STL Model is the New Face of H&M Swimwear

By Sarah Stallmann
In Style

St. Louis pro model scouts Jeff and Mary Clark of Mother Model Management have discovered their fair share of celebrity and supermodel royalty. Ashton Kutcher, Jenny Sweeney, Katie Fogarty and Vogue’s “it” girl Karlie Kloss have all been scouted by the Clarks and propelled full force into the fashion industry with gigs ranging from Cosmo to Versace. Chesterfield native and plus-size model Jennie Runk is no exception. After being discovered, Runk booked Vogue within a year of being signed, and has posed for high-profile publications such as Marie Claire, Seventeen and CosmoGirl. It’s Runk’s latest endeavor, however, that has the internet abuzz—as she recently signed on as the new face (and body) of H&M swimwear. The concept of interjecting a model, considered by industry standards to be plus-sized, discreetly into a swimwear campaign is somewhat unheard of. No fuss, no fanfare, no plus-sized collection—just H&M’s average swimwear line.

Photo courtesy of HM.com

Runk, who has now also signed with Ford, is no stranger to groundbreaking attention. In 2009, she posed nude along with six other plus-sized models in a controversial shoot for Glamour Magazine. “Every woman, of every body type, should be able to stand up and say that she’s beautiful,” Runk stated in the mag. Her involvement with H&M has taken that very thought to the next level, garnering her significant attention (and H&M praise), in putting plus-sized models on the same map as those who are a size 2. “I think separating between ‘normal’ and ‘plus-size’ is getting a little old fashioned,” she recently told Vogue Italia. It’s about time the industry catches up with its consumers—and with beautiful women like Runk on board, we all should be excited for the future. Now that’s a St. Louis success story.

Glamour Magazine, October 2009. Photo courtesy of MotherModelManagement.com

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