Christie Brinkley Explains the Story Behind the ‘Vogue’ Cover She Shared With a Lizard

The model reveals that the unusual image was not staged.
Christie Brinkley

Christie Brinkley.

Christie Brinkley is a timeless beauty, and the three-time SI Swimsuit Issue cover model frequently shares throwbacks from her storied career on Instagram.

On Jan. 25, the 68-year-old shared a flashback in the form of her 1979 Vogue cover feature. The pic showed a young Brinkley grinning for the camera with an unusual accessory on her chest: a lizard. 

The model gave some insight into the unique image in the caption of her post.

“Leapin’ Lizards! Yep the Lizard leapt on me in the middle of a cover try and our illustrious editor the one and only @therealgracecoddington and our photographer @alexchatelaine loved it,” she wrote. “My smile says I love it too but it tickles and we don’t know how long he will pose in this perfect position.”

Later in the caption, Brinkley added, “We were on location on a very, very strange island ..someday I’ll have to tell you the story.”

Fans and followers were quick to chime in to the comments section.

“Oh My Goodness - this is brilliant & I can’t wait to hear the full story one day soon!💞💞💞,” wrote one person, while another individual added, “Oh wow! You are so brave and professional. It definitely would have shown on my face. No way I could hide that. 🤣.”

“Let’s face it, that little lizard was never gonna make it on the cover of Vogue on his own looks. Opportunistic move that paid off for sure!” quipped a fan. “Why don’t you write down those stories for a book 😊,” suggested another.

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Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.