Australian supermodel Catherine McNeil has made a surprising return to the international catwalks after a three-year hiatus.
Looking like she never left, McNeil returned modeling for Versace and Burberry at Milan and London Fashion Weeks.
Dressed in black for Versace, McNeil joined an all-star lineup on the runway with Bella Hadid, Paris Hilton, Gigi Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski.
Later, in London for Burberry, she joined legendary beauties Naomi Campbell and Irina Shayk on the catwalk.
Catherine McNeil made her return to the international catwalk in Milan, stepping out for the Versace Spring/Summer 2023 show.
Later, Catherine appeared in London again, this time walking for Burberry alongside Bella Hadid and Naomi Campbell.
However, McNeil’s return to the world fashion stage has the industry in an uproar for another reason after the news that he has left his long-time Australian agent.
McNeil made the decision several weeks ago to cut ties with Chic, the nation’s top modeling powerhouse, after two decades with the stable.
The move, which has shocked many within local fashion circles, comes as the sole Girlfriend Model Search winner signs a new deal with industry newcomer Modules Management.
It’s an extraordinary ‘get’ for the smaller agency which is run by veteran agent and regular on the Sydney social scene, Jaz Daly.
Daly, McNeil and Daly’s daughter Willow share some group photos on Instagram, hinting at the new business relationship.
“Peace, love and light with a dash of go f — k yourself,” Daly captioned this recent photo. The mom and model agent runs the agency Gestion de Modules
Daly, 50, made headlines in 2016 when his previous agency, JD Management, went into voluntary administration.
The Bondi locale, which counts Anthony Bell, Michael Clarke and King of the Club Julian Tobias as close friends, suffered a dramatic fall from grace at the time and went out of business owing nearly $400,000 to creditors.
They included Home And Away star Pia Miller’s boyfriend Tyson Mullane, designer and PE Nation socialite Pip Edwards, and up-and-coming models Estelita Huijer, Lilla Conradsen and Maddy Elmer.
The breakdown is understood to have also ended Daly’s friendship with Edwards and the two former best friends deleted each other on Instagram soon after.
Daly (second from right) seen here with his friends Anthony Bell and Michael Clarke
Daly (right) made headlines in 2016 when his previous agency, JD Management, went into voluntary administration.
Daly recently hinted that he had secured arguably Australia’s best runway model after posting a series of snaps of McNeil on his Instagram account.
Posting an image of McNeil’s appearance for Versace, Daly wrote; ‘VERSACE BABY. MY GIRL IS BACK!!!!! AND WE GO.
McNeil’s defection to the smaller agency has caused an uproar in Sydney’s famously tight-knit fashion scene with some expressing shock at the move.
“Chic has always been there for Cat, so it’s almost unbelievable to see that relationship come to an end,” a fashion source said.
Reached for comment, a representative for Chic Models declined to comment on McNeil’s move, saying they only “wished him well.”
Daly told The Daily Mails Australia that his new contract with McNeil is the culmination of a years-long relationship.
McNeil (right) with model Daisy Lowe at the height of her modeling fame, appearing in the famous Pirelli Calendar in 2010
McNeil’s iconic Vogue Australia cover that launched her to global stardom in 2007
“I was a big part of the Cats run in the early stages of its development and ever since we met, our relationship has always been a close one,” he said.
“After Cat took some time off recently to reflect on the next stages of her career, she felt it was more appropriate for her to have personal management and we are very excited to be working together again.”
McNeil’s return to form follows an extended break for the Brisbane-born beauty who stepped away to address personal health issues in 2019.
During her break, McNeil moved to Noosa with her boyfriend and former NBA player, Miles Plumlee, and the couple got engaged in June.
Most recently, the 33-year-old was forced to defend her health from online trolls who attacked her after she posted a selfie on her Instagram page.
The brunette wrote in the caption: ‘[Vacation] day one here we go’, while tagging his location as Samaná, a city in the Dominican Republic.
Concerned fans were quick to comment on his physique, with one writing: “Malnourished, you don’t look healthy or strong.”
McNeil was labeled ‘too skinny’ after posting this selfie to her Instagram followers while on vacation in the Dominican Republic.
The frustrated model returned the applause, attributing her slim figure to “sobriety, eating healthy and training like a machine.”
The model became engaged to former NBA player Miles Plumlee in June after the couple moved into a new house on the Sunshine Coast.
A frustrated Catherine replied: ‘It’s called sobriety. Eating healthy and training like a machine.
Born and raised south of Brisbane in Loganholme, McNeil first rose to fame in 2007 when she graced the cover of French and Australian Vogue and reprized campaigns for Versace, D&G, Jean Paul Gaultier and Donna Karan.
One of the few models in demand for both editorial shoots and the runway, she also appeared in many high-profile shows during the 2007 season, including Balenciaga, Givenchy, Dior, Fendi and YSL.
Off-camera, McNeil had a brief but headline-grabbing engagement to Ruby Rose in 2010, however, the couple split before the wedding.