In 1985, she began working with Karl Lagerfeld, the head designer of the fashion house Chanel, to whom she would become a muse. On the subject of Evangelista, Lagerfeld once uttered, "There is not another model in the world as professional as she is. " Incidentally, Evangelista became one of the first editorial models to successfully cross over into the realm of runway modeling. She also became a muse to the late fashion designer Gianni Versace, for whom she first appeared in ad campaigns in 1987. In addition to her work for Versace and Lagerfeld, Evangelista also modeled for various other fashion brands such as Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Gianfranco Ferré, Ralph Lauren, Yves Saint Laurent, Azzedine Alaïa, Oscar de la Renta, Giorgio Armani, Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana, Donna Karan, Jil Sander, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alberta Ferretti, Isaac Mizrahi, Escada, Calvin Klein, Salvatore Ferragamo, Max Mara, Perry Ellis, Chloé, Comme des Garçons, Bill Blass, and Herve Leger. And, she has represented a diverse array of other companies and non-fashion brands like Visa, American Express, Pizza Hut, De Beers, and Elizabeth Arden.