At eight-two years old, gorgeous Carmen Dell’Orefice, remains a force to be reckoned with in both runway and print modeling. During Spring/Summer 2013 New York Fashion Week, amid a sea of barely-old-enough-to-drive models, designer Norisol Ferrari reclaimed the catwalk for women of an advanced age and received a rousing round of applause for showcasing legacy ladies such as Dell’Orefice and Carol Alt. Continuing to prove that age ain’t nothing but a number, as the oldest working model in the business Dell’Orefice graced the pages of Vogue Italia this month.
With a sort of gamine gravitas, she posed in a very mod meets Mad Max styled shoot as a post-apocalyptic personal trainer in a super industrial setting. Styleite.com elaborates, “In the spread, which bears the appropriate, if not quite grammatically-correct title “Be In Shape Ever,” the elegant New Yorker dons “workout gear” by the likes of Chanel and Alexander Wang and mugs for the lens of photographer Greg Lotus. Last year Dell’Orefice told us she thinks of her job as being like that of a ‘silent actress,’ and from what we see here, it looks like she’d play the role of personal trainer with aplomb. Because, really: would you want to look like a wimp in front of someone who looks like she does at three times your age? No, no you wouldn’t.”
Dell’Orefice found herself on the cover of Vogue the first time at age fifteen, almost seventy years ago.
She secretive about getting a little help with maintaining her famous facade, and freely admits to using fillers: “If your ceiling was falling down, wouldn’t you fix it?” she shrugged. She also says staying in the business keeps her youthful, “It keeps me in touch with young people, and their perspective of not just beauty and fashion, but life in general, and their experience, how they look at the world,” she said.
The silver-haired heroine is grateful for her extended time to shine, but also says her success is evidence that our culture is maturing as well. “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,” she said. “This is not to negate the young people coming up. But what kind of an example are we giving young people?” — Casandra Armour