FASHION & BEAUTY HISTORY - SUZY PARKER - FIRE AND ICE

On March 1, 1932, brothers Charles and Joseph Revson, along with chemist Charles Lachman, established a nail polish company they named Revlon. In his book Fire and Ice: The Story of Charles Revson – the Man Who Built the Revlon Empire (William Morrow and Company, 1976), Andrew Tobias chronicled the career of the man “who started with one bottle of nail polish and a fine ear for female fantasy and built an empire – The Revlon Company.

However, friction developed between Suzy and Charles Revson over her fee, and their relationship became strained. Suzy Parker recalled: "'As time went on it became really very funny. They did this particular Cleopatra ad and shot it with ten or twelve different black-haired girls, at great expense. It wasn't the photographer's fault; it was just that they couldn't choose the model. So they had to keep paying Avedon for the pictures. It was a disaster. Finally, at the last minute, they brought me in and put a black wig on me and they never let Revson know it was me in the ad. He never realized.' (He doubtless realized full well. Out of pride he may have pretended he didn't.)”

1962 Photographer: Richard Avedon “Earlier she had done a similar last-minute bailout retake on Stormy Pink. 'We worked at night [double the fee] off Montauk Point, in the ocean, and I had to hold a stallion. We really did that. It was very dangerous because it was windy and the pebbles kept rolling out from underneath the horse's feet, and I'm trying to hold him down. We worked on

that for almost six hours in the middle of the night, in the middle of the ocean [well, not quite], and I was in a chiffon dress. I think the reason I was such a good model wasn't that I was such a particular beauty or anything, but that I was as strong as a horse. And that occasion pro