Crystal Renn talks size, labels and breaking all the rules!

31 January 2011

Grazia Daily’s fave model, Crystal Renn, defies every label the industry tries to pin on her and that’s just one of the many reasons why we love her. She has redefined the role of the plus-size model in fashion with an astonishing series of campaigns and editorials – she is currently the face of Jimmy Choo - and has walked for a number of major shows, including Chanel. Along the way, her curvaceous figure seems to be somewhat diminishing, adding to the debate of precisely what size makes a model plus-sized. Our view on the matter? Crystal looks great, healthy and capable to decide for herself how she wants to look, thank you very much!

The model said that much during a radio interview last week. Talking earnestly about suffering from anorexia and her subsequent recovery she singled out two key figures in the industry that helped her; the first, a fashion editor for the American Glamour magazine who noticed a young Renn’s tensed behaviour on a shoot in the Bahamas (Renn had been constantly worrying about her appearance) and called her agent bringing up the issue. The second was the photographer Steven Meisel whom she credits with making her understand and fall in love with fashion. So much so that Renn revealed her dream is to design a plus-size line!

All very well and exciting but the recent revelation that Ford Models, her agency, states the model’s size as a US 2 – the equivalent of a UK 6 – on her model card as well as Renn’s most recent photo shoot for Paper Planes magazine, where she looks very slim indeed, have reignited the debate. Renn answers her critics by saying on the aforementioned radio interview that, ‘Because of my size currently, I straddle this line between the two worlds. I guess you could say I'm a plus size straight size model. I am four inches smaller than a plus size model and four inches bigger than a straight size model.’ And on this whole plus-size labeling? ‘With plus size modeling, the sizes start at an [US] 8 and go all the way up to a [US] 20, and that enrages many people. They say when they see a [US] size 10 girl, that's plus size? They have to realize that plus size model doesn't mean plus size woman…But bridging the gap would be a very good thing. We need to have all sizes.’

Revealing that her current size is a US 8, which would make her a UK 12, she went on to restate her belief that, ‘No matter what size you are, the most important thing is health — and you can be healthy at many different sizes.’ We couldn’t agree more but what do you think? Let us know your thoughts below but here’s what we like the most; at her modeling agency, Renn is on both the plus size and the straight size board. Doesn’t this make such labels seem dated and wholly unnecessary? As Crystal told the interviewer, ‘I didn't make the rules, I am breaking them’, and again, that’s just why we love her!

-- Kiki Georgiou


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