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Manon Von Gerkan

By SARA TEMPLETON

While not as well-known as some of the world's top models, Manon Von Gerkan is by no means a second-rate cat-walker.

She has featured in fashion shows for the likes of Donna Karan, Barbara Bui, Laura Biagiotti, Moschino, Marina Spadafora, Gianfranco Ferré and Angela Missoni, to name but a few.

But where did all this jet-setting, modelling and general sexiness all start? Manon was born in 1972 in Hamburg, Germany.

Her father, Meinhard Von Gerkan, was an architect of fair repute, though not quite as pretty as his daughter.

She spent her childhood years living in one of the more privileged areas of Hamburg. According to Manon, she grew up in a very 'open-minded' family and perhaps this helped somewhat as she slowly climbed the social ladder to stardom.

Manon used to help create fashionable leather items in one of Hamburg's more up-market designer stores, called Pyrate Style. During this stint, she was offered the chance to model in the Pyrate Style catalogue. During the shoot, she met a model scout from the biggest modelling agency in Germany. Isn't it always the way?

Manon is a classically trained flutist, saxophonist and pianist and had big ambitions to be a world-class musician. When modelling started paying off and grew into more than just a weekend money-spinner, she decided to move into modelling full time.

She remembers being offered a VISA to work in the US (where she now lives) and recounts that the main reason for doing so was simply because she could get her motorcycle license sooner. We love biker chicks!

Before she knew it, Manon's mesmerising eyes were gracing the covers of magazines such as Vogue, Sports Illustrated ('96 Swimsuit edition!) Glamour and Elle.

She has also starred in advertising campaigns involving L'Oreal, Adrienne Vittadini and the ever-popular Victoria's Secret.

Today she co-owns a trendy jewellery shop in New York's SoHo district. The shop sells vintage and modern jewellery designs from Bali, India and Nepal, of which collecting them is another of her hobbies.

Well-known designer Jean-Paul Gaultier has even purchased some of Manon's jewellery, perhaps indicating that her eye for art is equally as impressive as her smooth looks.

The German-born brunette has one of those unforgettable visages - the icing on the cake those amazingly translucent blue-green eyes. Those close to her say she smiles a lot - we like that.

There's nothing worse than a super-model sulk!

Standing 177cm tall, Manon is a natural brunette, though the make-up wizards make sure this never stays the same for too long. Her all-natural beauty is quite striking. It's hard to take your eyes off her elegant curves - and those thighs? To die for...

Manon Von Gerkan may not have the most flowing of names, but her shining beauty is more than enough to counter this. Manon is currently nearing her use-by date, as much as we hate to use the term, so she may shy away from the cat walks and the public eye in times to come. This would be a great shame, but either way, we're just happy to see that smile.

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