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"Cooking is one of my favourite things - from going to the market, bringing the stuff home and preparing it, to cleaning the kitchen afterwards. I've lost my figure a few times. There have been moments when I've overeaten, for comfort. But with discipline and hard work, you can get your figure back."

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.

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)

"I think I will always have a place. I don't think I have to rule or reign but there's a place for me."

"In photos, I don't know who the real me is - it's all pretend, just pretend. There's not much of myself in my work. If I'm looking in the mirror and I'm working, I'm looking at my make-up and my hair. It's not the same as looking at myself."

"I love change, I really enjoy the new models, the new looks but I don't agree that they all need to be a certain size or age. Why can't someone new come along who's 25 or 30. Or 50? When I was young, you could open Vogue and see a range of body shapes. Now the whole editorial section is devoted toone body shape. Maybe that's one person's view. It's not mine."

"I used to look at magazines and I couldn't afford those clothes and I couldn't look like those women. And you know what I found out when I became a model? I still couldn't look like those women, because I'm retouched and I've had four hours of make-up and two hours of hair and I'm pinned and airbrushed and I'm holding a position that my body could never hold in real life and look natural. So even I could never look like myself." (And Linda is laughing when she says this).

"I accept that keeping in shape doesn't come naturally, so I work hard. I hit the gym every day: Pilates, yoga, weights. I used to love wine but I've stopped drinking. I quit smoking and I'll never start again."

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

Steven Miesel