Jordan Dunn First Black British Model on Forbes Rich List

vogue460x276One of fashion’s most covetable stars and one of its most vocal critics, Jourdan Dunn, is  the first Black British model ever to enter the World’s Highest Paid Models List compiled by Forbes.

The 24-year-old from Greenford, west London, ranked along with Gisele Bündchen and Mirander Kerr as one of the highest-earning models in the world last year.

Contracts with Maybelline and Burberry helped Dunn earn $4 million (£2.4 million) in the period between June 2013-14, making her one of only three British women, alongside Cara Delevingne and Kate Moss, to appear on the list.

Dunn has achieved what Naomi Campbell, Britain’s first black supermodel, could not, in part because Forbes created the richest models  list in 2006, after the peak of Campbell’s success.

“Had we been cataloguing model earnings in the mid-1990s, when Campbell was at her peak, she likely would have made the cut,” says Natalie Robehmed, wealth reporter for Forbes. “But strictly speaking, there has never been a British person of color on the list.”

Dunn’s earnings were dwarfed by the list’s No. 1 earner,  Bundchen, who banked $42 million (approximately £25 million), but Dunn’s success is notable because she is one of only two Black women, alongside American Joan Smalls, to make the cut.

That in itself is an issue Dunn has openly condemned throughout her nine-year career.

Spotted by Storm Models outside Primark [department store] in Hammersmith at age 15, Dunn’s career hit the ground running when she appeared in 75 London fashion week shows in one season in 2007.

That same year she told reporters: “London’s not a white city, so why should our catwalks be so white?”

In an interview with the Guardian in 2013, she addressed the fashion industry’s myopic attitude toward race: “The people who control the industry … say if you have a Black face on a magazine cover it won’t sell, but there’s no real evidence for that.”


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