Originally appeared in The Define Yourself Issue, Fall 2010
Kristen McMenamy is the fearlessly original supermodel, with big hair, big brains and a big personality to boot. When Kristen McMenamy shot onto the modeling scene in the late 80s, her bleached eyebrows, big lips, strong nose and dramatically short haircut caught the fashion industry by storm. The Pennsylvanian born supermodel has since flown the flag high for unconventional beauty, paving the way for a whole generation of girls who don’t fit the mould, and more importantly don’t want to. Working with such iconic photographers as Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton, Richard Avedon and Juergen Teller, Kristen has starred in some of the fashion industry’s most iconic images, while her hair underwent chameleon like colour changes on an almost day-to-day basis. Until a few years ago that is, when tired of conforming to fashion’s ideal, Kristen decided to stop dying her waist length hair and embrace her silver roots. Her haughty determination, teamed with her brand new, enviously glossy, not to mention super healthy locks, cemented her cult status in the industry, propelling the supermodel once more on a tidal wave of fashion shoots, catwalk shows, ad campaigns and fame. 2010 alone saw Kristen star in editorial for i-D, American Vogue, Italian Vogue, Love and Dazed & Confused. While earlier this year she walked in the autumn/winter 10 runway shows for Calvin Klein and Viktor & Rolf, and her salt and pepper barnet inspired Lady Gaga to embrace grey locks on the cover of last month’s Vanity Fair. Kristen first appeared in i-D, photographed by Juergen Teller, for the cover of the Beauty issue in June 1993. 17 years on and 46 years old, she’s back, looking hotter, fitter and more fabulous than ever before.