Fashion & Beauty

The Red Flame

One of fashion's most iconic redheads pens a moving coming-of-age story chronicling her professional and personal metamorphosis.

At age eighteen, she took the fashion world by storm in a captivating Vogue Italia cover image by Steven Meisel. She's walked runways for Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Valentino, and Gucci and starred in countless campaigns. She's released two full-length albums. And she's advocated for model rights in the workplace. For sure, Karen Elson has emerged as a tour de force in the worlds of fashion and entertainment over her two decade-long career.

For the first time, the British supermodel presents a poignant look into her life and work in book form. Exquisitely written, this tome details her childhood in a gritty industrial town in Northern England and her rise to fame as one of fashion's most unique faces to her evolution as a singer-songwriter and her thoughts on body image and the state of fashion up until the present day. Accompanied by legendary images by such photographers as Craig McDean, Annie Leibovitz, and Mert and Marcus, Elson's poetic--and at times haunting--prose brims with an intimacy that most fans have never encountered before. With contributions by Edward Enninful, Tim Walker, and Grace Coddington, this beautifully crafted book is a powerful glimpse into the many sides and fiery spirit of one of the greatest muses of our time.

About The Author

Karen Elson is a British supermodel, singer-songwriter, advocate, and mother. She resides in Nashville. Edward Enninful is the editor in chief of British Vogue. Tim Walker is a British fashion photographer whose work regularly appears in Vogue, W, and Love magazines. Grace Coddington is the creative director at large of Vogue.

  • Publish Date: October 13, 2020
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Biography & Autobiography - Fashion
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 8-7/8 x 11
  • Pages: 224
  • US Price: $65.00
  • CDN Price: $85.00
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-6919-0


"The Red Flame is a most refreshing surprise in its candor as well as in its raw personal history about Karen as well as the machinations of this business. She literally flung open the door and exposed not only herself, but also the uglier side of those involved, as well as what it took to become a superstar model and the tribulation once arriving at that station. Then she covers the fall from grace and return to the top rung. Elson truly holds nothing back, and the book will be highly enlightening to many who have only read about or recognize the names Hadid, Kardashian, or Gerber and the like since their climb has been nothing like what Karen Elson has endured and experienced. If you are looking for the dish and the names and the gossip, this is not a book for you. If the reader wants the naked truth about a so-called glamorous business, then this is a must-read book." —NEW YORK JOURNAL OF BOOKS 

"As a coffee-table book, this beautifully laid out glossy photo retrospective of Karen’s career would suffice, but the memoir inside is the icing on the cake. An honest account of life growing up in a broken yet rewarding industry. She admits the fashion world has a long way to go with their acceptance of people of color in the upper echelon of their society." — PLEASE KILL ME

Author Bookshelf: Karen Elson, Edward Enninful, Tim Walker, Grace Coddington