Throw Back Thursday - Happy Fortieth Birthday Supermodel Niki Taylor! TBT

Former supermodel Niki Taylor in 1996. Fisher Island, Florida.

Former supermodel Niki Taylor in 1996. Fisher Island, Florida.

Today's blog serves a double purpose. First and foremost, let me wish the former supermodel Niki Taylor a HAPPY FORTIETH BIRTHDAY!

Now to most people, hopefully this seems very young for such a beautiful, successful businesswoman. The prime of her life.

Cheers Niki, and my warmest wishes for many more to come!

But the fashion industry can be an odd beast, and any of us that were around this business (or even looked at fashion magazines) in the 1980s and 1990s probably find it hard to believe that little Niki Taylor, who stormed onto the South Florida fashion scene at age 13, has already reached the big four-oh..

Time marches on, and the only reason that may seem old, at least for a model, is the somewhat unhealthy preoccupation and emphasis our culture has on youth.

Silly, isn't it?

I'm also going to take advantage. of the Throw Back Thursday social media meme to dig out an old photo of me with Niki (and fellow supermodel Bridget Hall) taken in 1996 at an Ocean Drive Magazine Anniversary Party.

BTW, that's another odd aspect of the industry. While both are very attractive women, even I as a photographer I would not have guessed, certainly not just by looking at them in person, that at the time they were arguably two of the TOP TEN fashion models in the world.

Think about that...

And with me being a lowly (though well-known) local Miami photographer, though I never got either of these lovely ladies in a studio to pose in front of my camera (sigh!), as a contributor to Ocean Drive Magazine, I did get my brush with fashion royalty by being invited to hang with them for a bit on this wonderful night on exclusive Fisher Island in 1996.

Looking back, I'm surprised they let me be in the same room with them. Oh, and if you know me, then you also know I rarely pose or  have my picture taken with celebrities, even back then when I was around them a lot. But seriously, I was not about to miss this chance, and let the moment pass be by.

Can you blame me??? :D

What can I say? Chicks dig Ren & Stimpy! Not that I've ever been one to dwell on the financial end of the business, but at this throw back moment I've got my arms around SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS worth of fashion merchandise! (L to R): Supermodel Niki Taylor, super shooter Steve Hlavac, supermodel Bridget Hall. Ocean Drive Anniversary Party. Fisher Island, Florida, 1996. Photo ©???

What can I say? Chicks dig Ren & Stimpy! Not that I've ever been one to dwell on the financial end of the business, but at this throw back moment I've got my arms around SEVERAL MILLION DOLLARS worth of fashion merchandise! (L to R): Supermodel Niki Taylor, super shooter Steve Hlavac, supermodel Bridget Hall. Ocean Drive Anniversary Party. Fisher Island, Florida, 1996. Photo ©???

By the way, Taylor's story is an amazing one, and as much as I hate to throw tragedy into the mix on this day of celebration, it is almost impossible to talk about her life without mentioning two very dark moments in it: the unexpected death of sister Krissy at age 17 in 1995, and her terrible car accident and ultimate recovery in 2001. This video, from an interview with Taylor on a past episode of Oprah, touches on both epic events.

To end on a happier note,  if you are young and don't now this, or maybe just into supermodel trivia, one main reason Niki got so much press attention early in her career (aside of course, from being amazingly photogenic) was she had a mole on her upper lip that was strikingly similar to the infamous one that super duper model Cindy Crawford became famous for...

As always, your comments and suggestions are more than welcome!