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Karen Alexander (fashion model)

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Karen Alexander (fashion model)

Karen Alexander (born 1972 in New Jersey) is an African American fashion model[1] and actress, most known for her modeling career. She is 5'10 with dark brown hair and eyes.[1] She began her career when she was just sixteen years old, visiting multiple modeling agencies in New York. She tried to sign with Eileen Ford, John Casablancas, and Bethann Hardison, but was seen as "unphotogenic," not "commercial" enough, or too "commercial" by each of them respectively. It wasn't until she came across Legends Agency that she was finally signed and could begin her career.[2] Alexander would go on to become a muse to fashion's top designers and magazine editors, and create a name for herself for at least two decades.[3] Legends Agency is now non-existant and Alexander is currently signed with Trump Model Management.[4]

Contents

  • Career 1
  • Personal life 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Career

Alexander is most known for her modeling during the late eighties and early nineties. During her career, she was featured on the covers of Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Elle, Mademoiselle, Glamour, and Mirabella[2] and worked on campaigns for Cover Girl, Tiffany & Co, and Chanel's Allure. She also worked with the top photographers of her time such as Steven Meisel, Patrick Demarchelier, Gilles Bensimon, and Peter Lindbergh. Alexander reached the peak of her career when she was featured in the 1988 and 1989 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues and in Herb Ritts' Pirelli Calendar. She was then featured in People magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People, proving how successful she truly had become. Despite being so successful, she told People that she had never felt she was pretty until she was pregnant. In the 1990 interview, she told them, "I was the ugliest child, skinny, tall, really horrific. When I started working I never believed anyone who said I was pretty. If I was so beautiful, then why did it take over two hours to do my hair and makeup. Until I was pregnant I felt like an impostor waiting to be found out."[2] Despite feeling like she had to wear makeup often, Alexander was blessed with clear skin and a slim figure, not having to worry much about exercising.[5]

Although she is known to have broken barriers for models of color, being one of the first to be featured in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition,[6] she has certainly dealt with racism throughout her career. She told Vogue during an interview in 1991, "I really don't have the same modeling options of, say, Cindy Crawford or Christy Turlington - although I don't mean to single them out. My agency will say, 'Oh, they aren't using a black girl.'"[2]

As for her film career, Alexander is most known for her appearance in the 1995 film Bad Boys.[7] She also starred in the 1996 film Repligator.

Personal life

Alexander is married to Claus Dieter, a German photographer with whom she worked on one of her earliest jobs with Ebony magazine.[5] Currently, though she does take occasional modeling jobs, Alexander is most focused on being the mother of her two daughters, Ella and Zora.[3] In an interview she did with American Vogue in 2002, she told them, "My daughter is a black American Polish Jew. Who is she going to look up to at the cosmetics counter? Naomi Sims or Revlon? Who is going to appeal to people like my daughter, who is basically a mix of everything? She's multi-cultural. As far as Ella is concerned, if I do my job right, when she looks at black women she will see beauty and strength. In other words, a face is a face is a face. And beauty is beauty is beauty. Any other dissection is insane."[2]

References

  1. ^ a b "Karen Alexander". Fashion Model Directory. Retrieved 2009-03-12. 
  2. ^ a b c d e http://www.inoubliablemodelarmy.com/2012/05/phenomenal-karen-alexander.html
  3. ^ a b "Vintage Vamp: Karen Alexander". Essence.com. Retrieved 2015-09-18. 
  4. ^ FashionModelDirectory.com, The FMD -. "Karen Alexander - Fashion Model | Models | Photos, Editorials & Latest News | The FMD". The FMD - FashionModelDirectory.com. Retrieved 2015-09-18. 
  5. ^ a b "Reading Eagle - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Retrieved 2015-09-18. 
  6. ^ "Karen Alexander | The Black Market". blackmarketmag.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2015-09-18. 
  7. ^ McCarthy, Todd (1995-04-03). "Bad Boys: (Action comedy -- Color)".  

External links

  • See Karen Alexander at: Fashion Model Directory, Internet Movie Database, models.com


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