Tuesday, March 16, 2010

HerStory: Lauren Hutton

Lauren Hutton, the ambitious, bold trailblazer was born in Charleston, South Carolina on November 17, 1943.

At 66 years old she is still an icon for many. She doesn’t stop living life to its fullest and she embraces the inevitable natural aging process.

“Our wrinkles are our metals of the passage of our life... I don't think I will ever cut my face, because once I cut it, then I never know where I've been.”

What separated Hutton from other models and actress’ is that she made success for herself using a different approach - not adhering to the standards set of her time, in the 1960’s.

Hutton who is short by typical model standards and has gapped teeth made both of these things work for her. Eileen Ford wanted her to fix her nose and teeth, Lauren had no intention of either and knew there was good money in modeling and chose this path so that she could have money to travel the world.

One of Lauren’s first photo shoots, which would bring her success, was by the late Richard Avedon. “I was inexperienced so Avedon was having a hard time getting me to move naturally. Finally he stopped trying to shoot and asked me about myself. He asked where I came from, and I told him that I grew up in the swamplands in Florida. He asked me what I did there. I said, "We played in the swamps and jumped around." So I spent the rest of that day jumping. Three months later, Vogue came out with 14 pages of me jumping, gapped teeth included, as Avedon wouldn't let me put wax between my teeth like I usually did”.

After years in the biz, Lauren Hutton managed to get the first cosmetics contract that would set the standard for models for years to come…

Quote: “I saw a story on the front page of the New York Times about a baseball player, Catfish Hunter. He was the first player to get a sports contract. I remember his quote: "I've got to have a contract because I'm in a youth-oriented business." I thought, I'm in a youth-oriented business too. I was 30, the most famous model in the world, and I was the last of my era's famous models left. Verushka, Jean Shrimpton, Twiggy, they all had stopped. I read the article to my boyfriend and asked him how I could get a contract like that. He replied, "That's easy: refuse to do cosmetic ads." And that's what I did”.

Throughout Laurens many years of travel (35+ years) she has trekked from the Himalayas to Africa to the Amazon. Scuba-dived. Dog-sledded in Sweden and Alaska…she’s gone and lived with Pygmies. She says: “These experiences made my brain and my face change. I learned things other people weren't learning unless they were explorers or anthropologists. A million extraordinary things happened to me every single day on these trips. I slept in a sleeping bag on the ground, with no makeup, no mirrors, and companions who were wearing leaves and had filed teeth, and I read tons of books. I always came back to New York refreshed and chaffing at the bit. Also, I was never competitive with the other girls; it's self-defeating and makes you look ugly”.

In October 2005, at the age of 61, Hutton agreed to pose nude for Big magazine. "I want them (women) not to be ashamed of who they are when they're in bed"

Check out Lauren's makeup line: http://www.laurenhutton.com/

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