the vernacular. (Move over, Margaret Atwood.)

Heck, her wake-up quote even ended up getting a workout in the movie Mr & Mrs. Smith, except that Brad Pitt changed it to not waking up for less than half a million. Touchè.

“It’s your greatest legacy,” I deadpanned to Evangelista, a one-time Miss Teen Niagara.

“It might just be,” she deadpanned right back.

Ready to build on that largesse, it would appear? The reason for the 52-year-old’s appearance this week was a small, swell sit-down held in her honour at the cafe inside Holt Renfrew on Bloor; one that had Evangelista basking in her latest role and one that is more boardroom than catwalk.

Yup, that’s right: coming on the heels of a career that’s long rested on superlatives — 700-plus magazine covers (95 of them Vogue), a haircut that once became a zeitgeist moment and a face that’s been substantiated by all the biggies, from Richard Avedon to Francesco Scavullo — she’s revelling in her side-job these days, as vice-president and creative director of the boutique anti-aging company Erasa.

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