WHEN I WAS: JO WOOD
In our new series, the stars take us back to a significant time in their lives. This week: beauty entrepreneur JO WOOD on the year she started modelling
ONE TO WATCH This photo was taken when I became The Sun’s Face of 1972. It was a big deal and I went on TV. I remember being asked what was on trend and saying, ‘The natural look.’ Whatever that means! I was over the moon to wear this Biba dress. I still collect Biba from vintage shops.
MY ROLE MODEL I was desperate to be like Twiggy. My mum and dad asked a photographer called Robert Hallmann to take some test shots of me that I could show to an agent. This was one of them, taken near Basildon, Essex, where I grew up. I love that I’m here with a little squirrel.
I WASN’T SHY I began modelling in the summer after leaving school and was voted the Face of 1972 just before Christmas. I never felt overwhelmed by the attention. I jumped at the chance to wear bikinis and a fur coat without a bra.
DAD’S ADVICE When I told my dad [pictured] I wanted to be a model, he said, ‘Model is another word for prostitute!’ But when I became one he was proud of me. He was obsessed with Lambrettas and asked me to pose on one. I love the hotpants I’m wearing – they’re in again now!
I STARTED YOUNG I began going into London aged 14 to do a modelling course. Looking back, it was quite brave. I wouldn’t have let my daughter do it but my mum had three younger children to look after, so she couldn’t take me.
A TASTE OF THINGS TO COME This was taken in Southend, Essex. As a model I was going out to restaurants, clubs and parties – it got me used to the life that I’ve ended up living.
FINDING MY OWN STYLE I look a bit like Twiggy in this fashion shoot for the Daily Mirror, but the more I worked the more I developed my own identity and stopped wanting to ‘be’ her.
Jo is founder of Jo Wood Organics and an ambassador for rainforest charity Cool Earth. Buy Vivienne Westwood’s limited-edition Save the Rainforest T-shirt, £23, at coolearth.org
IT WAS QUITE BRAVE. I WOULDN’T HAVE LET MY DAUGHTER DO IT”