Apollonia Van Ravenstein, Model in the 70ties & 80ties and the Book written about Those Days

8 Dec


When school pictures were taken, Apollonia Van Ravenstein always had to stand in the back, because of her height. At 15, the owner of a pantyhose factory , situated in her hometown Geldrop (Netherlands), asked her to pose for his new collection.  Apollonia sent him to meet her parents for approval. She was paid fl 75,- (€ 34,-) for the session, while her pocket-money was only € 11,- a month.

It was her brother Theo who convinced her to take the next step. He owned a hair salon in Berlin, Germany, and  was interested in fashion magazines. Theo told his sister, he believed she could become a professional model, made an appointment at the model agency of Corine Rottshäfer and accompanied Apollonia to Amsterdam. She was wearing a light-blue suit her mum had made for her. The other women at the agency were wearing fur coats, their hair up in a bun and too much make-up.

Within a month Apollonia was called ‘the face of 1970’ by the most important newspaper. She travelled to Milan, did a cover for Vogue, went to Paris and not long after took off to New York. The beginning of her model career was overwhelming. ‘You earn lots of money, you’re placed on a pedestal, but your inner grow suffers from these circumstances. The beginning of the 70ties was one big party, with lots of drugs and alcohol. I saw people in the fashion world who came to grief.’

Apollonia became well-known in the 70ties and 80ties. She modelled for Norman Parkinson, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn . Her pictures were in various magazines such as Vogue Magazine and Ambiance (1978 ). In 1972 she went to the United States and received an exclusive contract with American Vogue. Besides the modelling world, she was also active in the art and music scene. She met with Andy Warhol , who signed her, was one of Mick Jagger’s girlfriends and modelled for Playboy Magazine  in June 1978.


Apollonia by Andy Warhol

Recently, september 11, 2013, these polaroids of Apollonia by Andy Warhol were auctioned.


ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)  Apollonia Von Ravenstein  four unique polaroid prints  each: 4¼ x 3 3/8 in. (10.8 x 8.6 cm.) Executed in 1982. One time use for world wide publication.Apollonia photographed by Andy Warhol
news_story_detail-Apollonia-van-RavensteinApollonia van Ravenstein. Circa 1978-1979Appolonia%20Van%20Ravenstein%20cover Apollonia on the cover of Andy Warhol’s Interview, June 1973


She played a small role in the music video for Golden Earrings Quiet Eyes by Anton Corbijn in 1986.
Since the late 90s Apollonia van Ravenstein sails the seas, as hostess and interpreter on board luxury cruise ships of the Holland America Line . She is married to Captain Edward Zaane.



Recently (November 2014) Apollonia was named in the biography by actress Anjelica Huston, who was Jack Nicholson’s other half during the 70ties and 80ties. Apollonia and Anjelica were friends, but after a onenightstand with Jack, Apollonia was no longer welcome in Anjelica’s house.

It’s said, Apollonia also had a brief encounter with Mick Jagger during those days (but who hasn’t).


Irving Penn

US Vogue November 1, 1972 , Pale, Liquid…with Pearl at Night


Albert Watson’s Twelve

Albert Watson’s Twelve was private edition of twelve 12″ x 10″ silver gelatin prints, with an additional print (the heels) tipped onto the box cover, that was produced for his major clients. Only 12 of these sets were made. 1978

Apollonia Albert Watsons twelve 1978 topmodelsoftheworld_com
Norman Parkinson59813b1a0d021ff756fb3c938fb1147c



Vogue CoversMX-2600N_20110110_112921_001



Avenue (Dutch magazine) May 1972

apollonia 001

apollonia 002

apollonia 003Apollonia van Ravenstein photographed by Barry McKinley

Various pictures of Apollonia





Apollonia Van Ravenstein








Model  by Michael Gross

Book cover

The definitive story of the international modeling business—and its evil twin, legalized flesh peddling—Model is a tale of beautiful women empowered and subjugated; a tale of vast sums of money, rape, both symbolic and of the flesh, sex and drugs, obsession and tragic death ; and of the most unholy combination in commerce: stunning young women and rich, lascivious men.  Overview of modeling industry and several supermodels. Models Persons Health Fitness Beauty Grooming Business Cindy Linda Christy Naomi Magazine Covers Tv Ads Supermodels Francine Counihan Jean Patchett Suzy Parker Celia Hammond Veruschka Lauren Hutton Apollonia Ravenstein Louise Despointes Gunilla Linblad Shelley Smith Janice Dickinson Mike Reinhardt Christie Brinkley Bitten Knudsen Tara Shannon Christine Bolster Veronica Webb.

Investigative journalist Michael Gross takes us into the private studios and hidden villas where models play and are preyed upon, and tears down modeling’s carefully constructed façade of glamour to reveal the untold truths of an ugly trade.

Model by Michael Gross. Published in 1995. 



The Froggies – Apollonia Von Ravenstein – 1985


Johan Asherton’s hommage for Dutch actress/ model Apollonia van Ravenstein.



3 Responses to “Apollonia Van Ravenstein, Model in the 70ties & 80ties and the Book written about Those Days”

  1. Soul Safari 8 December 2013 at 11:21 #

    one of the first supermodels. Such a classic beauty and what a warm friendly person in reality as well. I only met her briefly a couple of times but her impression last forever.

    Apollonia, come back to the shores of Holland, we miss you!

  2. charmian smith 21 September 2016 at 08:39 #

    l loved Parkinsons photos in Vogue of her


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