Karen Elson is a British model and singer.
Born in Oldham, Greater Manchester, Karen Elson attended the North Chadderton School in Chadderton as a child, with her twin sister, Kateelson, filmmaker.
She started working as a teenager and was discovered by the owner of Boss Models in Manchester at the age of 16. Elson’s success came when Steven Meisel shot her on the 18th birthday to cover the Italian Vogue. She has worked with most major fashion photographers and fashion designers around the world, including Bruce Weber, Mario Testino, Peter Lindbergh, Mert and Marcus, Steven Klein, Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Meisel, Ellen Von Unwerth. She has the takeoffs and runways of many top designers such as Marc Jacobs (who she did during pregnancy), Jean-Paul Gaultier, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, YSL, Alexander McQueen, Dior and Gucci. She has appeared in international campaigns for dozens of designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Christian Dior, Burberry and Chanel.
Her list of magazines includes numerous international editions of Vogue, W, Dazed & Confused, Numéro, British Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Elle, Lula, Foam Magazine and Nylon. In 1998 she won the title of the Model Of The Year at the VH1 Fashion Awards. Photographed by Steven Meisel, she was presented on the September 2004 cover of the American Vogue as one of the “Models of the Moment”. In 2005, Elson won the British Fashion Award for the best model.