By  on November 12, 2010

Discovered in 1993 by Calvin Klein forhis gender-bendingCK One campaign,Jenny Shimizucaused a sensationon the modelingscene—appearingin countless showsand photographedby the likes ofRichard Avedon,Bruce Weber,Irving Penn, Steven Meisel and Mario Sorrenti.Part of her appeal was her fearlessness. “The keyto my success has been always saying yes to opportunities,” says Shimizu. “I’ve always jumped rightin.” Now, the 43-year-old hopes to pass the lessonalong to a new generation of models as she stepsbehind the scenes as an agent and talent scout atthe hip modeling agency Women Direct. For Shimizu, finding a new face is instinctual. “I look for agirl who evokes the qualities of a great oil paintingor piece of art,” she says. “It’s a feeling that hits youright in the chest.” Shimizu’scurrent role means she’s “oncall 24 hours a day,” availableas a mentor to her models.“Ninety percent of the timethe girls hear ‘No,’ ” saysShimizu. “I remind themthis career isn’t about anything personal. These jobsdon’t shape you as a person. It could be worse;I could berepresentingmyself back inthe Nineties,”jokes Shimizu,who says herexperiencesbrought herfull circle.“I had thestreet savvy ofa model butdidn’t know what to do withit,” she says. “The stars havealigned and it’s paid off. It’sa gift to learn and grow withthese girls.”

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