In an industry that so often focuses on youth, Carmen Dell'Orefice is an inspirational figure. At 92 years old, she is considered the oldest working model. While Hong Kong-based model Alice Pang is a couple of years older at 96, Dell'Orefice is unique because her career did not begin in her 90s or even middle age. Amazingly, she has been modeling since she was 15, boasting an impressive career that spans 77 years.
Originally from New York City, Dell'Orefice was discovered at 13 while riding the bus. Her first photos did not turn out as expected, but two years later, she caught her break when she was brought to Vogue magazine and signed her first modeling contract. This sparked what would be a prolific and lengthy modeling journey. But it was not always an easy one. At first, Dell'Orefice did not make enough money through modeling to support herself, so she and her mother worked as seamstresses on the side. Dell'Orefice even roller-skated to her modeling gigs so she wouldn't have to pay bus fares. Her hard work paid off and she eventually appeared on Vogue covers and worked in Vanity Fair campaigns, among other bookings.
Dell'Orefice took a break from modeling after marrying, but eventually returned to work in 1978 due to financial straits. She was 47 years old at the time, and it was then that her career really began to blossom. Since then, she has continued working hard, booking both catwalks and advertising campaigns. In 2022, the 91-year-old bared herself in a photoshoot for New You magazine. At 92, Dell'Orefice appeared on the cover of Vogue Czechoslovakia. “Men and women should care for themselves and love themselves. One of the secrets to maintaining beauty is doing what you do for a baby, nurturing and feeding the baby with love,” she said. “That’s what we should do with ourselves: nurture ourselves, love ourselves, and give that kind of energy to ourselves.”
Carmen Dell'Orefice has been modeling for 77 years.
She was discovered in New York City when she was 13, and began modeling at 15.
Now 92, Dell'Orefice continues gracing magazine covers.
Watch this interview with Carmen Dell'Orefice:
h/t: [Oddity Central]