08/27/2013 12:03 EDT

Linda Evangelista Almost Quit Modelling Thanks To Unsettling Incident

Linda Evangelista (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

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:

Photo gallery Classic Supermodels: Then & Now See Gallery