Jourdan Dunn is a British model and actress. She was discovered in Hammersmith Primark in 2006 and signed to Storm Model Management in London shortly thereafter. She began appearing on international runways in early 2007. In February 2008, she was the first black model to walk a Prada runway in over a decade.
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 $US4 million in one year. She was the first black British model to make the list. She appeared on the February cover of British Vogue in 2015, becoming the first solo black model to grace the cover in 12 years. Dunn is a part of a small elite group of modern day models considered to be this generation’s supermodels.
Born Name Jourdan Dunn
Occupation Fashion / Runway Model
Born: August 03, 1990, 27 years and 11 months, London, England
Sun Sign Leo
Hair Color Black
Eye Color Dark Brown
Height 5 ft 10 in or 178 cm
Measurements 32-23-35 in or 81-58.5-89 cm
Bra size 32A
Father – Unknown
Mother – Dee Dunn (Receptionist)
Siblings – Kain Dunn (Younger Brother), Antoine Dunn (Younger Brother)
She has Grenadian heritage due to her mom.
Early life and discovery
Jourdan Dunn was born in Brent, London, and grew up in nearby Greenford with her mother. Jourdan is of Jamaican, Grenadian , and Syrian ancestry. 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 she was apprehensive as she was not really sure what a model did. She commented that shows like America’s Next Top Model intrigued her, as they gave her a new perspective of the job.
In early 2006, at the age of 15, she was scouted by an agent from Storm Model Management, while accompanying a friend in a London Primark.
At the age of 16, Dunn made her runway debut in the New York shows in the autumn 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 industry’s biggest designers. She was often distinguished for being the only black model in shows, for which she later condemned designers. She has garnered attention for her legs and for her walk which she says she practises frequently with very tall heels, walking over 60 shows during the spring 2009 season.
In July 2008, Steven Meisel selected Dunn to appear on the cover of the Vogue Italia issue devoted entirely to black models. She has also been featured on the cover of American Vogue, British Vogue, Vogue Turkey, Vogue Japan, Vogue Brazil and Teen Vogue, Miss Vogue, Vogue Girl Korea, W Magazine, Glamour Magazine UK, Elle (France, UK, South Africa, Japan, Brazil), Wonderland, Manifesto, Fashion Magazine Canada, Madame Figaro, Pop, Russh, Muse, The Sunday Times Style, Ponystep, Antidote, Luella, and covering i-D magazine eight times.
She has been in campaigns for Ann Taylor, Burberry, Balmain, Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent, DKNY, Michael Kors, John Galliano, Victoria’s Secret, Tommy Hilfiger, Topshop, Kate Spade, Express, Jaeger, Rag & Bone, Gap, Aldo, Shiatzy Chen, Benetton, H&M, Banana Republic, Zalando, Free People, Selfridges, Neiman Marcus, Pepe Jeans, Liu Jo and Saks Fifth Avenue, and was the face of Rihanna’s collections for River Island.
She has appeared in editorials for the American, Italian, French, British, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Japanese, Brazilian editions of Vogue, Elle, i-D, Dazed & Confused, W, Pop, Centrefold and V, among others. In Teen Vogue’s November 2009 issue in which she appears alongside Chanel Iman, she discusses her and Chanel’s previous competitive relationship, as well as the challenges they face being black models in the fashion world. The issue sparked controversy as Dunn; who was 18 at the time, announced her pregnancy. Teen Vogue faced backlash from the media, who accused them of glorifying teenage pregnancy.
She continued to model until she was six months pregnant and couldn’t fit into any of the clothes, notably walking the catwalk for the Spring 2010 Jean Paul Gaultier show, with a baby bump. At the age of 19, ten weeks after giving birth, Dunn returned to the runway at London Fashion Week for the Winter 2010 season. For returning to work so quickly, she said her motivation was her son.
“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.”
During the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, Dunn was one of the British models wearing bespoke fashions created by British designers specifically for the event. The other models were Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, David Gandy, Karen Elson, Lily Donaldson, Lily Cole, Georgia May Jagger and Stella Tennant. She wore a gold and white gown by Jonathan Saunders with feathered headdress by Stephen Jones. She also made her Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show debut for the 2012 show.
In March 2013, Dunn appeared as the cover story in Net-a-Porter’s “The Edit.” In it she spoke of encountering discrimination telling the magazine that casting agents would say clients “didn’t want any more black girls”. In July 2013, she received media attention for tweeting that she had been cancelled from a Dior haute couture show, “for her boobs”; rather than her skin colour – which she noted, “usually happens”.
In April 2014, it was announced that 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.
Forbes listed Dunn in their 2014 top-earning models list, estimated to have earned $US4 million in one year. She appeared on the 2015 list having earned $US3.5million.
She is pictured in the September 2015 issue of Vogue modelling a J. Mendel fox fur boa.
Dunn signed a deal with British multinational retailer Marks & Spencer to design a kidswear clothing collection. The collection; called “Lil’ LonDunn by Jourdan Dunn”, debuted in April 2016.
A collaboration between Jourdan and British fashion retailer Missguided was launched in April 2017, featuring athletic wear. Revenue for the company increased by 75%, with international sales increasing by 130%, whilst the campaign with Dunn was active.
She appeared in a music video for Nicki Minaj entitled “Regret In Your Tears”, directed by Mert and Marcus in May 2017.
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.
As of July 2014, she was declared an icon by models.com after appearing on their “Top 50 Models Women” list for seven consecutive years.
As of May 2015, models.com declared her a “New Super”, a selection of models who are recognised as modern day supermodels; having transcended the fashion industry and established themselves as brands and celebrities.
She won the “Inspiration Award” at the Glamour Women of the Year Awards 2015, for her philanthropic work raising awareness for Sickle-cell disease and her consistent activism for diversity within the modeling industry.
In November 2015, she won “Model of the Year” at the British Fashion Awards, for the second time.
Media and appearances
Dunn appeared in the music videos for “Yoncé” and “XO” from Beyoncé’s fifth self-titled studio album which is widely described as a “visual album” due to every song being accompanied by a music video. The videos were shot in Brooklyn and Coney Island, New York, respectively. The “Yoncé” video was directed by Ricky Saiz and features fellow models Joan Smalls and Chanel Iman. The video was inspired by the 1990 David Fincher video for “Freedom” by George Michael, which also featured models, such as Naomi Campbell. The “XO” video was directed by Terry Richardson and features Dunn alongside Jessica White and Diandra Forres.
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 2 Chainz, Wale, Karlie Kloss, Chanel Iman, Cara Delevingne and Joan Smalls.
She was a guest on The Jonathan Ross Show in March 2013, to discuss her career.
She appeared in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
She is registered to these modeling agencies –
Women Management – New York
Traffic Models – Barcelona
Nathalie Models – Paris
Storm Models – London (Mother Agency)
Women Management – Milan
She has walked the ramp and advertised for Burberry, Calvin Klein, Express, Gap, Mango, Topshop, United Colors of Benetton, Victoria’s Secret, Yves Saint Laurent ‘La Nuit de L’Homme’ fragrance.
Jourdan first appeared in 2016 comedy film Zoolander 2 for her role as Natalka.
First TV Show
Jourdan first appeared on the chat show The Jonathan Ross Show as herself in 2013.
First Fashion Show
She has appeared in Ready to wear – Autumn / Winter 2007 fashion show, modeling and walking the runway for brands and designers such as Alexandre Herchcovitch, Anteprima, Basso & Brooke, Biba, Bill Blass, Duro Olowu, Giles Deacon, John Rocha, Julien Macdonald, Marc Jacobs, Maurizio Pecoraro, Miss Sixty, Neil Barrett, Ralph Lauren, Salvatore Ferragamo, Sportmax, Ter et Bantine, Threeasfour, Tommy Hilfiger, TSE, VPL by Victoria Bartlett.
Her younger brother Antoine serves as her personal trainer.
She revealed to Harper’s Bazaar that she works out with a trainer to gain core strength, make her curves and tone the body. Her breakfast consists of eggs, toast, and bacon.
Jourdan Dunn Favorite Things
Food – Asian and Caribbean cuisines
Designers – Alexander Wang, Burberry, Stella McCartney, Balmain
Jeans Brand – J Brand
Restaurant – She likes to eat barbecue chicken wings and steaks of Meat & Wine Co in Westfield, West London
Bands – Nicki Minaj, Jessie J, J Cole, Drake
Perfumes – Daisy by Marc Jacobs, Gucci’s Guilty
TV Shows – EastEnders (1985-2014), Come Dine with Me (2005-), Glee (2009-), Iron Chef (1993-1999)
Jourdan Dunn Facts
Dunn was raised in Greenford in West London.
She was discovered in 2006 (at 15) in Hammersmith Primark by Storm Model Management.
In 2008, she was the first black model to walk for Prada in over a decade.
She has a son, named Riley (b. December 8, 2009).
She is included in the list of models.com’s “Top 50 Models”.
Jourdan has graced the magazine covers of Russh – Australia for June / July 2013, Elle – France for December 2008, Vogue – Italy for July 2008, Muse – Italy for December 2012 and many others.
Dunn has appeared in the season 4 and episode 13 of the UK talk show “The Jonathan Ross Show”.
She appeared in Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in 2012, 2013, and 2014.
She had also been honored with the title of “Model of the Year” in November 2008 at the British Fashion Awards.
She had also been featured on Net-a-Porter’s “The Edit” in March 2013.
Like Chanel Iman, Jourdan has also faced the problem of racism in the fashion industry when a white makeup artist denied of doing makeup on Dunn’s skin.
She does not wear high heels, which she revealed in an interview given to Telegraph.
She loves cooking food for the family.
She is close friends with English model and actress Cara Delevingne. They both together have performed a ‘Harlem Shake’.
Dunn’s house was the loudest house in the street as it was always filled with high music, most of the times.
In London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony, she appeared alongside Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, and Lily Cole.