Born Margaret May Trigar, Maggie Tabberer began modelling in Adelaide. She subsequently moved to Melbourne, becoming a leading fashion model in the 1950s. She was principally a model for photographer Helmut Newton who became her mentor. When Newton left for Paris in 1957, Tabberer moved to Sydney to manage the salon of designer Hall Ludlow, organising shows on his behalf and modelling his clothes. She was named Australian Model of the Year in 1960. She has appeared in various television shows from the mid-1960s, has worked as a fashion writer and editor and created the Maggie T fashion label in 1980.