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Known as the world’s oldest working model, veteran Carmen Dell’Orefice was born on June 3, 1931 in New York City and had her very first of four Vogue magazine covers at the age of 15.

From posing for Salvador Dali as a teenager in the 1940s to walking the runway for Guo Pei at 87 in 2018, her fashion career has spanned over 70 years.

Throughout her long and storied career, Dell’Orefice has walked and posed for designers like Isaac Mizrahi, Gianfranco Ferre, and Thierry Mugler, and has been photographed by such photography legends as Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Cecil Beaton, and Norman Parkinson.

A child of the Depression in New York City, Dell’Orefice describes her upbringing as “spartan” as she took up modeling for Vogue, helping to support her parents before modeling existed as a structured profession.

Yet in the words of a Vogue magazine retrospective on the occasion of her 85th birthday, “she has always epitomized glamour, but never in a static way.” In fact Dell’Orefice describes herself as a “chameleon” who has not had a specific look and that has allowed her to remain relevant for decades.

With grace and elegance she has charted new territory for models since the beginning of her career and more recently stood up for age, becoming the embodiment of empowerment for older women. She has changed along with the fashion industry over time, making her an iconic presence at every stage of her career, which she actively continues to this day.