Jourdan Dunn has graced the covers of fashion magazines worldwide, fronted international campaigns and appeared in the Olympic closing ceremony
But the supermodel has “been through a lot” to get where she is today.
The 22 year-old has opened up about having to contend with racism in her early career as well as being a single parent to her son Riley, who suffers from sickle-cell disease – an inherited, non-contagious blood disorder.
'It's a scary every time he has what they call a 'crisis' when he has to be rushed to hospital'
Jourdan found out she was expecting Riley, now three, when she had just been crowned Model of the Year in 2008. Soon after her son was born, his father and Jourdan’s boyfriend of five years was sent to prison for dealing drugs - leaving the young mother to raise Riley on her own.
“It’s scary every time he has what they call a ‘crisis’, you know, when he has to be rushed to the hospital for more
oxygen and blood transfusion,” she admits.
The model has also spoken out about her experience of racism in her early fashion career. Although she became the first black model to appear on the Prada catwalk since Naomi Campbell when she was just 17, Jourdan was sometimes turned away from castings because the client “didn’t want any more black girls.”
'Jourdan became the first black model to appear on the Prada catwalk since Naomi Campbell'
It was her own mother, also a single mum, who helped Jourdan overcome the discrimination to become a worldwide success, and who helps her to care for her beloved son.
Speaking about her mother, she said: “She always seemed to make things work without ever complaining.”
Like mother like daughter.