A young model whose image was used by artist Patrick Nagel for the illustration that adorns the cover of Duran Duran's seminal 1982 album Rio has been revealed after years of sleuthing, and she lives right here in the Bay Area.

You may not know if you were not a die-hard fan of British New Wave band Duran Duran, but a mystery has swirled around the cover art for their album Rio, which features a noted Patrick Nagel illustration of a smiling young woman with dark hair.

Nagel's art and his illustrative style, which is inspired by Pop Art and fashion illustration, came to be associated with the zeitgeist of the 1980s, the same way that Duran Duran's music has.

Duran Duran’s co-manager, Paul Berrow, reportedly saw Nagel's work in Playboy and hired him to do the Rio cover. And another artist who did later cover-art work for Duran Duran, Alex Israel, says Nagel's art "capture[s] the emotional state of an era: 1980s American desire, collective materialistic aspiration, a Less than Zero state of mind."

And for years fans have tried to figure out who the model may have been for Rio, who is described in the song "Rio" as having a "cherry ice cream smile."

Nagel worked with models often when he did illustrations for Playboy magazine, and his often similar-looking female figures became collectively known as "the Nagel woman," most of whom had dark hair and shining white skin.

Nagel expert Mark Walker revealed over the weekend that, after years of buying vintage fashion magazines and searching for that face, he found it in a multi-page spread in Paris Vogue in February 1981 for Angelo Tarlazzi's line of eyewear. The original image shows the model wearing tinted glasses, but Walker says he was sure the eyes and the smile were the inspiration for Nagel's Rio cover art.

"I saw that smile. I saw those eyes, those eyes that I’d stared at hundreds of times by this point in my life, hundreds if not thousands of times... I knew it was her," Walker writes.

The model for the shoot that took place over 43 years ago was Marcie Hunt, and Walker was able, with help, to identify her and get in touch. Hunt had no idea that her face had been the source of the Rio cover all those years ago.

Patrick Nagel’s technical art assistant, Barry Hahn, confirmed that this was the image Nagel had used. (Nagel himself died in 1984, two years after the cover art was done.)

"Nagel was an incredible photographer and shot so many images himself for his art but we know he also got inspiration from other sources and this one is a gem," writes art broker Monica Moynihan in the Instagram post about Walker's discovery.

As revealed on Hunt's Instagram, and as noted in the Chronicle today, Hunt and her husband Tom Dinkel own and operate Dos Lagos Vineyards in Napa, which they've owned for 12 years. And in a nice coincidence, Hunt says in her own post about the Rio discovery, "Tom and I had a DJ play 'Rio' at our wedding — now almost 31 years ago."

Little did she know that, in the minds of countless Duran Duran fans, she was, herself, Rio!

Somehow I think some hardcore Duran Duran fans are going to start making pilgrimages to Dos Lagos Vineyards... especially if the band ever returns to the Bay Area. (They headlined BottleRock last year, so it might not be too soon.)