Although her career was brief, so striking and timelessly chic were Isa Stoppi’s looks that she is considered to have been Italy’s most successful model. Richard Avedon, who photographed her, as well as countless other sirens, placed her on an even higher pedestal. “Isa Stoppi,” he thought, “is the most beautiful woman in the world, with two lakes in place of her eyes.”

Those aquamarine portals, allied to a glacial but regal elegance, might seem to be an instant ticket to the cover of fashion magazines, but as ever her success depended on a large helping of good fortune and good timing.

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