Carmen Dell’Orefice might be past 80, but the model still has what it takes to make a big splash at New York Fashion Week.
Dell’Orefice surprised attendees at the Lincoln Center when the took the runway twice in one day, ABC News reported. Often referred to as the world’s oldest working model, Carmen Dell’Orefice first took the runway at 9 am Sunday wearing a caramel gown by New York designer Norisol Ferrari.
A few hours later Carmen Dell’Orefice was at it again, this time hitting the runway in a graphic print design by Marimekko, a label from Finland.
“I don’t know if it’s good or silly,” Dell’Orefice told Today‘s Jenna Bush Hager of her current modeling career. “It’s what I enjoy doing, and I’m able to do it.”
The 81-year-old ageless beauty was also seen hanging out with Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte, who has been covering Fashion Week for E! News. The two talked at the Sherri Hill show at Trump Tower, with Carmen Dell’Orefice schooling Lochte on the importance of training for models, the New York Post reported.
“If you’re gonna last, you better be an athlete at home,” said Carmen Dell’Orefice, who trained as a swimmer in the 1948 Olympics. She later told Lochte that models need “strength to walk in heels and have control of [their] body.”
Carmen Dell’Orefice has a career in modeling that now stretches across eight different decades. After being born in 1941, she broke into modeling in the mid-1940s, gracing the cover of Vogue at age 15.
Dell’Orefice said her staying power in the youth-obsessed world of modeling shows a changing sentiment in America.
“I think America may be growing up and accepting the fact that the bulk of life exists beyond 50. Because demographically … the vast population is over 50,” Carmen Dell’Orefice told Today. “This is not to negate the young people coming up. But what kind of an example are we giving young people?”