The former supermodel said cutting and coloring her long brown hair was a "pivotal moment" in her career

By Hanna Flanagan
August 13, 2020 12:13 PM
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Twiggy
Credit: Ted Blackbrow/Shutterstock

Twiggy’s thin frame, big blue eyes and androgynous hairstyle helped define the aesthetic of London’s Swinging Sixties and turned the then-teenager into one of the world's first supermodels.

But during an appearance on Jessie Ware’s Table Manners podcast earlier this week, the fashion icon, 70, revealed she never wanted the widely imitated pixie cut — she was just too shy to say no to a famous hairstylist in the middle of a "posh salon."

In 1966, Twiggy (whose real name is Lesley Hornby) had received a bit of buzz in the modeling world but was still waiting for her big break. The 17-year-old was at a salon in London when British stylist Leonard Lewis (known professionally as Leonard of Mayfair) asked to test out a trendy haircut on her.

Twiggy
Credit: Bert Stern/Condé Nast via Getty Images

"I went in to have it shampooed and set and Leonard saw me and he said, 'Let me do my new haircut on you,'" Twiggy told Ware during the podcast.

"I’d been growing my hair," she continued. "For a moment I kind of went, 'I don’t know whether I want my hair cut.' But I was in this very posh salon in Mayfair so I was a bit too shy to say I don’t want it done, and I kind of nodded."

"I went back the next day and I was in there for seven hours, where he cut it and then I went out and had it colored and then re-cut. Oh, it was mad," she said with a laugh.

Twiggy
Credit: Darren Gerrish/WireImage

After perfecting her golden blonde crop, Lewis had British photographer Barry Lategan snap Twiggy’s pictures. The now-iconic black and white portraits launched her modeling career.

"Leonard put it up in the salon and a journalist saw it," Twiggy said. "That's how it all happened...

When that haircut started, when that photograph was taken, that was the pivotal moment.”

Twiggy
Credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images

The former supermodel also said she painted on her lower eyelashes to achieve a doe-eyed look before going out to Mod clubs with her friends on Saturday nights.

"I went to a grammar school so it was quite strict. We wore uniforms and makeup was not allowed. So on the weekends, me and my friends would sit like most teenage girls and play with makeup," she said. "And that's how that makeup evolved."

Twiggy didn't stray from the striking eye makeup when she started modeling — instead, she made it her signature look.

These days the supermodel is keeping busy with her own podcast, Tea with Twiggy, where she chats with her famous friends including Fran Drescher, Joanna Lumley and more.