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"No one would ever believe that I was shy. Up on the runway I don't feel that way. I don't feel like they're looking at me. When I'm doing my job, nothing can touch me. I feel protected. It's backstage I feel vulnerable. My anxiety kicks in in social situations."

"I have this great fear of people - not when I'm on the runway, but backstage. In a room full of people, I really suffer. I sort of go into a tunnel and I feel very removed. I get so tense, I can't swallow, and my heartbeat goes way up. It still happens now, although I'm better at controlling it."

"It was traditional (Italian), even old-fashioned. When I was a teenager, I had to choose whether to go out on a Friday or Saturday night. Never both. And we always had proper meals."

"One of the reasons I wanted to come back is I got sick of seeing really ugly pictures of myself in the tabloids. I got to the point where I'd look in the mirror and say, Where'd she go? Because she's still in there.' I knew she was still in there (she laughs) and it didn't take much to get her out."

"I was a hoarder, and I got rid of everything. Now nothing comes in my home unless it has a purpose. And decor is not a purpose. Home is New York apartment with a table, a bed and sofas. That's it. Everything else is gone."

"All I want to do is model. The reason I'm coming back is for the same reasons that I became a model initially. It's about the clothes and the creation of great pictures. I thought I was old and that I earned my retirement, and enough! It's not enough. I want more. And I'm lucky that I still have that option."

JOURNALIST:You're a bit of a chameleon. What's your favorite look?

LINDA EVANGELISTA: The current one is always the best!

(I-D, UK 1993)

JOURNALIST: Do tones of Hollywood scripts thunk daily on to your doormat?

LINDA EVANGELISTA: I've had lots of offers, but nothing's really grabbed me. It's a mistake to think a model can be an actress, because the two professions don't have much in common. I could change my mind, if I was offered something that appealed to me.

JOURNALIST:Like what?

LINDA EVANGELISTA: An offer from Pedro Almodovar. Please print that very big so he'll see it.

(Options, UK, August 1993)

Like the make-up artist, Linda too considers the effect of the overhead daylight in the skylit hall. "It'll cast shadows under my eyes. I'll have to walk with my chin up all the way round and people will say: "She's got that nasty-smell-under-her nose look."

(Vogue UK, 1994)

"Nobody dresses well anymore. It's all too casual and too little effort. Except for Singapore Airlines. I love that uniform."
(The new Observer, UK 2005)

"I don't know what to say about that comment any more. I thought it would go away, but it hasn't. I saw a movie, Mr and Mrs Smith, and there's a line in it where Brad Pitt says he won't get out of bed for less than half a million dollars. That's my line! Only now it's a half a million and a man saying it!"
(Evening Standard, UK, 2005)

"I do always speak up. When I say to a make-up artist, "I think I should fix my lip", or to an editor, "this dress should be pinned here", I'm not insulting them - it's just that after all these years, I can feel when it's wrong. I always give an opinion. Always. I'm not always right of course, but at least I've tried."
(Vogue UK, 1992)

Summer in Tokyo at 16 years old: "When I got there, I freaked out. It wasn't what they'd said it would be. They wanted nude and funny stuff. They asked me to strip to take my measurements, even though they had them already" Put up for the night in an apartment, she escaped and walked the streets, looking for a phone booth. When she told her parents that a man had helped her and she was phoning from his apartment, they went crazy. She returned home after a day and half. Even so, her mother let her have another try. When she finished school, Evangelista went to New York, on the condition that she would come home every weekend.

"One of my first jobs was in Italy and that's where I saw cocaine for the first time. There was a murder in our group that weekend. I decided then and there that I would never do drugs. I have anxiety attacks, so there's no way I could do them.

"I'm certainly thinking of plastic surgery. I've already been botoxed, like many of the models. And I'm happy to admit it. If you don't tell, how do other women feel they have a chance when they see the pictures? Models are not superhuman. We grow old. I really want to grow old and I don't believe that age is ugly." 

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"She's legendary. There's not going to be many like her, ever."

Steven Miesel