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"My first booker in Paris, at the very, very very beginning of my career, died of AIDS. It was the first time I had heard about AIDS. Everyone was still quite uncertain about what it was. It was still new. I remember visiting him up until his final days. I've had friends pass away from it, and friends of friends and colleagues, so I've been touched persoanlly and professionally. But really, I'm doing my part because I think it's a global issue. I think everybody has to do something. There is nothing beautiful about AIDS. We still live in a world where the stigma surrounding AIDS is truly ugly. I hope to make a difference."

"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."

"How it's cut, who cut it, how it moves, the lining...I even like it when it's what I consider to be ugly."

"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."

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.

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

Steven Miesel