• Dress by RED Valentino; clutch by Marni; bracelet by Marc by Marc Jacobs

    Not just a model then, but an icon in the making, up there, as she is, with that embarrassingly small clutch of black women – Chanel Iman, Joan Smalls and Liya Kebede among them – who have made it all the way to the top.

    There were times, however, when Dunn would be on her way to castings and told to turn back because the client “didn't want any more black girls”. There was even one instance when a makeup artist announced on a shoot that she didn't want to make-up Dunn's face because she herself was white and Dunn was black.

    The model admits that in the past, discrimination like this has upset her, but a tremendous sense of self-belief, instilled in her by her mother, has always seen her through. “I grew up wanting to be my mom,” she says now. “She always seemed to make things work without ever complaining. She whips me into shape.”

    Like her mother, Dunn, too, is a young single mom. It was just months after she'd been crowned Model of the Year in 2008 that she found out she was pregnant with

    her son, Riley, now three. Soon after Riley was born, his father, the model's long-term boyfriend of five years, was sent to prison for possession of cocaine with intent to sell. “I guess you could say that I have been through quite a lot,” she says with a slightly rueful smile.

    So how has it all worked out? Well, Dunn makes sure Riley sees his father on the weekends, “because even though we aren't together, I want his dad to be in his life.” She also enlists the help of her mother to help look after Riley, who suffers from sickle-cell disease, an inherited, non-contagious blood disorder. “I'm blessed to have her,” she says of her mom's hands-on care, looking

    “You could say I've been through quite A LOT... Even though we're not together, I want his DAD to be in [Riley's] life”

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