Lisa Fonssagrives is considered by some to be the first supermodel, although she was never called that during her lifetime. She was a major fashion icon from the 1930s to 1950s and featured numerous times in Town & Country, Life, Vogue, the original Vanity Fair, and Time. She was essentially "the It Girl" of the time. By today's standards her looks would be considered too angular, snobbish with a personality similar to Cruella de Vil (the fictional character was loosely based off of Lisa Fonssagrives).
Various sources associate Lisa Fonssagrives with different birth names, either Lisa Birgitta Bernstone or Lisa Anderson. She moved from Sweden to Paris hoping to become a ballet star, but instead ended up in the fashion business. Fonssagrives once described herself as a "good clothes hanger".
She worked with photographers George Hoyningen-Huene, Man Ray, Horst, Erwin Blumenfeld, George Platt Lynes, Richard Avedon, and Edgar de Evia. She married French photographer Fernand Fonssagrives in 1935 and they later divorced. She eventually married photographer Irving Penn in 1950. Both of her children went on to become fashion designers.