Karen Alexander (fashion model)

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Karen Alexander (b. New Jersey) is an American fashion model[1] and actress.

Early Life[edit]

Karen Alexander is an American fashion model born in the state of New Jersey. She is of African-American descent. Her modelling career started at the age of 16 years. She visited various modelling agencies in New York and was turned down by Eileen Ford for not being 'photogenic', and later rejected by John Casablancas and by Bethann Hardison. She was told she was too commercial or not commercial enough. However, she never gave up and was eventually signed to Legends Agency. Creating a successful modelling career that lasted two decades.[2]


She was a well-known model during the late eighties and early nineties. She has been featured in Vogue magazines from US, Britain, and Italy. In addition, she has been in other magazines like Elle, People and Vanity Fair. she has also worked with famous photographers such as Steven Meisel, Patrick Demarchelier, Gilles Bensimon, and Peter Lindbergh. In addition to many more. However, her big break was when she was featured in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues in 1988 and again in 1989. She was featured in people magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People. Although, she was successful, she was faced with racism. During an interview with Vogue in 1991, she commented, "I really don't have the same modelling options of, say, Cindy Crawford or Christy Turlington - although I don't mean to single them out. My agency will say, 'Oh, they aren't using a black girl.'[3] She appeared in the 1995 film Bad Boys.[4]

Personal Life[edit]

Alexander is the mother of two girls, Ella and Zora. She told American Vogue, "My daughter is a black American Polish Jew. Who is she going to look up to at the cosmetics counter? Naomi Sims or Revlon? Who is going to appeal to people like my daughter, who is basically a mix of everything? She's multi-cultural. As far as Ella is concerned, if I do my job right, when she looks at black women she will see beauty and strength. In other words, a face is a face is a face. And beauty is beauty is beauty. Any other dissection is insane.[5]


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