Julia Emmanuele
February 01, 2016 03:05 PM

The fashion world is about to change forever.

Cindy Crawford revealed to United Airlines’ Rhapsody magazine that she plans to retire from modeling when she turns 50 on Feb. 20. While Crawford won’t be stepping out of the limelight completely – “I’m sure I’ll have my picture taken for 10 more years, but not as a model anymore,” Crawford said – it does mark the end of an era.

But being one of the biggest supermodels of the ’90s means that Crawford’s influence has been felt off the runway as well. Her career has brought about some of the most unforgettable, iconic moments in pop culture history, moments that affected and inspired generations of girls to pencil a mole over their upper lip using eyeliner. In honor of her impending retirement, let’s take a walk down memory lane

Her 1992 Pepsi Super Bowl Commercial
Sure, Beyoncé and Britney Spears had some pretty unforgettable soda spots of their own, but all of the performances and spectacles don’t hold a candle to Crawford, strutting across a rest stop in a white tank top and denim cutoffs. (Plus, it’s actually funny.)

MTV’s House of Style
Long before Instagram made supermodels seem normal, Crawford was giving stylistas a behind-the-scenes look at the fashion world on House of Style. She interviewed designers, spent the day roaming some of the most glamorous cities in the world with her fellow models, goofed off for the camera and even gave us an inside look at Naomi Campbell’s nighttime routine. Talk about must-see TV!

George Michael’s “Freedom! ’90” Video
Inspired by the now-iconic British Vogue cover featuring all of the great supermodels of the ’90s – Crawford, Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Tatjana Patitz – Michael turned the concept of the “video girl” on its head, and helped Crawford and her fellow fashionistas become household names by introducing them to a totally different audience. And all because Michael simply didn’t feel like appearing in the video himself

The Fall 1991 Versace Runway Show
The moment that the “Freedom” girls became supermodels happened, naturally, on the runway: After the video became a monster hit, Gianni Versace sent Crawford, Turlington, Campbell and Evangelista down the runway as a group, miming along to Michael’s song. In order to make this perfect intersection of high fashion and pop culture happen, Versace had to outbid every other designer that season in order to bring all four models together, but considering how many people still worship that closing walk, we think it was worth every penny.


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The September 1995 Cover of George Magazine
Most people might not remember John F. Kennedy Jr.’s short-lived political magazine, George, but they definitely remember the Herb Ritts-shot inaugural cover, for which Crawford dressed up as George Washington. Can you name any other covers they ran? Probably not. Does it matter? Not at all.

Paying homage to our founding fathers with @herbritts Happy #PresidentsDay!

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The 1993 PEOPLE Sexiest Man Alive Cover
In case you were wondering just how hot Crawford was in the early ’90s, know that she earned herself a place in the Sexiest Man Alive Hall of Fame, alongside her then-husband, Richard Gere. Since she’s the only woman to ever appear on an SMA cover, that technically makes her the reigning Sexiest Woman Alive.

The Spring/Summer 2016 Balmain Campaign
Twenty years after she first became one of the world’s leading supermodels, Crawford proved that she’s still a muse to some of the biggest designers in the world when she was announced as the face of Balmain, alongside Campbell and Claudia Schiffer, for design house’s spring/summer 2016 campaign. And yes, she looks just as incredible as she did walking the runway in the ’90s.

Reformation’s “Cindy Crawford” Sweatshirts
Does anything say “world-famous supermodel” in this day and age quite like having your name on a sweatshirt owned by some of the biggest names in fashion, film, and TV – except, maybe, getting to watch that sweatshirt become the hottest item of the year? When you’re a key part of Karlie Kloss’ first day of school outfit, you know you’re officially an icon for the ages.

Alessio Botticelli/GC Images; Splash News Online; Courtesy Cindy Crawford; Courtesy Coco Rocha

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