Iconic supermodel Twiggy started out as a haircut test subject

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Born in London in 1949, Lesley Hornby was 16 years old when she visited the salon of famous hairstylist Leonard of Mayfair, where she received an experimental new crop cut. A photographer took some headshots of the new 'do, and Leonard hung them in his salon, where they were noticed by a fashion reporter from the Daily Express.

Soon thereafter, the teenager was featured in the paper as "The Face of '66."

The narrow-framed Hornby, whose childhood nickname had been "Twigs," soon had a burgeoning modeling career under the name Twiggy. Her thin, androgynous figure, her boyish haircut, and her dark and heavy eyelashes set her apart from other models of the time, and within months she had appeared in Vogue and other leading publications.

By the time she visited the U.S. in 1967, she had become an international phenomenon.

Following her sudden ascension, Twiggy modeled for four years before retiring in 1970 and shifting her focus to acting and singing.

She performed in film dramas and musicals, winning two Golden Globes in 1972 for her role as Polly Browne in The Boy Friend. She also performed onstage in a production of Cinderella and hosted her own eponymous television show.

In 1976, she released two albums of pop and country songs, Twiggy and Please Get My Name Right.

She continued to act and sing throughout the '80s, '90s, and 2000s, even appearing as a judge on America's Next Top Model.

Today, she continues to work in fashion, film and television, while pursuing activism in support of breast cancer research and animal rights.

"I used to do my own make-up. I used to have this doll that had those big eyelashes on the top and bottom, and I think I copied her when I was doing my eyes, putting false eyelashes on the bottom as well as the top. So I came up with that look myself." - Twiggy
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Iconic supermodel Twiggy started out as a haircut test subject
LOS ANGELES - 1967: English supermodel Twiggy poses for a portrait during the filming of 'Twiggy in Hollywood' directed by Bert Stern part of a three episode documentary series that aired in the spring of 1967 on ABC-TV, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - 1967: English supermodel Twiggy poses for a portrait during the filming of 'Twiggy in Hollywood' directed by Bert Stern part of a three episode documentary series that aired in the spring of 1967 on ABC-TV, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - 1967: English supermodel Twiggy poses for a portrait during the filming of 'Twiggy in Hollywood' directed by Bert Stern part of a three episode documentary series that aired in the spring of 1967 on ABC-TV, in Los Angeles, California. Justin de Villeneuve her manager and boyfriend is in the background. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 15: Twiggy is the guest of honor at a party held at the house of Sonny and Cher, L-R: Twiggy and Justin de Villeneuve (Twiggy's boyfriend and manager), on May 15, 1967 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Earl Leaf/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - 1967: English supermodel Twiggy poses for a portrait during the filming of 'Twiggy in Hollywood' directed by Bert Stern part of a three episode documentary series that aired in the spring of 1967 on ABC-TV, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
16th March 1967: British fashion model and 60s icon Twiggy models a long dark wig with a severe fringe. (Photo by McKeown/Express/Getty Images)
16th March 1967: British fashion model and 60's icon, Twiggy (Lesley Hornby) modelling a short dark wig. (Photo by McKeown/Express/Getty Images)
16th March 1967: British fashion model and 60's icon, Twiggy (Lesley Hornby) wearing pigtails and modelling a tartan suit. (Photo by McKeown/Express/Getty Images)
Fashion model Twiggy displays the line of clothing she intends to market in America. (Photo by McKeown/Getty Images)
16th March 1967: British fashion model and 60's icon, Twiggy (Lesley Hornby) wearing pigtails and modelling a tartan suit. (Photo by McKeown/Express/Getty Images)
English model Twiggy poses with David Bowie in Paris for the cover of his 'Pin Ups' album, 1973. (Photo by Justin de Villeneuve/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Twiggy wearing a knit baby-doll dress with ribbed bodice by Juliano Knits, with thigh- high socks, a choker by Mary Smith, and braids by Edith Imre; she tugs at the hem of her dress. (Photo by Justin de Villeneuve/Condé Nast via Getty Images)
British model Twiggy wearing a fitted satin evening dress in a promotional shot for Ken Russell's 'The Boy Friend', 1970. (Photo by Justin de Villeneuve/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
British model Twiggy wearing a peasant-style dress by Bill Gibb with a full skirt and a knitted cap, circa 1970. The dress was specially designed for her to wear to the premiere of Ken Russell's 'The Boy Friend'. (Photo by Justin de Villeneuve/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - 1979: Actress Twiggy poses for a portrait in1979 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - 1979: Actress Twiggy poses for a portrait in1979 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - 1979: Actress Twiggy poses for a portrait in1979 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)
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"The way I looked when I started modeling — I was a skinny schoolgirl, stuffing tissues into my little 32A bra. I wasn't trying to be that thin; I was perfectly healthy, but still — that look is a total impossibility for women over the age of 20. Fashion has a lot to answer for, doesn't it?" - Twiggy

Visit Premier Exhibitions at 417 5th Avenue to see the past become present again at "Retronaut's New York." This pop-up exhibition of extraordinary, digitally restored photographs captures New York City at the turn of the 20th century. It's only open until May 15, so be sure to get down there before it's gone.

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