Can you imagine a world without Linda Evangelista?

As the editors at Huffpost Canada Style, we can't imagine the fashion landscape without the iconic Canadian model, who famously said "We don't wake up for less than $10,000 a day."

But the 48-year-old may have never become one of the original supermodels (also known as "The Supers"), if she had quit the industry after a harrowing incident when she was a teenager.

Naomi Campbell's bestie talked to Interview magazine for their September issue, describing her jarring early days as a model which made her want to quit the business:

"I took a modelling course in my hometown, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. It was sort of a scam. In order to work as a model, you had to pay for the classes. My mom paid for me. They sent me there at 16, and I was chosen by a Japanese agency to go over to Japan for the summer to work. My parents were strict Italians who didn't let me go out past 10 o'clock, and I had to choose between going out Friday or Saturday night and was not allowed to have a boyfriend. But they said okay. I got there and it was a catastrophe. They wanted me to take my clothes off and shoot me naked. It was a nightmare and I panicked and basically the Canadian Embassy helped me out. I was there about two days and went home, saying, 'I don't want anything to do with this ever again.'"

Luckily for us, Evangelista stuck with it and became one of the most famous supermodels in the world who made the pixie cut au courant and received a special lifetime achievement award at the 1997 VH1 Fashion and Music Awards.

Unfortunately, Linda's story is all-too familiar.

Canadian model Coco Rocha has said that she was pressured into doing a semi-nude photoshoot when she was just 14 years old and Kate Moss told Vanity Fair that she had a "nervous breakdown" after she was asked to straddle Mark Walhberg for their famous Calvin Klein underwear ad when she was just a teenager.

While organizations such as the Model Alliance are trying to make working conditions better for models, there is still a lot of work to be done but thanks to women like Linda and Coco, the public is a little bit more informed about what goes on behind the glamour.


They've come a long way:

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  • Linda Evangelista THEN

    November 1996 (Getty photo)

  • Linda Evangelista NOW

    June 2012 (Getty photo)

  • Kate Moss THEN

    January 1990 (Getty photo)

  • Kate Moss NOW

    May 2012 (Getty photo)

  • Elle Macpherson THEN

    January 1990 (Getty photo)

  • Elle Macpherson NOW

    June 2012 (Getty photo)

  • Cindy Crawford THEN

    August 2009 (Getty photo)

  • Cindy Crawford NOW

    May 2012 (Getty photo)

  • Claudia Schiffer THEN

    August 1991 (Getty photo)

  • Claudia Schiffer NOW

    May 2012 (Getty photo)

  • Naomi Campbell THEN

    January 1990 (Getty photo)

  • Naomi Campbell NOW

    April 2012 (Getty photo)

  • Christy Turlington THEN

    January 1990 (Getty photo)

  • Christy Turlington NOW

    March 2012 (Getty photo)

  • Tyra Banks THEN

    June 1990 (Getty photo)

  • Tyra Banks NOW

    April 2012 (Getty photo)

  • Carol Alt THEN

  • Carol Alt NOW

  • Pat Cleveland THEN

  • Pat Cleveland NOW

  • Roshumba THEN

  • Roshumba NOW

  • Kristen McMenamy THEN

  • Kristen McMenamy NOW

  • Irina Pantaeva THEN

  • Irina Pantaeva NOW

  • Carmen Dell'Orefice THEN

  • Carmen Dell'Orefice NOW

  • Frederique van der Wal THEN

  • Frederique van der Wal NOW

  • Carol Alt

    Carol Alt chats with Naught But Nice Rob.

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