Carmen Dell'Orefice, born on June 3, 1931, is an American supermodel and actress renowned in the fashion industry as the world's oldest working model during the Spring/Summer 2012 season.
Gracing the cover of Vogue at the age of 15, she has sustained a remarkable modeling career while appearing in films and television programs. Her guiding principle is to derive enjoyment without causing harm to others.
Carmen Dell'Orefice was born in New York City to parents of Italian and Hungarian descent. Her upbringing was marked by the turbulence of her parents' relationship, leading to frequent separations and reconciliations. During these tumultuous times, Dell'Orefice found herself living in foster homes or with relatives.
At the age of 13, Dell'Orefice was discovered for modeling while on a bus to ballet class, approached by the wife of photographer Herman Landschoff. Despite initial setbacks in her test photos, she signed a modeling contract with Vogue at the age of 15. Notably, photographer Erwin Blumenfeld featured her on the cover of US Vogue in December 1946, depicting iconic characters alongside model Dorian Leigh and others.
Financial struggles compelled Dell'Orefice and her mother to augment their income through dressmaking, catering even to fellow models like Dorian Leigh. Despite facing malnutrition during her early years in the industry, Dell'Orefice persisted, becoming Salvador Dalí's muse and gracing various magazine covers.
Retirement and Return to Modeling:
After joining the Ford Modelling Agency in 1953, financial difficulties led Dell'Orefice to retire in 1978. However, she came back in 1984 with a cover appearance on Quarante. In subsequent decades, she continued to model for renowned designers like Isaac Mizrahi, Cho Cheng, and Rolex. Her enduring presence in the industry has been marked by appearances in Missoni, Sephora, Philipp Plein, and H&M campaigns and participation in fashion shows for esteemed designers.
Recognition and Honors: 2011 Carmen Dell'Orefice received an honorary doctorate from the University of the Arts London for her significant contributions to the fashion industry. The university organized a retrospective exhibition showcasing her Vogue covers, career highlights, and personal photographs.
Personal Life and Financial Struggles:
Dell'Orefice's personal life has seen marriages, financial exploitation, and losses. Her first marriage to Bill Miles ended in divorce after financial exploitation, and her second marriage to photographer Richard Heimann concluded with her decision to retire.
Financial setbacks in the stock market during the 1980s and 1990s led her to auction off her iconic modeling photographs. Additionally, she suffered further economic losses due to her association with Bernie Madoff's fraudulent investment scheme, losing her life savings for the second time in 2008.
Carmen Dell'Orefice attributes her timeless beauty to a meticulous skincare routine that prioritizes maintaining a youthful appearance. Her regimen comprises the following steps:
- Regular Cleansing: Carmen cleanses her face twice daily with a gentle cleanser tailored to her skin type, effectively removing impurities and preserving skin freshness.
- Hydration Focus: To ensure skin stays moisturized and soft, Carmen applies a hydrating serum or facial oil, followed by a moisturizer, promoting moisture retention and overall skin health.
- Sun Protection: Acknowledging the significance of shielding her skin from harmful UV rays, Carmen applies a high SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen before venturing outdoors, even on cloudy days, preventing sun damage and premature aging.
- Routine Exfoliation: Carmen exfoliates her skin weekly, using either a gentle physical exfoliant or chemical exfoliants like AHA or BHA, to eliminate dead skin cells and encourage cell turnover.
- Eye Care: To preserve the delicate skin around her eyes, Carmen incorporates an eye cream into her routine, effectively hydrating and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Dietary choices and daily exercise
In addition to her skincare routine, Carmen Dell'Orefice maintains her radiant appearance through dietary choices and daily exercise:
- Balanced Diet: Carmen emphasizes a balanced and nutritious diet comprising whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats, providing essential nutrients for overall health.
- Antioxidant-Rich Foods: Incorporating antioxidant-rich foods like berries, leafy greens, and colorful fruits and vegetables helps combat oxidative stress, protecting her cells from damage.
- Hydration: Staying well-hydrated is a key component of Carmen's daily routine, supporting overall health and promoting healthy skin.
- Regular Exercise: Carmen integrates regular cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and flexibility exercises like yoga or Pilates into her routine, ensuring physical and mental well-being.
- Breathing Exercises: Recognizing the importance of deep breathing for relaxation and stress reduction, Carmen incorporates daily deep diaphragmatic breathing exercises into her routine, promoting moments of calm and clarity.
Fulfilling love life
Carmen Dell'Orefice's perspective on a fulfilling love life is grounded in principles of open communication, mutual respect, and understanding:
- Essential Components: A healthy love life, according to Carmen, is built on trust, support, and shared values, emphasizing emotional connection, intimacy, and the joy that love brings.
- Relationship Dynamics: Carmen views a fulfilling relationship as a partnership that contributes to a positive outlook on life, enhancing the overall quality of life through a harmonious and supportive connection.