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Jean Shrimpton sixties style icon

April 6, 2015

Jean Shrimpton – whenever you see images of her, you could almost be mistaken for thinking she was a contemporary model, for beside the sixties clothes, the face and hair are every bit as fresh as they were back in the day.

Jean Shrimpton sixties style icon


Jean Shrimpton -1960s supermodel

She was a supermodel for the 1960s and a prominent Vogue cover girl, she appeared in a famous spread with Steve McQueen and was a favourite of the photographer David Bailey. With those arched eyebrows, upturned nose and full lips she was a photographer’s dream and the camera loved her.

Simple beginnings

Jean Shrimpton started at the Lucie Clayton Charm Academy and started modelling at the age of 17, her doe eyes and classic looks were everything 60s fashion was looking for.


She would become a sixties icon as would her lover David Bailey.


Her first shoot for Vogue was with David in the early part of the decade and success would follow. In Bailey’s autobiography he described Shrimpton as a carefree individual unable to understand the public’s reaction to her “….she genuinely didn’t care how she looked. She honestly never understood what all the fuss was about. That was very attractive to me.”

Jean Shrimpton and the mini skirt

The popularity of the mini skirt was attributed to Shrimpton after she appeared in Australia in a white mini dress. She would go on to dip her toes in acting, and by the time she reached her 30s had decided to retire from modelling.


Jean Shrimpton now runs a hotel in Cornwall with her husband. Although it may not sound quite as glamorous as her past as a model, her legacy is still with us – her style and elegance are still coveted, and although she is no longer in the public eye, she is far from forgotten.

Modelling success

Naturally, other photographers worked with Jean Shrimpton and some of these photographic shoots came into the public eye a few years ago, with Shrimpton looking relaxed in a denim shirt or sitting on the floor in a silver mini dress next to a moped. Although, at the time they were never used, it’s easy to see why she was such a popular model.

The Shrimpton sixties vibe

It’s easy to understand why anyone would want to emulate Shrimpton’s look, although the hair may be slightly dated in some photos, the face, those well-groomed, arched and pencilled eyebrows, beautifully made up eyes and heavy fringe could easily co-exist with today’s more contemporary looks.

Vintage Shrimpton homage

You may want to emulate Jean Shrimpton’s look with sixties styles and you certainly wouldn’t find a greater tutor than Shrimpton herself.


Look at her clothes, her accessories and see how she could look well-groomed and aristocratic one minute, but easily adapt herself to a tousled and devil may care look the next.This may be in part due to her not really caring or understanding her appeal to the public, leaving her with a fresh, unsophisticated look that everyone could aspire to.


Like Kate Moss, she was distant, yet attainable. Everyone could aspire to look like her and everyone had a chance of adopting her look, even if they couldn’t be her.

Hair, make-up and eyebrows

Hair and makeup are crucial if you are to capture Jean Shrimpton’s look – and careful grooming of those eyebrows by a professional might be a good idea, unless you know someone with a steady hand and some experience in eyebrow shaping.


Heavy fringe and upturned bobs are good, or tousled and shoulder length with jagged edges. The rest is down to you and a trip to your favourite vintage store to capture some sixties magic. Good luck.



jean shrimpton by brian duffy-Those classic features

Hair, eyes, lips and makeup – Shrimpton magic

Jean Shrimpton-Colour shot

Jean Shrimpton-Sophisticated and classic