Exclusive: Jourdan Dunn On Her New Missguided Collection

Yes, you read that correctly: Brit supermodel, she of the endless legs and countless campaigns, has joined forces with Missguided to bring us a brand new collection. And she came to tell us all about it…

When you think of supermodels, it’s impossible not to think about Jourdan Dunn. She made us seriously rethink our trips to Primark when we found out she’d been discovered there at the tender age of 16. Since, she’s not only ruled the runways for the likes of Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Marc Jacobs, Victoria’s Secret and Burberry, starred in a Beyonce video and fronted hundreds of major campaigns, she’s also mum to a six-year-old and regularly speaks out against racism in the fashion industry. She is, basically, Wonder Woman. And now she’s brought her magic to Missguided, with a sportswear-inspired range consisting of slouchy hoodies, sequin bombers, joggers, oversized tees and branded bralettes.

We sat down with the star to chat style, shopping and social media.

You’ve walked in countless designer shows, but are you more of a high street girl at heart?

I love both – high street and designer are equally relevant, and it’s how you style it.  When I was designing my collection for Missguided I wanted to create some definitive pieces you could dress up and mix up.  For example I like to wear my satin joggers with my Gianvito Rossi black suede high heel boots.

When you go shopping (cyber or otherwise) what’s your store hit-list?

I don’t have much time to shop, especially when I’m in London because I prefer to spend my time chilling out with Riley.  But I do shop online and love Missguided (obviously, and they deliver on time and are reliable), Net A Porter, Matches etc.

What’s your favourite piece from your Missguided collection? Why?

I love the satin joggers.  I normally aim for dark colours but I really love the colour grey we created for the velvet tracksuit in particular; it just looks and feels very lux which was one of the points to the collection – we really wanted to elevate it to the point where you could wear it from day to night without thinking.  I love the fleece double high waisted skirt which we designed for girls who want to create a curve, or girls who have a curve – the shape of the high waist really lends  a flattering shape to all body types.

Will you be sending any of the pieces from your collection to your model friends?

I already have and while it will be wonderful if my model friends wear it, I will also take great pride in seeing the girls I don’t know  wearing it and mixing it up in their own way.  The knowledge that girls I don’t know have taken time and chosen something that they love, and then ordered it online, that really makes me feel emotional and proud.  Then I’ll know I have designed a collection that really works.

You’ve been an amazing champion for diversity in the fashion industry. Do you think this has improved at all? What do you think still needs to happen?

There have been improvements and I think this is down to social media which has created an equality beyond the catwalk –  it provides an opportunity for everyone to voice their opinion on what they like.  I always want to see diversity and real  girls on the runway;  it is important that women have an image that they can relate to.

This was one of the reasons I wanted to create my own casting for our Missguided collaboration.  I wanted to create my own squad of girls who look great but also have an opinion and who aren’t afraid to voice it in different ways.   Whether this is through social media, modelling, dance or creative direction, photography, art, writing – whatever. I love my girl squad.

Do you have any tips for feeling good about yourself? Is there something you do to boost your confidence if you ever have an off day?

Yeah – you just need to keep working at it and be patient with yourself,  it’s all going to come good in the end. On a practical level I’ve started working out with my brother who is a personal trainer, and I like the way exercise makes me feel.  I feel stronger physically and emotionally, and much fitter which is good. I also remember reading Diane Von Furstenberg’s biography and the one line that struck me was that her Mother had told her that “Fear is not an option”. I think fear stops us from doing what we really want to do, whether it’s leaving a job or a unhealthy relationship – you have to face your fears and go outside of your comfort zone.  And I also like to relax with my son Riley, he loves watching movies with me and cooking, and this always makes me feel good.

Who’s your ultimate style icon?

I get inspiration from women on the street, I love looking at them and seeing the trends and the way they wear things.  And if I really had to choose  I love the trend setters like Rihanna, who is fearless and takes risks, and  Victoria Beckham, who has such a strong style and is seriously chic.

There’s been such a shift in the industry towards social media, with many models landing jobs due to their Instagram presence. Do you ever feel under pressure to project a certain thing on platforms like Instagram? Do you think it’s a good or bad thing?

Social media has taken over the world, this is where most people get their content and news, it’s where people are discovered, politics are discussed, movements are organised and talked about – it’s an amazing platform! I love it but you have to respect it… I’ve come to realise that I have to exercise control over any negativity and my reaction to it. You have to control the haters by ignoring them. I also think it’s important to spread awareness about things you care passionately about, and in my opinion we all have a social responsibility to be good to each other.

Can you tell us what the most amazing fashion party you’ve been to was?

I loved my Lon Dunn + Missguided launch party! It was amazing and I had the best time with my friends. I was up on the stage dancing with Stefflon Don at one point…it was a dream come true launch party – great people, music and champagne.

What’s your most extravagant purchase?

Probably my Rodarte leather trousers. I saw them on the catwalk and just had to buy them.

What’s your favourite thing about fashion?

It’s hard to be specific but I think on some deep level it’s a reflection of how we live and of deeper conversations going on socially. It’s also an incredibly serious business with some fabulous talent involved, and I love the fact that anyone can buy into it on some level.

How do you deal with rumours about yourself?

I’ve learnt that I can’t control what other people think about me. “Change the things you can control and have the courage and wisdom to let go of the things you can’t”.  I also try and set myself small goals every other day, and this year I am determined to be more focused and have more self – belief.  I like working  on learning how to be positive.

How do you balance life as a high profile model and being a mother?

It works for me because I have a very strong support system in my mum, she takes care of Riley for me when I am working in NYC and travelling abroad – it wouldn’t be possible otherwise. I also have understanding agents, and I’m mindful of the choices I make when it comes to work.  We manage this as a team.

But I’m not saying it’s easy, it’s not…being away from Riley is tough.   However I am in a position where I can work on my career, and I do this so I can provide for my son and educate him well.  I don’t think there is a perfect work / life scenario for anyone and having a child so young is not one I would advocate lightly, I know I have been lucky to make this work.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Happy and with a bigger family. I also have plans for my LonDunn brand and want to expand the range and work on more collaborations, and ultimately create fashion and beauty products and lifestyle ranges, even events, all under the LonDunn brand.

What advice would you give an aspiring model?

Go for it, but sign up with a reputable agency and make sure you get guidance from a parent or an older sibling about your choices.  Ask for advice.Work hard but also learn to question something when you are feeling uncomfortable.   Speak up. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. We’re all different.  Work on being the best version of yourself.