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Agyness Deyn's Got the Look

Renata Espinosa
May 23rd, 2008 @ 12:56 AM - New York

Every so often, a model comes along who functions as more than just a walking hanger or as a Victoria's Secret bombshell. She's someone who represents a broader cultural phenomenon, usually related to youth, and not just a fashion fantasy world. Twiggy, Peggy Moffit, Kate Moss - these are models who became style icons and captured the essence of British cool.

The latest model to possess that "it" girl quality is 25-year-old Agyness Deyn from Manchester, whose crop of bleached blonde hair has added credibility and edge to various designers' runways for several seasons now, but whose profile has recently exploded.

Deyn, who spent her early teen years working in a chip shop, is the current emblem of street style and an icon for youth creating their own looks and expressing themselves through their clothing. Even British magazine i-D recognized her cultural status and had her guest edit their May 2008 issue.

British mannequin company Rootstein Mannequins first immortalized Deyn five years ago with a mannequin after discovering her on a fashion shoot and decided that the time was right to do a revival of her mannequin. It's the first time they've ever brought a girl back, said Kevin Arpino, Rootstein's creative director, at an event at Rootstein in New York on Thursday, May 22, to celebrate the Agyness Deyn mannequins.

"She has such a great individual style," he said. "She's fresh, and a model who's real. People want to see that. She's a chameleon, and she's worked hard to get where she is."

A large part of Deyn's charm, said Arpino, is how down-to-earth and genuine she is. "She's a really lovely person," he said. "She's a darling to work with, she always turns up on time, and she'll offer you a cup of tea."

"One time she and I were in London, outside having a ciggy," continued Arpino, "and you'd just look up and see Agyness' face everywhere, on billboards, on the bus. She said to me, 'Look at that!' She was gobsmacked."

Agyness, said Arpino, is the first to express amazement at her ubiquitousness.

"Even she thought being called an icon was a bit much," he said. "She doesn't like to say, 'I'm the next Kate Moss.'"

Deyn currently is the face of Burberry and Giorgio Armani campagins, along with House of Holland, her friend and fellow Brit Henry Holland's label.

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