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Laetitia Casta as She Was in 1993

Magazine cover of Laetitia Casta in a short sweater, looking solemnly at the camera with long brown-blonde hair

Here’s the French model Laetitia Casta as she stood on the cover of Depeche Mode magazine in 1993. (Yes, the magazine inspired the rock band of the same name.)

She was only 15, and she was about to come one of the most crazy-popular models of the 1990s.  Today is her birthday, so let’s take a quick look back.

Who2 was founded in 1998, and when we were compiling our early must-have lists for all categories, Laetitia Casta was right at the top of the most popular models.

Photo of Laetitia Casta in a black jumpsuit, smiling slyly as a phalanx of photographers snap away

A year later she was still more popular, thrilling photographers at Cannes so much that they (evidently) stopped taking photos and just stared.

1999 was also the year that Laetitia Casta was chosen as the official model for Marianne, the mythical female symbol of the French republic. (Brigitte Bardot had done the same job in the past.) Plaster busts of her were placed in town halls all over France.

Photo of Laetitia Casta in a Victoria's Secret catalog, wearing a blue bra with her chest rather jutting out to the right

Speaking of busts, she also appeared in the Victoria’s Secret catalog and on magazine covers all over the world. “I tell people that my breasts are ‘Made in Normandy, from butter and crème fraîche,'” she once said to Elle magazine.

Magazine ad with Laetitia Casta in tousled honey-blonde hair and deep red lipstick

She’s cooled since then as a global pinup, and she’s had three children (in 2001, 2006 and 2009). But she’s still hot in France, doing ads for the opulent Hotel Costes (above) among others.

Last year she played Brigitte Bardot in a biopic about Serge Gainsbourg, the French singer.

Laetitia Casta sits on a desk with her long legs alluringly placed on the shoulders of Serge Gainsbourg

Pretty convincing. Happy birthday to her.

See our biography of Laetitia Casta »

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