Kristen McMenamy (born December 13, 1964) is an American supermodel known for her unconventional, androgynous appearance. Originally a long-haired redhead, she reinvented her look in the early 1990s by having her hair cut short and dyed black, and her eyebrows shaved off. Her career was boosted by the advent of the grunge fashion trend.
McMenamy was born in Easton, Pennsylvania and also spent some time in her youth in Buffalo, New York. She was the third of seven children in an Irish-American Catholic family.
McMenamy attended Notre Dame High School in Easton, where she received excellent grades, but was often teased by her classmates, who called her “Skeleton” due to her lanky body. While in college, she decided to drop out of school to pursue a career in modeling.
After heading to New York City, she was rejected by various modeling agencies. She nonetheless continued following her dream to model. She later recounted, “I got rejected by everyone. But I was obsessed! It was the only thing I wanted to do and I wanted it so badly. I was like a bulldog, hanging on by my teeth.”
Upon meeting the modeling agent Eileen Ford, McMenamy was told to consider getting plastic surgery. Despite that, she managed to get signed by an agency that sent her to work in Paris. A few years later, she was signed by Elite Model Management, and subsequently by Ford Models. McMenamy’s modeling career mainly spanned the years 1985 to 1998, when she worked for many of the world’s top designers and international fashion houses, such as Versace, Giorgio Armani, Valentino, Todd Oldham, Christian Dior, Sonia Rykiel, Dolce & Gabbana, Jean Paul Gaultier, Gianfranco Ferré, Lanvin, Isaac Mizrahi, Yohji Yamamoto, Thierry Mugler, Comme des Garçons, Chloé, and Moschino.
Read more about her at Kristen McMenamy – Wikipedia.