Karen Elson’s impressive career shows no signs of slowing down. The British has model appeared in recent campaigns for
, Moschino, Sonia Rykiel,
Jean Paul Gaultier
for Lindex. Elson has previously starred in campaigns for Versace, Christian Dior, Burberry, Chanel and was the face of Yves
’s Black Opium fragrance.
Elson began working as a model as a teenager and was discovered at age 16 by the owner of Boss models in Manchester. Elson's success came when Steven Meisel shot her for the cover of Italian Vogue on her 18th birthday. She has worked with most of the world's major fashion photographers and fashion designers, including Bruce Weber , Mario Testino , Peter Lindbergh , Mert and Marcus, Steven Klein , Patrick Demarchelier , Steven Meisel, Ellen Von Unwerth.
Elson is a runway veteran and has exited for of many top designers including Marc Jacobs (which she did while pregnant), Jean-Paul Gaultier, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, YSL, Alexander McQueen, Dior, and Gucci. In August 2012, Elson was one of eight British models chosen to walk during a segment at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony. She wore a gold gown by Burberry and walked the stadium with her fellow models to David Bowie's song "Fashion."
Her list of magazine covers include multiple international editions of Vogue as well as W, Dazed & Confused, Numéro, British Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, Elle, Lula, Foam Magazine and Nylon. In 1998 she won the title of Model of the Year at the VH1 Fashion Awards. Photographed by Steven Meisel, she was presented on the September 2004 cover of American Vogue as one of the "Models of the Moment". In 2005, Elson won the British Fashion Award for Best Model.
Elson has appeared in many short films and videos, including the music video for The White Stripes's "Blue Orchid", directed by Floria Sigismondi. She has also appeared in fashion films such as Steven Meisel and Darren Lew's War Opera,
's Andy Warhol-inspired series More Beautiful Women,
's 48 Girls, and Bruce Weber's Petit Fleur, Harlequin, Voodoo Daddy, Closer Walk With Thee and Karen's Boogie (all films were made in conjunction with W as a tribute to New Orleans). Elson has been featured in commercials for Kose cosmetics. She has also appeared in the short film Lay Down Lean, a project by the experimental filmmaking team The Belles of the Black Diamond Field. Lay Down Lean, by The Belles of the Black Diamond Field.
Elson has contributed to Nick Knight's fashion site SHOWstudio.com since 2002. She also contributed to Knight's project "Moving Fashion" with a black and white video of herself in a sequined gown, perched upon a swing. The images were accompanied by Elson playing the autoharp and singing a verse of Marlene Dietrich's "Falling in Love Again."