I met up with Carolyn in her beautiful Brooklyn brownstone. We reminisced about the past and then the questions came pouring out and she candidly answered them all….
What does fashion mean to you?
Creativity, evolution, expression, I guess I need to expand on it but those are the words that pop into my mind at first thought.
What is your best asset and your worst?
My neck, I like my neck! And I always hated the bags under my eyes!
Who are your favorite designers?
There are so many but at the moment Chloe because there is a timelessness and femininity that I like and there is Yohji and Comme des Garcons with their unique pieces. I like mixing all of the above, even pulling in pieces by newer designers like Isabel Marant.
Do you like to shop?
Sometimes, in fact yesterday I spent way too much money at Isabel Marant.
What is your relationship with shoes?
Well lately they don’t seem to like me, I’ve been getting blisters all over my feet and high-heels are getting higher and higher. I prefer bare feet and flats.
Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry?
Yes, this gold Italian “horn” charm that I wear around my neck. Italian folklore says that it protects you against the evil eye.
Let’s talk about Estee Lauder and your relationship with them.
I’ve been with them for 11 years and just signed for a couple more. I feel very grateful maybe because I grew up with the brand; my mother always having a gold lipstick case lying around or an EL perfume bottle in her room. I have a nostalgic connection with EL. I have a hard time believing that I’m actually their spokesperson. It’s definitely an honor, it’s pretty cool!
When you are called a supermodel, how do you feel?
I roll my eyes!! I think that it takes a whole team to create a model’s career. The photographer, hair and make-up artists, stylists and your agent (IMG), they are the building blocks to a successful career.
Were there any tips you received that made an impression on what you needed to do to become successful?
Yes, years ago I was on a shoot with Pamela Hanson and James Kaliardos was doing make-up. I was modeling along side the famous iconic model, Carmen. They were giving me advice on what to do to become successful. “Don’t smoke, don’t drink, make sure your hair and makeup looks good”.
Favorite photographers on your list?
I have many. Mario Sorrenti, your son, being one of them, I feel that we grew up together, starting at the same time along with the beloved Davide Sorrenti.
Steven Meisel who had an eye for what was out there and refined and polished it.
Bruce Weber who always allowed me to be me.
Mario Testino who showed me my sexy side that I didn’t know existed.
And of course you, your pictures started it all. You dyed my hair real red and it was uphill from there!
Do you want to share any embarrassing runway moments?
Well there was the time I tripped on the runway during a Versace show, I was wearing the bridal gown and he was yelling at me to f**k off!
Are you working on any projects lately?
Yes, I’m working on a TV show and also curating on a new on-line website for Open Sky.
What are the things you love to do when you’re not “at work”?
I love to spend time with my daughter; I like to cook with her, gardening, ride my horse, reading, painting, surfing and writing. Real home stuff.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Buying property and fixing them up. On a smaller scale seeking-out local farming. I also keep an organic kitchen and I feel it’s important to support local farmers. All my cleaning products are environmentally safe.
What’s your favorite book?
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran is my favorite.
I hear you have a great passion for illustration and literature.
Yes, I collect a variety of first edition books. Just to name a few: George Wharton Edwards, Edmund Dulac, collections of Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.
What is your most prized possession?
My great-great grandmother’s crocheted blanket.
Who is the person alive you most admire?
Jane Goodall, but I admire anyone who stands by their convictions, just as long that they are living their truth.
Who is the dead person you most admire?
Anais Nin and Jacques Cousteau.
What is your biggest regret?
Not going to college, I would have loved to major in literature.
What qualities do you most dislike in women?
When there is dishonesty and extreme competitive behavior.
If you could come back after death, what would you be?
A dolphin. I’m a water baby!
Surfing and horseback riding.
If you could pick a new career?
I’d be a Waldorf teacher.
What would you want to change in the world?
For everyone to learn what love really means.
Your favorite top 3 models?
Lauren Hutton, Christy Turlington & Kate Moss
Who do you feel has revolutionized fashion past and present?
Coco Chanel, Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld. And of course Comme des Garcons.
Any advice for “New Faces”?
Keep your soul!