Jenny ShimizuModel & Agent @ ELITE
"I’d wear a jock strap, biker boots, a fishnet shirt, and a fake moustache–we always wore our fake moustaches."
[Ed. Note: Jenny Shimizu is an iconic model famous for starring in Calvin Klein's CK One ads in the 1990s. She has starred in countless campaigns, magazine covers, and editorials since then, and is currently the face of Helmut Red lipstick by House of Exposure.]
"I got discovered outside a club in Los Angeles called 'Fuck.' I was a go-go dancer there. All the women dressed up as men and the men dressed up as women. Basically, I’d wear a jock strap, biker boots, a fishnet shirt, and a fake moustache–we always wore our fake moustaches. One day a casting director came in and took pictures of all of us for MTV videos, which we were all into because of the money. About two days later Michel Comte, who is a photographer, asked if he could come over and take pictures of me. I said yes, but I didn’t know he was taking photos for Italian Vogue.
What was great about being a model in the '90s was that people were so open to so many different looks. I think people needed something they could relate to, and I happened to stumble upon New York at that time. I feel so fortunate that so many companies and so many photographers were open minded enough to work with me. Calvin Klein came up with the campaign for CK One with Steven Meisel, and the whole idea helped change ideas about fashion and beauty. I think everyone was ready for a new idea of beauty. ... There will never be another time like the 1990s again. There was such beautiful poetry and such a disgusting poetry. It could never happen again.
Today, my style is the same as it's always been. I wear a tee shirt, jeans or leather pants, and boots. It’s very plain; I don’t wear any logos or anything like that. I grew up wearing Vans, so I always wear Vans. I stick with a certain silhouette because it’s so much easier to get up in the morning and only have to pick out a different color button up shirt to wear. My mind is all over, so getting dressed needs to be easy.
By chance I got involved with a lipstick line, Helmut Red by House of Exposure. I had a period off between jobs and a friend of mine asked if I wanted to be a part of it. It is a collaboration with a charity, called the Bantwana Initiative. It brings education to countries that need it for women and children, mostly in Africa. The charity moves countries to different places in Africa that need support, so when they change country we will change the lip color." -- Jenny Shimizu to Shop Ghost
Jenny Shimizu photographed in New York by Stevie Dance.
Jenny's Shop Ghost Tips to Dress Like Her in the 1990s
"You have to have a late sixties vintage Levi’s jacket. I still have about five in my closet that I’ve worn since the 1990s."
"You need one pair of Levi's 501s tapered a little bit from the knee down. Back then we wore them low and baggy."
"And definitely some kind of perverted tee shirt..."
"Plus a pair of scissors because you have to cut off the arms of the tee shirt!"
"If you can afford it, get some leather pants. In fact I wore this outfit almost every day without knowing that you’re not supposed to show up to see US Vogue dressed like that, but it worked well."