ford models fashion: The Best of Crystal Renn

Courtesy of Ford Models Fashion

Crystal Renn: The Best Of
by Alison Baenen

Crystal Renn has gone from a hollow-cheeked (read: 95 pounds), unhappy young girl to a glowing, curvy, and wildly successful young woman. The model’s trajectory from and unhealthily skinny unknown to the plus-size face of houses like Chanel and Dolce & Gabbana has been well chronicled (she’s been interviewed by The New York Times and Time magazine, to name a few), as has the fact that her plus-size label is now something of a misnomer. Editors and designers may have fallen for Renn’s size-12 frame, but that doesn’t mean she’s felt compelled to stay the same. “My body has changed and it will continue to change in the future—that is natural for anyone,” the model, who’s now closer to a size 8, told Refinery 29 last month. “My passion for encouraging women to love themselves at any size and to live, thrive, and to go after their dreams is a part of my permanent nature.”

The start of Renn’s reign traces back to Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Spring 2006 show, which she closed in a nude, tulle, hourglass frock bedecked in 3-D blooms. If that didn’t get the industry’s attention, her appearance later that year in a cleavage-baring leopard maillot as the face of Dolce & Gabbana’s ad campaign (cast and shot by Steven Meisel) was hard to miss. Since then, she’s been a regular in Vogue Paris, where, under Carine Roitfeld’s watchful eye, she posed for Craig McDean and resident naughty lensman Terry Richardson, who took Renn’s career to the next level with a controversial shoot involving a mountain of spaghetti for the magazine’s 90th-anniversary edition. V and Visionaire editor Stephen Gan name-checked her as the inspiration for V‘s January 2010 Size issue, in which she posed in identical looks alongside the more typically model-proportioned Jacquelyn Jablonski.

With editorials for Japanese Vogue and W—shot by Nathaniel Goldberg, and Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, respectively—most recently on her résumé, it’s clear that Renn’s out-of-the-box slant is very much in.

For more Renn love, the model’s 2010 memoir, Hungry: A Young Model’s Story of Appetite, Ambition, and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves, is a refreshingly candid inside look at the fashion industry.