BEFORE Naomi, Linda, Iman, Gisele were tagged as supermodels, there was one Parisian who took the world by storm- a century earlier to be exact, at the time when Coco Chanel was six years old and learning how to sew in the orphanage she was in. As first assignment, what this French supermodel had to do was stand tall (and hold the record of being the tallest for 41 years) and let the world gape in awe at her statuesque splendor.
Launched at a very important Paris event, the Exposition Universelle or the World's Fair, this lady was at the forefront of the exposition, the first face to meet and greet everyone who came.
And she still does today, more than a century after her launching. At present, she is adored, receiving millions of visitors annually. She greeted her 250-millionth guest in 2010. Never aging, she became the icon of the French capital, even of the republic. When you say France, it's her image that pops to mind.
Named after her "couturier", a talented engineer named Gustave Eiffel, she would be modeling Paris' most impressive haute couture piece, an impressive lattice work made by hand, by thousands of skilled workers that took two years to put together countless components.
She would be on top of anyone's list on a scheduled trip to Paris. If not (which is crazy), it's impossible not to spot her from any point in the city. Did you forget she once held the title of world's tallest at 1,063 feet high? That's equivalent to an 81-storey building. You can't miss her while walking the cobblestone streets, or while you're having a sip of coffee by your favorite sidewalk café, she may even be the first image you see from your window when you wake up in the morning.
It's even more unimaginable to miss her these days, especially with an added feature to her haute couture getup. On the hour of every hour every night, this lady puts on a show and glitters like exploding lights giving birth to new stars. The entire City of Lights is her stage at night!
Yes, I always see her whenever I set foot on Paris. I've seen her from afar and up-close. I've climbed her twice, from her foot to her waist, and she took me all the way to her crown and offered me a panoramic tour of her stunning, historically rich city. Each time I see it from her point of view, it always takes my breath away.
How about you, have you met the premier mannequin de Paris? When you've been to Paris, chances are, you have. But have you seen Paris from her perspective?
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