A Mysterious Swedish Model Named Jenny O Makes a Bald Fashion Statement
This story of O begins late last summer when the 5'11" Barnard College graduate signed with the Click modeling agency. "Jenny didn't tell me she was bald until we became kind of friendly," says Click's head, Frances Grill. "I thought it was exciting. She is a brand-new image for the business." Fabrizio Ferri, the photographer whose picture of Jenny sans wig launched her into media consciousness and landed her on the March cover of the Italian fashion magazine Donna, is equally enthusiastic. "Jenny was very timid at first," says Ferri. "But after we started to work, she was splendid. Without her hair, she's beautiful. She's provocative."
Just as provocative is the fact that Jenny, 24, refuses to reveal her last name. "I want to keep my private life and my family separate from my life as Jenny O," she says. It was Grill who christened her Jenny O because "her head looks like an O." In fact, Jenny was born into one of Sweden's wealthiest and most prominent families. Her father is a business executive, and her mother's family runs the country's biggest publishing empire. Jenny, who grew up in a small village on the Swedish-Norwegian border, started wearing wigs at age 6. "I had to face the fact that I was different from other small boys and girls," she recalls. "Maybe it gave me some sort of strength."
Today Jenny taps this strength when she glides down the runway looking, in all her glabrous glory, like some fantastic space-age creature. Her credits include Timmi's recent show in Milan and Thierry Mugler's in Paris. In her private life she wears one of six reddish blond wigs, each a different length and style. Jenny, who lives in Manhattan with a beau, works as a free-lance antique dealer in her spare time.
Spare time is increasingly rare for Jenny, whose fees (currently $2,000 a day) are steadily rising. She is determined not to let success change her. "I am a media-created figure," says Jenny calmly. "I haven't done anything intellectually challenging. I could have been short and fat and pimply. I happen to be a beautiful bald model."