‘I would rather have a face like an African elephant’s bottom’

Lifestyle

‘I would rather have a face like an African elephant’s bottom’

Lauren Hutton, the supermodel/actor/adventurer who changed the fashion industry forever, speaks out at 76

Bethan Holt

Ask Lauren Hutton her secret to looking so radiant at 76, and she will give you all the good old-fashioned advice about getting plenty of sleep, drinking lots of water and the products she swears by (lately, StriVectin’s cult anti-ageing range). But within 30 seconds, she’s also remembering the time she has spent living with hunter-gatherer tribes; how she’s seen the very defined role of women in those communities, with traits that are common to many of us: “You need to try to take some time for yourself, be your own good mother … women are always the caretakers,” she says, regaling me with tales like an old friend when I call her in LA.

It’s the perfect example of Lauren Hutton as the ultimate supermodel of substance. In 1973, she signed a contract with Revlon worth $250,000 a year for 20 days’ work, the largest figure in modelling history at the time, paving the way for women to make big money in the same way as male sports stars.

Then, after she was dropped by the beauty brand at 41 (because “women over 40 don’t wear makeup”, according to a vice president at the company), she campaigned for wider use of older models, a fight that it’s fair to conclude she’s won, given that in the past decade she’s appeared on the catwalk for Valentino, Bottega Veneta and Tom Ford, as well as starring in campaigns for J Crew and Calvin Klein...

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