Crystal Renn: Fashion’s new It model
The pioneering model and author on Chanel, size and vintage finds.
HER FASHION STYLE IS… “Extreme, dramatic and unpredictable.”
GROWING UP, SHE WAS INSPIRED BY… “Goth and punk kids. They had a drastic impact on me when I was 10. I turned into a little goth.”
HER FIRST FASHION MOMENT WAS… “I remember walking down the halls of my Mississippi high school wearing a pair of weird, geometric Calvin Klein heels. I was 15 and had slicked my hair back into a tight ponytail and put black ’60s-style shadow around my eyes. Nobody else dressed like that, but I thought I was cool.”
SOME OF HER BEST BUYS HAVE BEEN IN SECONDHAND SHOPS… “So far, I’ve found a Dior coat, an amazing white Chanel bag and an ’80s sequined jacket.”
IF SHE HADN’T STARTED MODELLING… “I might have become a lawyer. I’ve always been able to see both sides of any argument and form clear, logical opinions—it’s my talent.”
HER FASHION CAREER HIGHLIGHT SO FAR IS… “Modelling for the
Chanel show in Saint-Tropez in May. The irony of it all is that, as a very thin model, I would go into my New York modelling agency and say ‘When am I going to be in Chanel? When am I going to Paris?’ Nothing came of it, although I would have starved myself to death to get it at the time. Then I gained weight, got healthy and found out who I really was and I was walking the Chanel runway with clothes that were made to fit my body. I remember going up to
Karl [Lagerfeld] at the end of the show that night to say thank you. He said, ‘Honey, you’re so young, you know. There will be many more moments.’ I was, like, ‘No, Karl, trust me: This is the moment.’”
SHE’S NOT INSECURE ABOUT HER BODY… “I don’t have to obsess if I gain two inches because it just doesn’t matter. I can eat pie. I’m like any normal woman: My weight fluctuates.”
Crystal talks plus-size on the next page …
“PLUS SIZE” IS A TERRIBLE TITLE… “We should just be seen as a bunch of models, regardless of our size.”
HER FIRST SHOOT IN NEW YORK WAS FOR… “Seventeen magazine. I kept giving the camera death stares, trying to project something strong and fierce. But now, looking back on that experience, that girl feels like a totally different person. I actually know what confidence is now, and it’s not making sure that my hip bones are protruding.”
Model Crystal Renn was spotted at her high school in Mississippi. In 2001, at the age of 17, she moved to New York, but it wasn’t until she went from a size 0 to a size 12 that her career took off. Now, she’s a catwalk model for Chanel and a magazine cover girl. Her memoir, Hungry: A Young Model’s Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves, is in stores now.