Carmen Dell’Orefice on the cover of New You magazine
Who says the modeling industry is ageist? In the past six months, 68-year-old Helen Mirren starred in a L’Oreal Paris commercial, 80-year-old Joan Didion became the face of Celine, 65-year-old Twiggy landed a L’Oreal Professionnel campaign, 68-year-old Charlotte Rampling starred in ads for Nars, and 65-year-old Jessica Lange became the face of Marc Jacobs Beauty. Now 83-year-old supermodel Carmen Dell’Orefice is on a special edition cover of New You magazine.
Model Carmen Dell’Orefice only gets better with age. Photo: Henry Leutwyler
Last year, the octogenarian with enviable cheeckbones and bright white hair also appeared in the magazine’s spring 2014 issue. She claimed she was still “figuring out how to do the job and who I am,” but perhaps she was being modest. Dell’Orefice landed the cover of Vogue at just 15 years old back in 1946, and that was the first of many. She worked with famous photographers like Richard Avedon and Irving Pen, and became artist Salvador Dali’s muse. It’s been reported that she commanded $300 an hour in the 1950s. While she retired from the industry in her late 20s, she made a comeback in the ‘70s and continues to be featured in fashion magazines and on the runway.
Carmen Dell’Orefice walks the runway at New York Fashion Week in 2005. Photo: Getty Images
"I have had more magazine covers in the last 25 years than I have had in my whole elongated career," Dell’Orefice told New You. "Today I am in a territory that business considers unmarketable: age and white hair. Slowly, however, I started to own that territory little by little because I stood up for age."
Carmen Dell’Orefice back in 1955. Photo: Getty Images
After seven decades in the fashion industry, one where models are considered old at 30, it seems Dell’Orefice has beaten the odds. Through a tough childhood, financial struggles, three marriages, and countless other obstacles, New You describes their cover model as resilient. “Good old-fashioned fortitude, minus any trace of diva, is her nature.” We’re thankful she stood up for age, and she looks darn good doing it.
To watch Carmen Dell’Orefice in action, check out the cool video below: