Connie Chiu has worked with many renowned designers and photographers,
including designer Marc Lebihan and the infamous and controversial
fashion photographer Terry Richardson. Connie has walked the runway
for French designer Jean Paul Gaultier, famous for his man skirts,
Madonna cone-bra, and costuming for the film The
Connie is Chinese but was raised in Sweden from a young age to better
protect her eyes and skin-- she is the first and only high fashion
model with albinism. Albinistic people throughout history and even
today in certain parts of the world (like Tanzania) have suffered
great discrimination. Films and books such as The
Da Vinci Codeand The
Matrix Reloaded portray
stock albino characters; the website Television Tropes even has a term
for this: the “evil albino.”
With such a cultural background, Connie’s gorgeous work seems to
resonate with those who have felt ostracized for being different.
Whereas fashion models are often criticized for looking homogenous and
promoting conformity, Connie’s look and shoots celebrate
individuality. Her confidence in herself as well as her ambition is
commendable. Speaking to Vice magazine,
Connie explains how she came to model for Gaultier: “I wrote my phone
number on the back of a photo and sent it off to Jean Paul Gaultier.
About four months later, he called my mum and said he wanted me to
come do his couture show in Paris.”
Additionally, Connie acted in the music video for the song Stalker, by
the band Recoil (solo project of Alan Wilder, of Depeche Mode fame).
Vice Fashion: Connie
Crystal Renn is not only a model but a well regarded writer. She has
covered New York Fashion Week for Glamour in
2010, and wrote the memoir Hungry:
A Young Model’s Story of Appetite, Ambition, and the Ultimate Embrace
trying to lose weight to achieve the body of a standard size two
model, Crystal suffered from anorexia. She only sought help after it
became so serious that her hair was falling out. Crystal speaks openly
about the struggle to accept her body, and her trial, as well as her
message, is an inspiration to girls of all sizes.
Like actress Kate Winslet, last summer Crystal openly opposed the
digital manipulation of her own images from a photo shoot with
Nicholas Routzen. These touch-ups dramatically changed her appearance
from her actual size--about a ten--to a body much smaller and standard
in the industry. You can read an interview with Crystal onGlamour’s website
about this issue here: http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/blogs/vitamin-g/2010/07/on-the-cl-crystal-renn-on-her.html.
Crystal is the only plus size model to grace the cover of Harper’s
Bizarre. In addition to working campaigns for plus size (“plus
size” in fashion does not actually reflect real life plus size, as
Crystal is a healthy weight) companies such as Lane Bryant, Crystal
has modeled in advertisements for H&M, Saks, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel,
and more. She has walked the runway for Jean Paul Gautier, appeared in
American, Italian, German, and Teen Vogue...and
all of this has been accomplished at a healthy weight, promoting a
socially progressive idea of beauty.
Besides modeling, Aimee Mullins is a professional actress and athlete.
She graduated from Georgetown University, where, during her school
years, she double majored in history and diplomacy and competed in
Division I track and field. Aimee acted in the cult film Cremaster
3 and 2006‘s World
Trade Center. These are huge accomplishments alone. However,
these feats are made even more remarkable as Aimee had a condition
called fibular hemimelia. This condition caused her legs to be
amputated as a child--she did all of it with prosthetic legs.
Aimee is an activist for the disabled, and seeks to challenge the very
concept of what it is to be disabled. In an interview with Richard
Galant for CNN, she has said: “"It's society that disables an
individual by not investing in enough creativity to allow for someone
to show us the quality that makes them rare and valuable and capable."
for modeling, Ms. Mullins is famous for her work with Alexander
McQueen in 1999 for his London show, wearing hand-carved ash legs.
Here, you can see Amy speak at TED, where she shows the artistry of
her numerous sets of legs, including the ones designed by McQueen.http://www.ted.com/talks/aimee_mullins_prosthetic_aesthetics.html