Publication: UnknownAuthor: Liz Smith
The most sought-after fashion model in the world right now is an auto mechanic with an 8-inch tattoo on her right biceps. No one in the fashion racket can quite remember a phenomenon like Jenny Shimizu. Five months ago, she was taking apart Ford engines in California for a living. Last week, Jenny, 23, was the rage of Paris after modeling new fall fashions for designers Jean-Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler and Gianni Versace.
"She's definitely not mainstream," says Stuart Cameron of Women, the renegade modeling agency that represents Shimizu (as well as starving Calvin Klein model Kate Moss and Donald Trump date-for-a-minute Carla Bruni). Jenny's trademark is her huge tattoo of a woman with her legs wrapped around a crescent wrench. Oh, and it' s real. So are the three others she has - a purple spark plug on her forearm, a burning cross on the back of her neck and a line of Japanese characters slithering down her left shoulder blade (translation: "And she goes").
Overnight, she is also the best known Asian woman in the modeling game, says an editor at Elle, which features Shimizu in a six-page fashion spread this month. You can decide for yourself what all this means. Is there a bathing-suit calendar waiting for her? An exercise tape? An infomercial for Mustang tune-up kits?