Jessica Stam was born in Kincardine, Ontario, on April 23,1986. Jessica, along with her six brothers, grew up on a Canadian farm. Her family was heavily devoted to religion, and Jessica did not stray from that path. She was a member of her church choir and participated in plays for the church’s congregation. By the age of 16, Jessica had hopes of one day becoming a dentist — modeling was not something she had even considered.
In 2002, Jessica Stam stopped at a Tim Hortons coffee shop after an outing at an amusement park. Michele Miller, a well-known model scout, saw Jessica and offered her a chance in the modeling industry. Miller’s first impressions of Jessica, however, were not good ones. Miller thought her hair was “a disaster” that had turned an “awful yellowy orange” from being dyed too much. The offer was made nonetheless, but the decision rested with Jessica’s religious parents. Both agreed it was a good step for her and they approved of the opportunity for her to explore a career in modeling.
Jessica was a 16-year-old working model when she won the Los Angeles Model Look Search in 2002. Her career in modeling received a boost from this acknowledgment, but she had to wait to be photographed by a well-known photographer before she could become a household name. That same year, Jessica met Steven Meisel, and his work with her led to her international recognition. Meisel attained his own status as a prominent photographer by taking photographs of Madonna for the 1992 book Sex.
Jessica Stam became the face for all of Meisel’s ad campaigns. She worked with the photographer on shoots for Versace, Prada, and both Italian and American Vogue. Jessica also learned a lot about culture from Meisel during their time together. “He’s inspired by works of art, old movies and paintings. If you work with him, you learn about the same things,” she states. Jessica soon became a big name in the fashion and modeling industry.
In the two years following her big splash in 2002, Jessica Stam reached a career highlight by appearing on the cover of German Vogue. She also began to work on advertisements for Marc Jacobs, who was later motivated to name a fashionable bag after her — the “Stam Bag.” Her other ad work included illustrious names such as Atsuro Tayama, Cerruti Jeans, Miu Miu, Holt Renfrew, and Banila B.
In 2004, Jessica appeared in the short film Agent Orange directed by Tony Scott that was made for Amazon.com. The movie is a blindingly fast portrait of love and longing told through a chance encounter. Rapid camera movement, prominent music play, and the color orange are the film’s recurring themes.
In 2006, Jessica continued to model for top names like Vera Wang, Anna Sui, BCBG, and Valentino. She became the face of Armani, Sonia Rykiel and Rochas. Jessica previously dated Malcolm Ford, Harrison Ford’s son, but was last seen and photographed dating Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The two were spotted in January 2006 on the island of St. Barts where Stam was topless. They were photographed again on January 12, 2006, at an NBA game at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.