Model Crystal Renn has been photographed repeatedly by Steven Meisel, appeared in the pages of Vogue worldwide, walked the runway for Jean-Paul Gaultier and shot back-to-back campaigns for Mango, but don’t expect this pretty face to forgo a meal for the sake of her career. Almost a decade after being forced to conform to a size zero expectation and starve herself in the process as a 14-year-old modeling hopeful, Renn is now a gorgeous size 12 and healthier than ever. Her career as a plus size supermodel is thriving and her new book Hungry: A Young Model’s Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves was released today. GlamChic caught up with Renn on the morning of her book launch party to discuss her dark past, happy present and bright future. ~Nola Weinstein
This is a very big day for you, how are you feeling?
Amazing! It’s funny how just gaining weight and eating again can change every aspect of your life. It made me capable at work, which has led me to my success.
What will your fashion week look like this season?
I wasn’t even given the option to do the shows or be at the parties when I was a straight size model, but now that I am not that model I am going to shows and seeing friends out and about. It’s a pleasure.
How would you describe the typical model’s fashion week diet?
Whether or not you have a weight problem during fashion week it’s a mental game that is imposed on these girls and so people in fashion week eat less and they believe they’re natural, however I don’t have to do such things.
How and when were you discovered?
I was discovered when I was 14 living in Clinton Mississippi, going to what my mom thought was an etiquette school, but it was actually a beauty school. There was a scout there from NY who said you are going to be a supermodel; he said “you will see the world. ” He said “you are beautiful and you can be like this” and he pointed to Gisele in American Vogue. I had never been identified as the beautiful girl, but when he came told me I could be that and ofcourse my ears perked up. But there was a “but” involved…I had to lose 9 inches. And I eventually lost 10.
We we’re pleased to see that Glamour has recently been embracing plus-size models and applauded British Vogue’s Alexandra Shulman’s case against too skinny models, but are there any other woman’s magazines out there that you think convey a healthy body image to young women?
Let me just tell you something about Glamour, they were the only people who ever called my agency and said this girl has a problem. They are all about health and promoting women’s issues. There is a growing interest in healthy bodies and I have seen that even in Vogu. And the fact that I have done Vogue and been able to do it is a sign of change. I commend them for using me. Glamour, I have to say is one of the leaders of the pack. I remember I was completely ill on that shoot when my disorder got worse and they called my agency and said something is very wrong with her
Were you angry?
At the time I was really embarrassed because someone had figured me out. They called it and brought it to light. I wasn’t only not only not pleasing my agency but I wasn’t pleasing Glamour. When I became a healthy model like I am now, they were one of the first people to shoot me at this size and that says something. I am happy to be associated with them because there message is the same as mine. They really care about their readers and you can tell.
Who are your current style icons?
Tilda Swinton is amazing. I love that she is a complete individual. I am not looking for the dress everyone has. I want something different and unique. She always goes in her own direction.
What designers are you loving?
My book party is tonight and one of my favorite designers is Isabel Toledo and I am wearing a dress by her tonight. I also love Martin Margiela, Rick Owens, Vivienne Westwood and Comme de Garçons. I tend to favor the edgier designers who are about being an individual and catering to the rebellious girl. And I also really like Prada for a more classic evening look with a twist. She is wonderful and all of her clothes are completely different and they test the norm.
Do you still love modeling?
OMG I love it for sure. Modeling is great. This job has given me the opportunity, dark past or not, to appreciate who and what I am. And here I am. You know the fashion industry has been so supportive in letting me tell my story. I have had the opportunity to travel. It’s absolutely priceless and no college can teach you that. The life experience is huge and life changing and I am a completely different human being. I was probably very naive and closed off from the world. I had a curious mind that wanted to know. I had all the tools and miles I yearned for. That dark path led me to the brightest life I could ever lead. I’m in a balanced healthy place
What’s next for you?
My goals would be to continue speaking about body competence and telling women they don’t have to look just one way. What’s naturally next would be to design a clothing line of some sort because I don’t think my taste is out their for curvier women. I have rock n’ roll taste that should be available for size 12 and above. I would love to go into the beauty industry and be the face of a makeup brand. It’s what women want to see. I love makeup and I find it very cool and it’s an arena I want to experience
Can we look forward to seeing your stuff on HSN or at Target or will this be more high end?
I actually want to do a few different types of lines. I want to do something for the masses because woman need and deserve that and I also have a higher end line in mind and I have no idea where that will go. Sure Target, H&M, all these places need some more interesting plus-size clothes.
You have much to celebrate this season, what’s your cocktail of choice?
I’m a beer and wine kind of girl. Wine is for enjoying; you take a sip and then pause and think for a bit. But beer is my favorite. I’m not interested in drinking cocktails, there is no need to have liquid dessert. I just want plain old beer!
Hungry is available at Amazon.com for $16.50.