WACL Speaker Dinner, Elle Macpherson, 9th June 2009
In the 1980s, together with Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, and Cindy Crawford, Macpherson became part of the first generation of supermodels. Among this elite grouping, however, she began to display a singular ability to create and manage her own business properties. In 1994, she shocked the modeling world by parting from her prestigious agency, Ford Models, to work more lucratively for her own company, Elle Macpherson Inc. This company would serve as a financial and organizaional base for her later endeavors.
She soon went on to produce her own highly popular series of calendars, each of which was accompanied by a making of television program in 1992, 1993, 1994. She used this success as a springboard to create the "Your Personal Best — The Body" series of workout videos.
Macpherson later diversified her portfolio of businesses, and in 1990 launched her eponymous lingerie collection Elle Macpherson Intimates in partnership with Bendon Limited Apparel. Intimates met with remarkable international success, becoming the single best-selling lingerie line in both Great Britain and Australia. Breaking the mold of many spokesmodels, Macpherson took an active role in the development and management of the company, serving as Chief Marketing Officer and later Creative Director. While nursing her second child, she spearheaded the development of a signature maternity bra line. Intimates has retained a high brand recognition into the 2000s, appearing as a featured brand on America's Next Top Model.
More recently she created her own label of beauty products: Elle Macpherson – The Body. She has launched or served as spokesmodel for campaigns by Boots, Invisible Zinc, and Hot Tuna.
The BBC series The Money Programme aired a documentary which followed the supermodel turned entrepreneur Macpherson through her day-to-day business as she continued to develop her international lingerie business.
In March of 2008, Elle signed a 3-year spokesperson deal with Revlon. She has since been featured in print and advertising campaigns.