The male form? "Richie Allen [Philadelphia Phillies slugger, 1960s]. Unless it was Herschel Walker. Crazy body."
Legs? "Steffi Graf. But she hates her nose. Halfway through the shoot, her agent calls. 'You can't take any more profiles of her.'"
Ask Iooss about the best Swimsuit snap he ever took, and he doesn't name the most famous shot in Swimsuit history. Remember? Cheryl Tiegs, 1978, walking out of a Brazilian lagoon in that white, oh-my-God, fishnet one-piece? That shot jump-started millions of 13-year-old boys into puberty and was the cause of more angry letters than the Heidi Game. "I remember it was the end of the day's light--a gray, crappy day," Iooss says. "Cheryl was mad because she thought I was paying too much attention to another model."
Like Dorian Gray, Iooss hasn't changed. But my life did the day I met him in 1970. I had sneaked into a Colorado-Penn State football game and was loitering around two hours before kickoff, and he asked if I wanted to carry his cameras on the sideline. I was 12. Here was the coolest guy I'd ever seen doing the coolest thing I'd ever heard of. And he tipped me $12. I remember thinking, You can hang around sports and get paid for it?
The next time I saw him was on a Swimsuit shoot, 18 years later, in Mexico. The models were batting their eyelashes at him, rubbing his shoulders, doing whatever they could to get more time in front of his magic lens, and yet he looked as if he were at a workshop on gout. "Guys don't believe this," he says, "but doing the Swimsuit shoot gets really old. Getting up at four every morning. After three or four of those trips, you never want to be around another woman again. It's all so repetitive. I'm like, O.K., another gorgeous girl on a beach wearing almost nothing. What else is new?"
Yeah, it sucks to be you, Walter.
Wanna trade lives?