British Vogue February 2015This year British Jourdan Dunn becomes the first black model in 12 years to feature on a British Vogue cover (- although did appear on the cover in 2008 along with Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Eden Clark). The last was Naomi (natch), in 2002. Fabulous for her - but also depressing that it's taken this long.
British Vogue October 2012Jourdan was discovered in 2006 aged 17 mucking about in Primark in London by Storm Management (shades of Kate Moss). I first read about her a few years ago in a British Vogue article about working mums & was impressed with her candor and strength when talking about getting pregnant at 18 and raising her son as a single mum whilst an aspiring model.
Jourdan Dunn & Riley, Twitter"My boyfriend was there for the birth and then went to prison for a year, so I really needed the support of my family. Riley had his first crisis at about six months. I was so glad to have my mum with me. I went back to work after nine months - I didn't feel any pressure to go back quickly, and when I did everyone was really supportive...More than anything, having a son has made me realise I have to make shit work: I'm his voice, I'm his lifeline, I have to be driven. I think he pushed me in the right direction. I've always been ambitious, but now I have more focus. I'm more hardworking." British Vogue 2012
Photographed by Boo George, British Vogue, August 2013Her son Riley was born with sickle cell anaemia. 'The London-born beauty wants to use her high-profile position to raise awareness of the disorder and supports the Sickle Cell Society through fundraising and charity events. "It's something people don't really know about, due to the fact it's genetic, so it doesn't have the high profile of HIV or malaria," explained Dunn. "Riley looks like a normal boy, but I can't get away from the fact that he has a serious disease." Dunn says that she is able to balance modeling with motherhood relatively easily - recalling a Victoria's Secret shoot she did while still breastfeeding. "They set up a little curtained area for me to use the breast pump," she told Sunday Times Style. "Not very glamorous, but ultimately, I'm a mother first then a model, and generally the industry is really supportive. This is a good career for a working mother." British Vogue 2012
Jourdan Dunn & Riley, Vogue articleJourdan has appeared in multiple shows and editorials including Burberry, Balmain, Calvin Klein, Versace, Stella McCartney, Tom Ford, Oscar de la Renta, Alexander Wang, Diane von Furstenberg and TopShop plus became a Victoria Secret angel as well as cosmetic brands YSL Beauty and Maybelline. In 2008 Jourdan was the first black model to walk for Prada in over 10 years (since Naomi Campbell). She was however allegedly fired from Dior in 2013: "Ahahahahahaha I just [got] cancelled from Dior because of my boobs! I❤ fashion #Couture" - "I'm normally told I'm cancelled because I'm 'colored' so being cancelled because off (sic) my boobs is a minor" she explained via Twitter.
With Sacha M'Baye in her first Burberry campaign, 2011 by Mario Testino
Rocking the catwalk for Victoria's SecretIn the last year she has seemed to blow up everywhere as part of the latest Brit model it crowd, including Cara & Poppy Delevingne, Clara Paget, Georgia May Jagger and Suki Waterhouse.
Jourdan & CaraShe also appeared in Beyonce's video for Yonce, along with Joan Smalls and Chanel Iman.
At London Fashion Week, 2014I have to say though, she is looking a little too rail thin lately? Still, I guess that's the pressure you are under with the fashion world's spotlight on you, sad but true. Ironically, she mentions being curvy in the latest British Vogue. This obviously added to the pressure to remain super thin. "It's hard being a model regardless, and then being a black model. I have heard, 'Oh, we haven't shown any black models this season.' So blasé... It's messed up," she says. "I get uncomfortable when I read comments saying, 'I wanna look like you, I wish I had your body.' When I was growing up I didn't love myself, or like what I saw in the mirror. Curves are celebrated in Caribbean culture, so I felt the odd one out. So my message is: be happy and love yourself."
More fab covers and editorials...
i-D Magazine, September 2008
i-D with Karlie Kloss, Spring 2011
With Chanel Iman, Sessilee Lopez & Arlenis Sosa for i-D September 2009
Vogue US February 2013
GQ Mexico July 2013
Allure USA July 2013
Vogue Spain, February 2013
Free People 2014 campaign
In Zuhair Murad, 2014 GQ Men of the Year Awards in London
MTV VMAs 2014
Jourdan Dunn for Garage Magazine Fall/Winter 2014