With her impeccable bone structure, complete absence of wrinkles and bouffant of luscious hair, you would be forgiven for thinking that supermodel Carmen Dell’Orefice is far younger than her 85 years. Famed for being one of the oldest working models, she is instantly recognisable as the silver-haired beauty fronting campaigns for everyone from H&M to Rolex. With a career spanning seven decades (she landed her first glossy magazine cover aged 15), she’s worked with some of the most famous photographers of the 20th century, including Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, and was even artist Salvador Dalí’s muse. Here’s everything you need to know about the timeless beauty.
So, just who is Carmen Dell’Orefice?
Widely dubbed ‘the world’s oldest working supermodel’, the ageless American is one of the most famous octogenarians in the fashion industry, combatting ageism and paving the way for older style icons.
She’s the world’s oldest supermodel, but how old is she?
Born in 1931, she turned 85 on June 3.
Her name is very exotic; how do you pronounce it?
Carmen’s beautiful name comes from her Italian-Hungarian heritage. Her surname, Dell’Orefice, is pronounced ‘del-or-fee-che’.
Where does the top model live today?
Born and raised in New York, the Big Apple is still the city that Carmen chooses to call home.
Has she ever been married?
The statuesque beauty has unsurprisingly attracted a wealth of male admirers during her lifetime, including three husbands. She was married to Bill Myles in the early 1950s, although their relationship was fraught, with Myles exploiting his wife financially and often cashing her cheques into his own bank account. The couple divorced shortly after the birth of their first child, a daughter called Laura. In 1958, the model met and married photographer Richard Heimann after knowing each other for six months. After splitting from Heimann, she married architect Richard Kaplan in the mid-1960s, with the union lasting nine years. Since then, she’s had a string of relationships, including an engagement to talk show host David Susskind, although he sadly died before they had the chance to get married. Her most recent boyfriend was Norman Levy.
Who has she modelled for?
The 85-year-old beauty has walked the runway for Stephane Rolland at Paris Fashion Week, appeared in editorials for glossy magazines from Harper's Bazaar to Vogue and starred in campaigns for the likes of H&M, John Galliano and Mugler.
What has she done apart from modelling?
Aside from modelling, Dell’Orifice has featured in several television shows and films, including comedy The Guru, documentary Bill Cunningham New York and even an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
Why has she never retired?
The model has been devastated twice in her life by financial loss; the first time was in the 1990s, when she lost most of her money after making bad decisions on the stock market. The second time occurred in the 2000s, when she was unfortunately swindled by notorious fraudster Bernie Madoff, who left her bankrupt after involving her in a Ponzi scheme.
What's her secret to looking young?
The top model has admitted to having silicone injections to maintain her exquisite bone structure 'for decades' - although she won't be revealing her full beauty secrets until her memoirs are released.