The American supermodel, Cheryl Tiegs was born September 25, 1947 in Breckenridge, Minnesota. The living embodiement of the healthy model’s look of her day, Cheryl is considered by many to be the first modern supermodel.
The Tiegs family moved to Los Angeles when Cheryl was young. The family was a modest one. Her mother was a florist and her father was a mortician. After she graduated high school, she had her head set on going to college. So to help finance her studies, she began modeling.
To pursue her modeling career, Cheryl felt it best that she move to New York. At 16, Cheryl had the first of her many Seventeen covers. It seemed that the California girl was in a never-ending battle for that publication’s attention with another famed blond model of the day, Cybill Shepherd. In 1964 at 17 years old, Cheryl captured the first of her Glamour covers. She was recognized instantly for her athletic body, classic beauty, winning smile and mostly for her “All-American, Californian Girl” look. She then went on to have her face grace countless covers of all the top fashion, beauty and women’s magazines including Harper’s Bazaar, McCall’s, Elle and Vogue. She made the cover of Time and was featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue three times.
Cheryl’s three Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers came in 1970, 1975 and 1983. Although she was not selected for the cover in 1978, it was her photos from this edition that made her the one pinup girl to rival the famed television “angel”, Farah Fawcett. While posing for that issue, Cheryl decided to go for a quick swim. Upon emerging from the waters, the photographers flocked to her like vultures to the kill for more pictures. They kept her for 50 additional minutes. Well, as she later learned from the published photos in that year’s Swimsuit Issue, the little swim she had taken rendered her one-piece, white cotton swimsuit translucent. Though Cheryl had no idea of it until seeing the published magazine, that little dip would immortalize her forever as an icon and sex symbol.
Throughout her career, Tiegs signed numerous spokesmodel contracts, including a $1.5 million contract with Cover Girl Cosmetics. In 1980, Tiegs published her book, The Way to Natural Beauty. Her appearance in a pink bikini became one of the top selling posters of all time.
Cheryl is a successful business woman. In the 1981, she shocked the fashion industry when she refused the overtures of major names in order to accept a marketing offer from Sears & Roebuck for the production and retailing Tiegs’s own line. Tiegs decided that she wanted to position the clothing lines bearing her name at the disposition of the average American woman. Sears was the perfect retailer choice to accomplish her goal. Together from 1981 to 1989, Tiegs’ image and name help to re-launch the apparel giant’s lagging sales in women’s wear with her line designed for women and juniors. Her lines were distributed in no less than 700 stores nationwide and accounted for an estimated $100 million in revenue for Sears & Roebuck in its first year. This lucrative deal helped place Tiegs among the pioneers of celebrity-endorsed apparel. Her posing for Sears too was also a tremendous coup for the retailer as she brought in a never seen before element of sex appeal to the 100-year-old chain. This earned Tiegs in 1984 her second cover of Time magazine. In just under a decade, the Tiegs-Sears collaboration brought in over $1 billion in sales.
Today, Cheryl is involved in skincare. In her latest business venture, she promotes a new line of beauty products called Ageless Woman®. The products line boasts of bring to women Tieg’s secret weapons against the skin’s natural aging process.
In 1995, Tiegs was 47 years old and posed again for Sportswear Illustrated. Then in 2004, Cheryl joined other 70’s and 80’s former Swimsuit Issue supermodels Christie Brinkley and Kathy Ireland for Sports Illustrated 40th Anniversary special. Tiegs at 56 once again became the object of desire for millions of men. This opportunity also brought to her a new fan base of younger men.
With over 40 years of experience in the fashion business, Tiegs got back into the thick of things with a new women’s wear line sold exclusively on QVC. She also followed in the steps of other supermodels like Naomi Sims and Beverly Johnson by launching her own wigs line. The line is produced by the beauty industry juggernaut Revlon Cosmetics. It features an array of accessories.
The supermodel of the 70’s and 80’s has been married four times: Her former husbands include Stan Dragoti (1970-1979), Peter Hill Beard (1981-1983), Tony Peck (1990-1995), and Rod Stryker (1998-2001). She has three sons, the eldest with Peck and twins with Stryker.
In November 2000, Tiegs was honored as the first MAC Fashion Icon. She received the award at a gala at the Beverly Wilshire for her contributions to the industry and for her role as a pioneer. She is also an inductee of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Hall of Fame.
The Brown Bunny (2003)
The Oprah Winfrey Show (2004)
Just Shoot Me! (2004)
The Write Stuff (2002)
A&E Biography: Nina Van Horn (2000) TV
Intimate Portrait: Cheryl Tiegs (2001) (TV)
The Rosie O’Donnell Show (1996) ( TV)
Saturday Night Live (1989)
Moonlighting (1986) (TV)
The American Sportsman (1982) TV
The Bob Hope Comedy Special (1981) (TV)
Superstars (1979) …. Herself
Battle of the Network Stars IV (1978) (TV) …. Herself – ABC Team Contestant
Dinah! (Sept 1977 and Oct 1977)
Good Morning America (1975); Beauty Editor (1976-1977)
“I didn’t handle (celebrity) as gracefully as I would have liked. I don’t know how you can. Every time I walked out the door I was on the cover of the New York Post.”