It's not unusual for a model or actress to shave a few years off her age.
But Agyness Deyn yesterday confessed to being an astonishing six years older than her CV would suggest.
The 29-year-old supermodel – once dubbed the new Kate Moss – admitted she had lied about her age after beginning modelling relatively late at 18.
Miss Deyn, who was born in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, said although she spent several years working as a jobbing model, it was not until 2006, when she was 24, that a New York agent signed her up and she decided to change her age.
Miss Deyn, who is now concentrating on a fledgling acting career, told how she had claimed to be a different age after being signed up by a US modelling agency - and being propelled into A-list status on the catwalk.
Speaking openly of her age for the first time, she confessed: ‘When I decided I would really do modelling I was like 18, and I think at the time that was quite old for a new face, so we knocked off a few years.’
Speculation about the model’s real age began after she became a superstar.
Former school friends said she was older than she claimed.
A Facebook group set up in 2007 and dedicated to Miss Deyn was entitled ‘Agyness Deyn You’re Not 18.’ This was in riposte to a New York magazine article that said she had been born in 1989.
The group proclaimed: ‘This group is for all those who realise that supermodel Agyness Deyn, AKA Laura Hollins, is not 18, or 21 or any of the other ages she claims to be. We know people who went to school with her and will verify she is 24.’
She has previously never openly confessed to hiding her true age to help her career. In a 2009 interview when she was asked about the rumours, she claimed she only ever lied once as a joke.
She explained in one of her first ever interviews to Pop magazine she said she was 15, but had purely been ‘taking the mick’.
At the height of her fame she was named model of the year and was the face of Burberry, Armani and Vivienne Westwood.
In the new interview, she put down some of her success to changing her name.
She told a newspaper: ‘I started modelling, and they said there are loads of Lauras - you can change your name. I was like, ok, and then I thought about it and say ok, I’ll be called Agnes; my grandmother was called Agnes.’
After approaching self-styled name analyst Laurence Y Payg, she also used a 3,000-year-old Chinese technique to create a more positive name, along with her mother.
Mr Y Payg has said previously: ‘Soon after her name change, Agyness’s career sky-rocketed. Absolutely nothing else about her circumstances changed... and yet everything suddenly changed.’
Age can be incredibly important in the cut-throat modelling industry, with most spotted in their early teens or even younger.
Kate Moss was discovered aged 14 and Noel Gallagher’s daughter Anais was recently signed up by a model agency aged 11.
Miss Deyn was only first spotted aged 18 in London while out shopping. Until then she had been working in a fish-and-chip shop and in a bar.