Ford Models Blog

Crystal Renn Interview Special by Damien Neva

Last week I announced this interview would go live Tuesday, but alas it has been pushed ahead one day early to accommodate an already congested Fashion Week F/W 11 schedule. No matter how rich or absurd it sounds for an agency’s own in-house blog to crow about landing an exclusive with its own model, the boast doesn’t sound as ridiculous when the model is revealed to be Crystal Renn. Shoehorning even the shortest of interviews into Crystal’s option-filled chart is no simple task, but all the same this was to be an interview of tremendous importance. Having enjoyed one of the most successful and exhilarating years of her career there was much that I had wanted to discuss with Crystal not least of which included her work with Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld, Vogue Paris and Carine Roitfeld, and the speculation surrounding her weight loss.

More than anything I wanted to invite Crystal to make use of the Ford Models Blog as a platform to speak truth to a public eager for answers. For some a thinner Crystal Renn has meant betrayal of the very foundations upon which she built her career as the most famous plus model in the world. On the face of it, these accusations appear founded, but do not hold up when subjected to further scrutiny. Lost in the discussion has been Crystal’s steady call for greater diversity in fashion and especially as it concerns size. In the interview Crystal makes plain the fact that were she now to maintain a larger size she would have to develop a binge eating disorder to do so. It is this same pressure on her size, Crystal argues, that lead to her developing anorexia in the first place. This is a pressure she says she will resist. Her body certainly has changed, but her message for diversity in fashion has not.

Crystal’s resolve is all the more remarkable given how closely she follows not just the press, but also comments appearing on blogs. I can tell you with certainty that she reads them all and has been alarmed by some of what she has seen written. Accusations of hypocrisy and intimations of conspiracy have sought to make Crystal’s body and its size the guarantor of her message. In doing so these comments have unwittingly extended the very sizist agenda they purport to refute. Crystal’s present size places her somewhere between plus and straight. Crystal is on both on Paul Rowland‘s image board and the Ford+ board. This in-between status, which is uncomfortable to so many seeking clear definitions of straight size and plus size, serves to move the discussion beyond size and back to the model’s performance on the page. Crystal is an incredible model no matter her size and should be celebrated as such. I am not sure this will be the final word on the issue, but so far as this page is concerned this Crystal Renn interview draws a line under it.

Credits include: Publication, Ford Models Blog; Title, “Crystal Renn Interview Special”; Subject, Crystal Renn; Interview/text, Damien Neva; Video, Damien Neva; Music, from Returnal by Oneohtrix Point Never.

Crystal Renn | Chanel Resort 2011 (Photography: Chanel)

Crystal Renn | Chanel Resort 2011 (Photography: Chanel)

Crystal Renn for Chanel Reopening Sep. 2010 (Photography: Karl Lagerfeld)

Crystal Renn for Chanel Reopening Sep. 2010 (Photography: Karl Lagerfeld)

Crystal Renn | Vogue Paris mai 2010 (Photography: Steven Klein)

Crystal Renn | Vogue Paris mai 2010 (Photography: Steven Klein)

Crystal Renn | Vogue Paris Aug. 2010 (Photography: David Sims)

Crystal Renn | Vogue Paris Aug. 2010 (Photography: David Sims)

Crystal Renn | Vogue Paris Oct. 2010 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Crystal Renn | Vogue Paris Oct. 2010 (Photography: Mert & Marcus)

Crystal Renn | Vogue Paris Oct. 2010 (Photography: Terry Richardson)

Crystal Renn | Vogue Paris Oct. 2010 (Photography: Terry Richardson)

Crystal Renn | Vogue Paris Déc/Jan 2010-2011 (Photography: Tom Ford)

Crystal Renn | Vogue Paris Déc/Jan 2010-2011 (Photography: Tom Ford)

Crystal Renn | Vogue Paris Déc/Jan 2010-2011 (Photography: Terry Richardson)

Crystal Renn | Vogue Paris Déc/Jan 2010-2011 (Photography: Terry Richardson)

17 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Crystal is a beautiful woman, regardless of size. She was beautiful when she modelled for Evans, she is beautiful now. I wish her all the best.

Comment by mary

Crystal Renn caused my glasses to fog up…or is cause I came in from the cold outside prior to looking at these pics of her. The cowboy one really…

Comment by Gary Chase

She is beautiful no matter what her size is, and comes off as a very intelligent, well-spoken person. How sad that she’s getting pressure from everyone when they should just leave her alone and let her be healthy no matter what size she is.

Comment by Jenny

A woman who loves herself – at one size and at another is a woman that every reader of every magazine demands. They beg and plead for this “real” woman and yet the reality is women are all sizes and models are the same whilst in a narrower range. The absurdity of the bloggers/commenters not acknowledging that just because you are in an industry that has recognized you for “beauty” has absolutely nothing to do with self-esteem and empowerment – you could almost render them mutually exclusive. Crystal Renn is someone to admire – someone who acts as if there are no labels saying “this is a size __ ” on the dress I will wear tomorrow.

Comment by sarac

Yes, she’s stunning, no matter what size, and I love her thick eyebrows.

Comment by spike

Crystal is beautiful and I hope that this is a healthy weight for her. I never read her book and I’m going to but I’m wondering if she received treatment back then and this weight loss is not a set back…. Treatment is very essential.. Anorexia takes over the mind and you have no control. I wish you all Happiness you deserve.

Comment by elizabeth

Crystal is a remarkable and stunning model, and reminds us all that the best models are those with intelligence and sharp instincts. But she does not serve women if she is conforming to anyone’s idea of what she should look like. Yes, it was riveting to see her larger body on the runway and in photos, and the barriers that she broke when she did that will be broken forever. But she has to be true to herself, and anyone who is truly an advocate for the health of women should realize that.

Comment by vikkitikkitavi

Crystal….as long as you’re happy and healthy, well that’s all that matters!! You are beautiful no matter what size! You rock and we love you!!!……xE

Comment by eric polito

Crystal should be free be the weight that feels comfortable for her. She cannot be expected to use her body to fight for all of us larger ladies. We must fight the good fight ourselves and love ourselves at the size that is healthy and comfortable to us. I do however thank Crystal and the designers and photographers she has worked with to produce such a beautiful collection of images of her.

Comment by Veronica Templeton

Crystal Rehn is a beautiful girl heavier or thinner… I believe the blogging community is most concerned that the only model getting work as a heavier model no longer is heavy and the concern is no other model will be filling in those shoes if so.

Nobody wants to force Crystal to stay a size she is not comfortable or seemingly unhealthy, but there are girls who don’t fit the straight model who are equally stunning and not making rosters or campaigns worldwide! Perhaps with a new physique that Crystal, it is high time to add more models who don’t fit the norm, age, size and height, this way the blogging community who is the average enthusiast can feel represented that as the masses!


Comment by Angie

That was the best interview I have every watched from a model. I have a 11 year daughter and I think when she comes home from school today, I will sit down with her and watch the interview again with her. So, that way she can she for herself how beautiful she is to me and the world. Thank you for your interview. It will help her love her self…….

Comment by Joann Harris

Ms. Renn seems to have both feet planted firmly on the ground, a phenomenon that might be considered downright odd for anyone in her business.

Yes, her body has changed, but this whole uproar has been caused by the fact that the modeling industry invented labels, then forces models to adhere to one of them just to work. If you want to be a plus-size model, you have to be X size, and if you shrink too far away from that size, you no longer work as a plus-size. Furthermore, you’re criticized left, right and sideways for not conforming to the industry’s standards.

I don’t blame Renn in the least for speaking her mind, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if she just decided to chuck the whole business in disgust for something a little more sane. I’m guessing she won’t do that because she’s in far too much demand. But she does sound a little angry.

Comment by K

She has really become such a beautiful person and i’m happy for her

Comment by miguel

Crystal Rehn is a beautiful woman inside and out, she is very intellegent and I wish the best to and for her. It does not matter what your weight is just be healthy and may God bless you!

Comment by Barbara

she is always bautiful…i wish the best future for her,,,
it doesnt matter whats her size ?!!1 its important she is so pretty and healthy.

Comment by nahal

Thank you for this interview Crystal. And, whenever you feel the pressure – come back to this page.

Too bad that the ‘fashion magazines’ don’t publish this in an article form…it is all about the universal call to ‘women’s health’…physical, emotional and spritual!

I challenge Ford Models and Vanity Fair to publish this won’t lose readership fact you will gain mine!

Comment by mary

Absolutely stunning, gorgeous bone structure – we are loving the curves!

Comment by London modelling agencies

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