Shrimpton graduated from Lucie Clayton's modelling school at the age of 17 in 1960.
By the time she was 18, Shrimpton was already internationally famous with her face having appeared on the covers of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Vanity Fair magazines.
In 1965, Shrimpton caused a sensation in Melbourne, Australia, when she arrived for the Victoria Derby race during Melbourne Cup week. She shocked everybody by wearing a daring white shift dress which ended 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) above her knees, a forerunner of the miniskirt which became a worldwide craze (this dress was designed and made by the young fashion designer, Colin Rolfe). To make things worse she wore no hat, stockings or gloves and wore a man's watch, which was very unusual at the time. Shrimpton was blissfully unaware she would cause such reactions among the then prim Melbourne community and media.