Style File: Model-Slash: Dirt Biker Rainey Forkner

Style File
thumbnail Model-Slash: Dirt Biker Rainey Forkner
Oct 22nd 2012, 18:57

Named after Formula One Grand Prix racer Wayne Rainey, fresh-faced model Rainey Forkner (pictured) was born to be an adrenaline junkie. When she isn’t skateboarding to and from castings in New York, you’ll likely find the 19-year-old up-and-comer zooming around Los Angeles on her Honda CBR sportbike or taking a spin around the dirt bike track in nearby Oak Hills, California. Forkner’s father wanted to be a pro racer his entire life and dedicates nearly all of his time and money to fixing engines and getting faster, so it’s not surprising that he made a racing protégée out of his daredevil daughter.When Forkner was just 13, her dad took her to a local course and put her on an entry-level bike with manual transmission for the first time. “I just popped the clutch and took off. Even though I was running into everything, my dad said I did great, and afterwards he bought me my own bike, a Kawasaki KX 100,” Forkner told “After that, I began going out to a big open lot near my house with jumps. I’d spend about seven hours a day—split up into three sessions—out there, and after a lot of practice and coaching from my dad, I got really good at it, so competing was the next step.”

Despite wearing a chest guard, elbow pads, rubber pants, knee pads, and obviously a helmet every time she gets behind the wheels, Forkner has had her fair share of injuries. “I’ve got many, many scars, which comes with the territory. My agencies are really on my case about not riding because they don’t want me to get hurt or, even worse, look busted,” she laughed. “The scariest time was when I highsided the bike. It’s basically when the front tire dips under and you get pitched over the handlebars. I landed really hard and popped out my shoulder.”

Forkner leads a fast-paced life, and that need for speed has helped her with modeling, too. Although she’s walked in a few runway shows including Mark Fast and Math Collective in London this season (and Cushnie et Ochs’ Fall ‘12 show), Forkner is still a catwalk novice but is racking up editorial and commercial work in the meanwhile. She appeared in a beauty spread shot by Raymond Maier in the August issue of Teen Vogue and will star in the forthcoming Bruce Weber-lensed Abercrombie Holiday campaign. Forkner explained, “I’ve had kind of one foot in and one foot out of modeling for a while, but think I’m finally ready to be full-on committed to it. I’ve been practicing my walk all day every day and am getting feedback that it’s really strong.” So what’s next? “I’d love to do Ralph Lauren, and obviously Victoria’s Secret would be a dream. It’s like the Super Bowl for modeling.”

—Brittany Adams

Photo: Courtesy of New York Model Management

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