Jourdan Dunn is a British fashion model. She was discovered in Hammersmith Primark in 2006. In 2008, she was the first black model to walk a Prada runway in over a decade. She has attracted attention because of the paucity of black models in the fashion modeling industry. In April 2014, it was announced that Dunn was signed as the new face of Maybelline New York. As of July 2014, she was declared an icon by models.com. In 2014, Forbes listed Dunn in their top-earning models list, estimated to have earned $4 million in one year. She was the first black British model to make the list. In 2018, she was recognized as a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree for Art and Style.
Jourdan Dunn was born and raised in the West London suburb of Greenford, with her mother, a receptionist and two younger brothers. She admitted to being self-conscious as a teenager, due to her height and weight. She stated growing up, people would often tell her she should become a model, but was apprehensive as she wasn't really sure what a model did. She commented that shows like "America's Next Top Model" intrigued her on the industry, as it gave her a new perspective of the job.
At the age of 16, Dunn made her runway debut in the New York shows in the fall of 2007, walking in shows for Marc Jacobs and Polo Ralph Lauren, among others. Soon after, she quickly rose to prominence within the industry. In 2007, she was featured on British Vogue as a "new star" and in 2008 Style.com listed her as one of the top 10 newcomers. She also walked 75 shows during the spring/summer 2008 season, including Louis Vuitton and Valentino. Dunn has since become a major fixture on runways, having walked for the industries biggest designers. She was often distinguished for being the only black model in shows, to which she later condemned designers for.
She has been in campaigns for Ann Taylor, Burberry, Balmain, Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent, DKNY, John Galliano, Victoria's Secret, Tommy Hilfiger, Topshop, Jaeger, Rag & Bone, Gap, Aldo, Shiatzy Chen, Benetton, H&M, Banana Republic, Free People, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue and was the face of Rihanna's collections for River Island.
In November 2008, Dunn was named "Model of the Year" at the British Fashion Awards. In November 2013, she won "Model of the Year" at the Harper's Bazaar Women Of The Year Awards. In April 2014, it was announced Maybelline New York had signed her to join the brand. Her first role for the cosmetic company will be fronting the brand's "Go Extreme Mascara," accompanied with print and television ads.
Dunn currently hosts a cooking show entitled, "Well Dunn", on Jay Z's Life+Times YouTube channel. The web show has featured celebrity guest co-chefs, such as Wale, Karlie Kloss, Cara Delevingne, Joan Smalls, Chanel Iman and 2 Chainz among others.
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