Cindy embodied the clash in the ’90s between European fashion (flashy and baroque) and American fashion (obsessed with cleanliness and simplicity). Rather than the image of a model as a fussy and feminine living doll, Cindy Crawford was James Dean.
Even in a ball gown or styled to look demurely feminine, Cindy broadcasts toughness, a kind of forthright cowgirl confidence. She is an aggressive object. When thinking about models there is a void where the knowledge of an inner life should go. We are left to imagine a person based on what their appearance suggests. Cindy Crawford made it easy to imagine that person.
She branded herself as American, constantly. As much as Michael Jordan did. She established an iconography of white tees and blue jeans and soda, an American flag rippling somewhere in the background. She might as well have been Wonder Woman.
- Molly Lambert for Grantland (via CaryRandolph.com)