It is common knowledge that, as a rule, a model’s shelf life isn’t that much longer than that of a professional dancer, for instance. This isn’t to say that her career is over once she’s no longer modeling, but it does limit her options considerably. This doesn’t apply to Carmen Dell’Orefice.
She’s 81 years old and she was discovered by pure chance when she was just an awkward, 13-year-old kid riding the bus. By 15, she was already doing her first Vogue cover.
She’s been working steadily ever since and is still doing so to this day, when she’s one of the most recognizable faces in the industry.
Carmen recently sat down for an interview with The Today Show to talk about her impressive career, as the video below will confirm.
Also recently, she walked the catwalk at the New York Fashion Week 2012, being the oldest model to ever do so.
Beautiful, graceful and incredibly modest, Dell’Orefice says she’s also very lucky to have lived the life she had.
“I don't know if it's good or silly. It's what I enjoy doing, and I'm able to do it,” she says on The Today when asked whether being a model at 81 means anything special to her.
As any other woman, be her a model or not, Carmen too had her insecurities when she was younger. She felt awkward and not beautiful at all, to the point where she hated her first Vogue cover because she thought it made her look “like a boy.”
Today, she’s happier with her body but she’s also struggling to keep that young girl alive through her work as a model.
Carmen openly admits to using fillers to maintain her impeccable facial features, saying “if your ceiling came crumbling down, wouldn’t you want to fix it?”
In a previous interview, asked whether she wanted to say anything to the fashion industry on the aforementioned short shelf life of models, Carmen said, “I think America may be growing up and accepting the fact that the bulk of life exists beyond 50. Because demographically... the vast population is over 50.”