Agyness Deyn - Biography

As has been the case with many a model in the making, Agyness Deyn\'s career kicked off with a radical haircut. During a Vogue shoot in 2005 with Mario Testino the Lancashire lass told celebrity hairstylist Sam McKnight to "just wack it off". Suddenly, the biggest fashion sensation since Kate Moss was born and in two swift years Agyness became the face of Burberry, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana. Not bad for the girl who started her working life selling cod, chips and mushy peas at her local chippy.

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Before she blazed a trail across the catwalks and countless magazine covers, Agyness was known by her real name of Laura Hollins. Born in 1986 in Littleborough, near Rochdale, she was the middle of three children, a tomboy who took karate lessons and cut her hair boyishly short.

It was her grandmother who first realised the blooming youngster\'s covergirl potential and sent her photo to a teen magazine modelling competition. Although 13-year-old Agyness won, she could have had no idea of the glamorous future that awaited. Instead, the nurse\'s daughter worked part-time for two years in her local fish and chip shop. "I used to buy my chips from her every Friday," says best friend and House of Holland designer Henry Holland.

After finishing school - where she took A-Levels in music and drama - she headed for London, where she worked in a burger joint during the day and a bar at night. It wasn\'t just her career but her name which changed in 2004, when she was talent-spotted by a photographer and signed up to a model agency. The agency suggested she change her name, and Laura came up with Agnes, after her grandmother, and Dean an old family surname. It was then adapted by her mum Lorraine, a Reiki healer, to Agyness Deyn.

The following year she was picked for the Mario Testino Vogue shoot, and has never looked back. "I never knew modelling was what I wanted to do," admits the down-to-earth covergirl. "I was just meandering through life having fun, having a laugh with my friends."

Her punky platinum crop and much-copied, instantly recognisable street style mark Agyness out from the crowd. Mixing designer clothes with vintage finds, she describes her look as "Jackie O crossed with Debbie Harry meets Stevie Nicks and 1920s punk". She prefers to get her inspiration from men\'s fashion and, like Kate Moss, is looked to as a guide for the latest must-wear trends.

Aggy, as she is known to family and friends, starred in her first Giorgio Armani campaign and first Mulberry ad in 2006, following those key contracts with a high-profile campaign for British brand Burberry a year later. Along with Doutzen Kroes, Jessica Stam, Hilary Rhoda and the equally quirky Coco Rocha she has been hailed as a member of the new generation of supermodels.

As for her ambitions outside the fashion world? "I\'d love to have tea and scones with the Queen, she\'s my idol," she says.
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