Open main menu

Jennie Runk (born November 2nd, 1988) is an American plus-size model. She is best known for appearing in H&M's Summer 2013 beachwear campaign, which was featured on the front page of H&M's United States website in late April 2013.[4][5][6][7]

Jennie Runk
Born (1988-11-02) 2 November 1988 (age 30)
Georgia, United States
OccupationFashion model [1]
Modeling information
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Hair colorLight Brown
Eye colorBlue [2]
AgencyJag Models,[3] Ford Models,[2] Mother Model Management (mother agency)


Early lifeEdit

Jennie Runk was born in Georgia and later moved to Chesterfield, Missouri. Runk became a Girl Scout at age 5.[8] As a teenager, she was involved with her high school drama program and worked as a Girl Scout leader. Her family rescued and fostered dogs.[9] She volunteered for the cat adoption center for Open Door Animal Sanctuary at Petsmart in Chesterfield, Missouri.[8]

Runk graduated from Parkway West High School in 2007. She graduated from Stephens College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing in 2011.[1]


Runk was discovered in 2003 at 13 in a PetSmart in Chesterfield, Missouri by Mary Clarke of Mother Model Management while she was volunteering for the cat adoption department.[9][10] At the time, she was a size 8, in between straight size and plus-size modeling.[8] The Clarkes told her she needed to either lose weight or gain weight to model. She chose to gain between 10 and 20 lb (4.5 and 9.1 kg) to a size 10–12 to become a plus-size model.[8][10][11]

She has appeared on Good Morning America and was profiled by Cosmopolitan.[9]

She initially signed with New York agency Wilhelmina Models in March 2004.[12] She later switched to Ford Models.[8] Runk starting modeling full-time in 2011 after she moved to New York City.[8] Her first major editorial was Body Language in US Vogue's April 2005 Shape issue, which was photographed by Steven Meisel.[8]

In addition she appeared twice in Glamour, most notably (in November 2009) nude with six other plus-size models including Ashley Graham, Crystal Renn and Lizzie Miller.[13] Other editorials include Cosmo Girl in February 2006, Marie Claire in October 2007, and several Seventeen editorials.[1][10] Runk was also interviewed by Vogue Italia's Vogue Curvy.[1]

Her beachwear appearance in H&M's Summer 2013 campaign was featured on the front page of H&M's US website in late April 2013 and received extensive media coverage and spread rapidly through blogs and social media.[5][6][7][8] Her Facebook page gained 2,000 likes in 24 hours and increased to over 12,000 likes in a few months.[6][14] As a result of the coverage, Runk wrote an op-ed piece for BBC on size diversity in fashion and her experiences as a model in May 2013.[6]

Runk has modeled for many plus size retailers, including two Marina Rinaldi campaigns in 2012.[15][16] Jennie has also walked in several Elena Miro runway shows.

Personal lifeEdit

Runk lives in New York City. She owns a one-eyed cat, Jasmine.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d "Jennie Runk". Conde Nast Publications. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Jennie". Ford Models. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  3. ^ Chang, Juju. "Jag Model Agency Pledges to Feature 'Real Women'". Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  4. ^ Sauers, Jenna (29 April 2013). "H&M Shows Collection On Plus-Size Model, Doesn't Make a Big Deal Of It". Gawker Media. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  5. ^ a b Jervell, Ellen (1 May 2013). "H&M Makes a 'Brilliant' Move and Embraces the Curves". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d Runk, Jennie (14 May 2013). "Jennie Runk: My life as a 'plus-size' model". BBC. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  7. ^ a b Stampler, Laura (30 April 2013). "H&M Subtly Used A Plus-Sized Model For Its Swimsuit Collection". Business Insider. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Rees, Alex (29 May 2013). "Jennie Runk Talks Body Confidence And Her "Plus-Size" Label". Buzzfeed. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  9. ^ a b c Breslaw, Anna. "Jennie Runk, H&M's First Plus-Size Swimsuit Model, Will Make You Love Yourself". Hearst Corporation. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  10. ^ a b c Bass, Debra (17 September 2009). "For model, size matters Jennie Runk added weight to become a plus-sized fashion model". St. Louis Today. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Plus-Size Model Jennie Runk Says She Chose to Gain Weight". ABC News. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  12. ^ Jones Townsel, Lisa (31 Mar 2005). "No matter what size". St Louis Post-Dispatch. Archived from the original on 24 October 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  13. ^ Field, Genevieve. "These Bodies are Beautiful at Every Size". Conde Nast Publications. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  14. ^ Bass, Debra. "Plus-size model in bikini defies odds and stereotype". Debra Bass blog. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  15. ^ "Marina Rinaldi Campaign, Spring/Summer 2012". Conde Nast Publications. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  16. ^ "Marina Rinaldi for Fall/Winter 2012". Retrieved 18 June 2013.