The 30-year-old West Australian-born model and actress was discovered when she was just 14 years old and made her debut at Australian Fashion Week the following year aged 15.
Ward’s cool blonde angelic looks and wide-set eyes made her an almost instant overnight modeling success story walking the runways for countless designers and in 2004 aged 16, she became the youngest model ever to grace the cover of US Vogue.
The blonde beauty went on to become one of the noughties most in-demand models both for runway and editorial work and with her ethereal looks, launched a new aesthetic for beauty. In 2007 Ward, who was just 20 at the time, was reportedly earning $25,000 for each runway show and ranked tenth on Forbes world’s top earning supermodels list.
And then 2008 came and Ward disappeared from the fashion world. Initially saying she was retiring from modeling to take up acting, the model later reportedly said she needed time out to heal from the devastating death of her boyfriend, actor Heath Ledger.
Her early ‘retirement’ lasted until 2014 when she made inroads into returning to the modeling world, walking for Prada in their Spring/Summer 2015 show.
Since then the 30-year-old blonde has appeared sporadically on various covers but her appearance on the runway at New York Fashion Week for Proenza Schouler’s Spring/Summer 2019 show this week, feels like a strong sign of the model’s commitment to making a comeback into the industry she used to rule.
Other famous faces from the runways of the ‘90s and noughties who have returned to the modeling ranks recently include the reunion of the original supermodels – Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni and Helena Christensen – at Versace’s Spring 2018 show. The supers shut down Milan Fashion Week when they hit the Versace runway wearing matching gold lamé.
44-year-old American model and longtime face of Estée Lauder, Carolyn Murphy returned to the catwalk for Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary show at NYFW earlier this week, along with 34-year-old Dutch blonde stunner Lara Stone who hit the runway for Escada.
Joining Ward at Proenza Schouler were former ‘90s icons Amber Valletta, Karen Elson and Tasha Tilberg.
All hail the catwalk queens of the ‘90s and noughties!