There is always something bubbling at the chicest, four-story 1920's building known as "The Magic Factory", owned by designer-extraordinaire Ken Fulk. A true San Francisco icon, known for his design works and for his most talked-about events.
Last night Ken Fulk brought together San Francisco crowd to meet extravagant 85-year-old American model and actress known within the fashion industry for being the world's oldest working model, Carmen Dell'orefice and one of the world's leading fashion artists, David Downton.
David's conversation in a grotesque British pronunciation with an old friend Carmen Dell'orefice drew irresistible attention of the guests .
"In 1945, 71 years ago, you roller skated to work at Vogue. How?"
Carmen shared her story growing up with a single mother, being a child of depression, living in a foster home, her love for ballet and how it inspires her in life and being discovered by a photographer's wife on the bus, while on her way home.
She noted friends such as an American photographer Irving Penn who is known for his fashion photography and portraits.
"How does one ever understand what is coming at them unless you have friends who pull you in and help you. I am grateful for these people."
After decades of seeing the ins and outs of the fashion industry, Dell’Orefice has a wisdom we all envy. “When you understand how to do that dance, when the photographer says, ‘Hold it, do this or do that,’ and you know you’re getting it right. Oh, it is fun.”
"How do you manage to be in the business at 85 in the industry that hates 30 year olds?
“I am in territory that business considers unmarketable: age and white hair. Slowly, however, I started to own that territory little by little because I stood up for age.” "The world is growing up and learning to accept. Number does not matter. Age does not matter. You have to dress the body you're in".
How did you find courage?
"Courage is facing my reality", she replied.
Her intelligence is what's truly unique about this extraordinary woman. In fashion, the beautiful hello is an art that most powerful people have mastered and Carmen is one of them.
Graceful, wise, elegant, timeless beauty.
Despite the fact being called non photogenic by Harper's Bazaar, 85-year-old model's career is still going strong!