Carmen dell’Orefice – Star of the current Airfield campaign

Carmen dell’Orefice first graced the cover of Vogue in 1947, and as a young beauty she was muse to artist Dali. Star photographers such as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and Cecil Beaton were all starstruck by the elegant model with the long legs. In 2016 she turned 85 years old. Today, she is more coveted than ever before.

Mrs. Dell’Orefice, your exceptional name comes from Italy. Do you speak Italian?
No. My father was Italian but my father and my mother never lived together. I’m a modern woman – as you can see.

People in Europe love you. Do you often come here?
Well I was engaged several times and my fiancees brought me to Europe regularly and now I want to thank Airfield, this wonderful company, for bringing me back here, where people are respectful to aged and modern women. Airfield clearly represents the highly modern woman. You know, I stand up for how I‘ve lived my life. I’m 84 and I always decided how I wanted to live and what I wanted to wear – to find a connection to this wonderful brand. And I still do. I totally stand behind Airfield and what it has to offer to the modern thinking woman. Sensual clothes that make you feel more beautiful. And the best thing is, they are very easy to combine.

What is your fashion secret?
I see many changes in the world, and there is one thing I can tell you: keep it good and simple! Haute Couture is very uncomfortable to wear. It takes a lot of time and women today are not just the concubine or the piece of eye candy on a mans arm, see? Women are more thoughtful about the occasion, where they live, where they work and they need excellent bits and pieces that travel well, sit well and which they can afford. I say to women, it is more taste than money. Don’t copy anyone, have the courage to express your own personality – this is what Airfield represents to me and this is why women love this brand so much. Airfield always stays true to itself, but still appears to be very modern at the same time.

What do you expect from a good fashion collection?
Airfield has wonderful pieces that fit into my wardrobe and my lifestyle. You know, it’s because I’m going up and down and sometimes I am going to the palace to see the Queen and at other times I’m at home going to my supermarket and everytime Airfield would have the right pieces for a particular occassion. I don’t wear the same things for the same event, but I can go to Europe with a soft case – I always use a soft case. I don’t role it. If I can’t carry it, I don’t bring it. So all of my pieces have to be able to be folded neatly, be light enough to wear and have to have the right cut so they will be easy to combine and suit any occassion. Airfield provides all these things to me.

How do you discribe your enormous success over the last 60 years in fashion?
I see myself as the one to have stood up a long time ago for the years I’ve earned my living. When I was 40, I was 40. I didn’t want to be 20 and never pretended to be something else. I bore the consequences for not being center stage. I always did the job that suited the look I had that particular year.

What is your secret to a fit body?
I never pushed my body in a way that was unhealthy. Of course my body has changed over the last years and I sometimes laugh when people tell me that I never change. Of course I change. I had times when I was 10 pounds heavier and there were other times when I had more collagen in my cells. I grew up with a Hungarian mother and I grew up with my vegetables. Vegetables are very important for a healthy body. I never took drugs, I never smoked, but of course I do love a little drink every now and then, but generally, I’ve always focused on a plantbased diet. That‘s all.

What did you mean when you once said that beautiful things have to be renovated every now and then?
Maintenance of the body is many things. It starts with how you think. And what is really important is to be aware of other people. I grew up with my mother. She raised me alone. At an early stage in my life I learned that every penny counts and that you have to take care of yourself, your body and what God has given to you. And especially, how other people treat you. People sometimes ask me, when will you retire and I say, I retire every night. I love my job. Am I going to stop what I love doing? Certainly not! Do I love to breathe? Am I going to stop breathing?