90s top model Jenny Brunt on her career’s greatest hits

In the early 90s Jenny Brunt‘s charismatic beauty bridged the gap between the excess glamour of the 1980s and the minimal elegance and grunge edge of the new decade. Known for her cropped hair and effortless cool, she appeared on multiple covers of Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, as well as in advertising for Revlon, L’Oreal, Valentino and Dior. After a career that spanned every facet of the fashion industry, Jenny moved to Los Angeles to become a celebrity fashion stylist. Here she looks back on the images that made her career.

Image photographed by Giovanni Gastel, courtesy Jenny Brunt/Iconic Focus

Donna Italy, July/August 1989
Photographed by Giovanni Gastel.

I had just moved to Paris when I got this booking with the incredible Giovanni Gastel in Milan. Giovanni shot this on a large format Polaroid camera which looked very old fashioned. He would disappear under some black velvet so he could see what he was doing. I did many campaigns with Giovanni and I am grateful to him for the cover and the extra jump start that it gave my modeling career. I was just a baby then!
 

Image photographed by Michael Thompson, courtesy Jenny Brunt/Iconic Focus

Allure US, November 1992
Photographed by Michael Thompson. Hair by John Sahag. Makeup by Fulvia Farolfi.

This cover was the first shoot that I did in NYC when I moved there from Paris. The amazing beauty photographer Michael Thompson shot it. John Sahag did the hair and I think Fulvia Farolfi did the makeup. I was super proud to get an Allure cover. My neck and shoulders position was actually very uncomfortable! I think that this cover was instrumental in getting me my world wide makeup contract with Revlon’s brand ULTIMA II. Every model dreams of a makeup contract with a prestigious brand! Mine was super fun! I danced and lip-synced to the Right Said Fred song I’m Too Sexy. I had to let go of my shyness and let loose!
 

Image photographed by Sante D’Orazio, courtesy Jenny Brunt/Iconic Focus

Allure US, January 1993
Photographed by Sante D’Orazio. Styled by Polly Mellen. Hair by Kevin Mancuso. Makeup by Sonia Kashuk.

This cover for Allure is meaningful because now I can say that I was on an Allure cover with Kate Moss! Hahaha! Pretty amazing! This was shot for the January 1993 cover by Sante D’orazio. Wardrobe–what wardrobe?!–by the iconic and amazing Polly Mellen. I have memories of her running around the studio exclaiming, “we are making fashion history here today!” Her energy and enthusiasm are unbelievable. It was exciting! We were young and all on the brink of something. Kate [Moss] was obviously the Calvin Klein girl and probably the leader of this new generation of models. The perfect model for the time and we were a new wave of fresh faces and probably the anti-1980’s in a way. No more big hair and a ton of makeup. “Grunge” started in a groovy fashion kind of way and our eyebrows were plucked to death! Patricia [Hartmann] had a worldwide cosmetics contract with L’Oreal and I had mine with Revlon’s Ultima II brand. Patricia was an amazing and versatile model and has gone on to have a successful line of lipsticks called Runway Rogue. We are still friends. We met in Tokyo. We were both there for a month and she brought me flowers on my 21st birthday and we watched a movie. We have been friends ever since. And Kate, well, still an icon to this day. Incredible model and businesswoman!

 

Image photographed by Matthew Rolston, courtesy Jenny Brunt/Iconic Focus

New York Times Magazine, November 20 1994
Photographed by Matthew Rolston. Styled by Elizabeth Stewart. Hair by Cemal. Makeup by Susan Sterling.

Not only did I love shooting with Matthew–as he always made me feel so glamorous and less like a model and more like a movie star–but this shoot was significant to me because Elizabeth Stewart styled it. 25 years later Elizabeth and I met again and I became a member of her red carpet styling team in Los Angeles!
 

Image photographed by Bolling Powell, courtesy Jenny Brunt/Iconic Focus

Cosmopolitan UK, October 1994
Photographed by Bolling Powell

This image is important because it’s a Cosmo cover and also because my parents had it framed on the wall right next to my brother and sister’s graduation photos. Well, I guess that was kind of my graduation! Also, the cover said, “How I learnt to have an orgasm” which is perfectly Cosmo but also perfectly embarrassing that the parents didn’t notice this!

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