Josephine Skriver was born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark. Her mother is an IT analyst and her father is a marine biologist. Both of her parents are gay and Skriver was conceived through IVF. She has a younger brother, Oliver, with whom she shares the same biological parents and who was also conceived through IVF.
At the age of 15, Skriver was discovered and approached about her modeling potential while on a trip to New York with her soccer team. Shortly thereafter, she was signed by Unique Models, an international modeling agency based in Copenhagen. She was consequently approached by other agencies outside of Denmark, but decided to wait to stay in school. After finishing school, she began pursuing a modeling career in 2011.
Skriver’s debut season was Fall/Winter 2011, during which she opened for Alberta Ferretti and closed for Prada. That season, she also walked for many other prominent designers, like Calvin Klein, rag & bone, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, Alexander McQueen , Balenciaga, DKNY and Christian Dior.