john casablancas collage

His reputation had its ups and its downs, but nobody can deny that John Casablancas was an icon in the fashion modeling world.

In the late 1970s, when John founded Elite Models, the big players were Wilhelmina Cooper and Eileen Ford, both of whom acted motherly towards their models, chaperoning them around the city and making sure they didn’t get into trouble. John Casablancas encouraged models to live glamorous public lives in the fast lane.

Wilhelmina and Ford groomed some great models, but Casablancas created star personalities and big names. He created Supermodels.

When John sold his share of Elite Models in 2000 the agency had 500 models on four continents with bookings of over $100 million per year. Models had become commodities and modeling a big business, in large part to his marketing vision.

Read More: NY Times Obituary – John Casablancas, modeling visionary, dies at 70.

Carmen Dell'Orefice in the Rouge F/W12 Campaign

Carmen Dell’Orefice in the Rouge F/W12 Campaign

Carmen is ah-maze-ing! At 81 years old she came out of retirement when her savings was lost to Bernie Madoff, but no boo-hooing from her. She went straight to work on the Armani campaign.

She’s been modeling since the age of 13, steadily employed the entire time. Six Vogue covers. More runways than we can count. Oozing class and sophistication from every tiny pore.

Here is an insightful, recent interview by Pip Cummings on Daily Life website.

Did you know she was often dropped into foster care? That she grew up in Depression-era New York in 1931? Modeled topless for Salvador Dali? Can you imagine!

Carmen believes “in an energy world – we’re all energy. Thoughts are held in the energy world. Energy goes to energy. Nothing is lost. Nothing is gained. It only changes shape and form.”

I love how genuine and candid Carmen is. There’s a lesson to be learned, that vibrancy and spirit on the inside are picked up by the camera on the outside.