Gemma Ward was first discovered while accompanying her friend to a modeling contest. The judges urged Gemma to enter and shortly after she was signed with an agency in her hometown of Perth, Australia.
By the age of 15, Gemma had already made a name for herself in the Australian market. Photographers, designers and magazine editors alike knew that she was destined for greatness. An IMG scout in New York saw her picture on the cover of an Australian magazine and contacted her agency immediately.
Gemma’s big break came when she was sent to casting director, Russell Marsh, who booked her exclusively for Prada’s Spring 2002 runway show in Milan. She went on to shoot two ad campaigns, Versus with “star-making” photographer Steven Meisel, and Jill Stuart with Mario Sorrenti. Since then, Gemma has appeared in campaigns for Prada, Dior, Valentino, Hermes, Karl Lagerfeld, Jil Sander, Y-3, Yves Saint Laurent, Calvin Klein, Balenciaga, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Jean Paul Gaultier, Dolce & Gabbana, and Swarovski as well as being the face of Calvin Klein’s fragrance, Obsession Night, and Kose Cosmetics.
She has appeared on the covers and pages of Vogue (Italian, American, British, French, Australian, Chinese, Japanese, Indian), W, Time, i-D, Numero, Harper’s Bazaar, V, and PoP. Gemma is the youngest model in history to appear on the cover of American Vogue, where she was featured in the special “Return of the Supermodel” issue. Gemma also starred on the cover of the premier issue of both Vogue China and Vogue India, and is the first model to ever appear on the cover of Teen Vogue. She has served as guest editor of Australian Vogue. This special edition included iconic photographs, a personal diary from a show season, and an interview with world renowned fashion designer, Marc Jacobs.
Gemma’s unique look inspired a trend in the industry and has made her one of the most recognized and successful models of today. She has walked on the international catwalks for designers such as, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Chloe, Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Helmut Lang, Ungaro, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Missoni, Miu Miu, Fendi, Gucci, Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Anna Sui, Michael Kors, Luella Bartley, Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, Narciso Rodrigues, Oscar de la Renta, and Versace. After an eight-year hiatus, Gemma returned to the runway opening the Prada spring/summer 2015 and successfully sending social media into hysterics. She stunned again the following season, walking David Jones’ spring/summer 2016 at 14 weeks pregnant.
Gemma has worked with the industry’s most renowned photographers, including Mario Sorrenti, Nick Knight, Craig McDean, Annie Leibovitz, Irving Penn, Paolo Roversi, Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Phil Poynter, Patrick Demarchelier, Steven Klein, Greg Kadel, Mikael Jansson, Nathaniel Goldberg, Karl Lagerfeld, Glen Luchford, David Sims and of course, Steven Meisel.
In addition to modeling, Gemma also enjoys acting. She made her feature film debut starring opposite Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman in the suspense thriller "The Strangers." She also starred in “Black Balloon,” a heart-warming drama, which co-stars actress Toni Collette. Gemma was nominated for an Inside Film Award, a prestigious Australian honor, for her role in “Black Balloon”. She appeared in the third installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” alongside Johnny Depp as well as the film adaption of the classic novel “The Great Gatsby,” directed by Baz Luhrmann and co-starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Gemma currently lives in Byron Bay, Australia with her two children, Naia and Jet Ocean, as well her partner, photographer David Letts.