Jourdan Dunn claims she was paid less than model friends because of her skin tone

Tom Beasley
·Contributor
·2-min read
Jourdan Dunn says she 'knows her worth' and will now ask to be paid what she is owed. (Hanna Lassen/Getty Images)
Jourdan Dunn says she 'knows her worth' and will now ask to be paid what she is owed. (Hanna Lassen/Getty Images)

Fashion model Jourdan Dunn says she was paid less than friends for the same work because of her skin tone.

The star, who became the first Black British woman to make Forbes' list of highest-paid models in 2014, said she now "knows her worth" and is hoping to make a difference around equality in the modelling world.

Read more: Kendall Jenner criticised for "tone deaf" modelling comments

Speaking on the TTYA Talks podcast (reported by The Sun), the 30-year-old compared her own early career to that of her white peers Cara Delevingne and Karlie Kloss.

She said: "I remember the girls I came up with, like my best friends in the industry, Cara and Karlie, I know their rate was different to my rate, even though we were doing the same jobs.

Watch: Jourdan Dunn wears 3D printed gown to Met Gala

"When I think about that it's so f***ed up, like what is the difference? But clearly the difference is the skin tone. 

"But now I know my worth and I'm going to ask for it. Even for me now it's just owning your voice and knowing your worth."

Read more: Karlie Kloss says model friends helped give her confidence

Dunn said she is now able to call the shots a little more thanks to her platform, and chooses to hire "young Black creatives" whenever she can.

"If you have an audience, it's important to speak out if you have something to say, but be mindful about the way in which it comes across," she said.

Dunn added: "I'm learning as I go along with social media. It's all about the way you use it."

Jourdan Dunn and Cara Delevingne have been friends throughout their careers in the modelling world. (David M. Benett/Getty Images)
Jourdan Dunn and Cara Delevingne have been friends throughout their careers in the modelling world. (David M. Benett/Getty Images)

Dunn was scouted for a modelling job at the age of 15 and made her runway debut in New York City in 2007.

She was often the only Black model on shows — something for which she criticised designers in a 2014 chat with Miss Vogue.

Dunn said: "I find it weird when agents say ‘you’re the only Black girl booked for the show, isn’t it great?’ 

"Why is that great? I don’t know why people applaud designers for having just one ethnic model. It’s not like only one type of woman loves fashion.”

Dunn has won numerous awards for her work, including twice being named Model of the Year at the British Fashion Awards.

Watch: Cara Delevingne and Paris Jackson reignite romance rumours