Karen Bjornson

HEIGHT: 5’9.5″     BUST: 34A     WAIST: 26.5     HIPS: 37     DRESS: 8     SHOE: 8.5     HAIR: BLONDE     EYES: BLUE     OTHER: SAG/AFTRA


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Born in Galesburg, Illinois in 1952, one of the exceptional things about my typical small town Midwest childhood is that my mother made nearly all of my clothes, so I always felt special in the way I was put together. Our family moved to Cincinnati and in my early teens I was chosen to be on the fashion board of Pogue’s, a local department store. Each area high school was represented, and we would present teen fashion shows and do informal modeling. During my junior year in high school, I was selected ‘Miss Ingénue Cincinnati’; Ingénue was a magazine at the time for teens. The following summer I traveled to New York to do a week of modeling for the magazine. I loved it, and after finishing high school I returned to New York to see if I could make modeling a career. Within a few months of arriving in New York in 1970, I was introduced to Halston, who was looking for a new house model. He hired me on the spot and for the next two years I was his muse. My picture, a headshot wearing a Halston ultra suede hat, appeared on the cover of Newsweek. I was also on the cover of the Cosmopolitan issue featuring the famous Burt Reynolds nude centerfold. I did my first fashion shows with Elsa Perretti, Naomi Sims, Pat Cleavland and the rest of the Halston models. We traveled all across the United States doing trunk shows. I was also a part of the legendary American and French designers’ show at Versailles in 1973 and Halston’s world trip in 1980, visiting Japan and China, and finally Paris to launch his new fragrance.

Following my time as house model for Halston my work included print, commercials and runway shows for the American designers Halston, Bill Blass, Calvin Klein, Perry Ellis, Ralph Lauren, Mary McFadden, Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta, Anne Klein and Betsey Johnson. I also appeared on several television shows with Halston including The Love Boat, I’ve Got a Secret, What’s My Line, The Merv Griffin Show, Dinah Shore and The Phil Donahue Show and many local and national news programs. In 1989 I moved to Connecticut with my husband, Timothy Macdonald, and our two daughters, Laura and Maggie. I retired from modeling to become a full time stay at home mom and now continue to enjoy gardening, cooking and playing tennis. In 2002, the designer Ralph Rucci convinced me to come out of retirement to model in his New York runway show and then his Paris couture show. A year later I began working closely with Michael Vollbracht, who at the time was the designer for Bill Blass. J Crew called next and I was again in need of an agent and am pleased to be represented by IconicFocus. As I look forward, I hope to have an even greater opportunity to represent “my generation” of women.