In 1990, famed singer George Michael refused to star in his own music video. George Michael's song "Freedom!" would go on to hit number 8 on the Billboard Top 100, and the music video became one of the most iconic of the decade. Rather than the singer himself, it starred six supermodels: Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Tatjana Patitz, and Linda Evangelista. The video was simple yet powerful, and remains one of the most important non-fashion moments in fashion history.
As Allure reported, it was common to see models in music videos during that time period. What wasn't common was to see models who weren't simply playing the lead singer's love interest. Sure, they're clearly still there as sex objects (Crawford's scenes mostly feature her nude and oiled up in a bathtub) but there's an independence to the whole thing — a freedom, if you will.
While it's one of the most celebrated music videos of the decade, there are still plenty of lesser known details that make the lore behind it all that much more interesting. Below are a handful of facts about the music video you might not have ever realized.
The Song Is Actually Called "Freedom! '90"
So as not to be confused with the song "Freedom" that George Michael had recorded with his first bad, Wham!
It Was Directed By David Fincher
Quite a departure from Fight Club and Se7en, no? Before "Freedom! '90", Fincher worked with Madonna on her "Express Yourself" music video.
The Sheet Was The Only Item Of Clothing They Paid For
Vogue Contributing Editor Camilla Nickerson wrote in an essay for the publication that "[Fincher] was incredibly specific about how he wanted Christy [Turlington] to walk in this white sheet. It had to be incredibly long and made of Irish linen, so that the thread count was light enough for the light to come through." After that was sorted, the budget was spent, so they had to borrow clothes from friends for the rest of the scenes.
MAC Spice Liner Makes An Appearance
According to Allure, Evangelista insisted her lips be lined with MAC Spice, which was one of the company's best sellers.
The Guy With The Lamp Is A Famous Photographer
Then-model Mario Sorrenti most notably went on to shoot for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.
And The Guy Hanging Upside Down Was On Law & Order
Todo Segalla is listed as an uncredited detective on an episode of SVU.
Evangelista Dyed Her Hair Blonde Right Before The Video
According to Allure, it'd been a last-minute decision at a different photoshoot — but worked crazy well with Fincher's cool blue lighting for "Freedom!"
Many Shots Were Improvised
Including the scene of the male model eating an orange and Evangelista taking her sweater off, Allure reported.
2016's Supermodels Did A Remake In September
Though the original video is hard to top, Vogue created an updated version of the video with some of today's hottest faces in fashion, including Adriana Lima, Joan Smalls, Anna Ewers, Irina Shayk, Taylor Hill. It's the perfect tribute.