BY ADAM KLUGER & KIAN STAVE
PHOTOGRAPHY & CREATIVE DIRECTOR: E Z E Q U I E L D E L A R O SA @ E Z E Q U I E L D E L A R O SA
STYLIST AND CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: T Y – R O N M A Y E S @ S T Y L I ST T Y RO N M AY E S
MAKE-UP: F R A N C I S C O C A T E D R A L @ F R A N C I S C O C AT E D R A L
HAIR: M A R K A N T H O N Y @ M A R K A N T H O N Y H A I R N Y C
PHOTO ASSISTANTS & VIDEO: N A N O L E O N @ N A N O L E O N ST U D I O A N D G I L T AU R U S @ T AU R U S G I L
FASHION ASSISTANT: S H A N E I K A H O P E @ N E I K A B O O M
LOCATION: E Z S T U D I O S @ E Z ST U D I O S
MODEL: C A R O L A L T @ M O D E L C A R O L A LT
During the 1980s, Carol Alt appeared on over 500 magazine covers, becoming one of the most famous models of her era, attaining supermodel status. Alt graced the covers of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle, and Mademoiselle to name just a few. Metropolitan Magazine now has the great honor of having Carol Alt appear on the cover of our Fashion Issue as we catch up with a legend who continues to live an active, meaningful, passionate life dedicated to helping and educating others.
Favorite memory from your early modeling days?
I have a lot of memories the top one was a Sports Illustrated shoot for the winter edition in Alaska I was 18 years old and there was also a summer shoot in Africa. In Alaska, the ice looked billions of years old, the sky was pale blue and you could look out over the ice and have no sense of distance. While we were shooting, a couple of hikers showed up and scraped away snow in front of an old hidden igloo.
Did they invite you into the igloo as their guest?
No, but they did ask for bread–for fresh bread, they didn’t have any, so we were glad to give them that. We were there with some Olympic skiers for the photoshoot and at one point a group of fighter jets flew overhead. It was really something. I think that was around 1980.
Did you have any idea that being on the cover of SI would be such a big deal?
I was in a gym in Vermont and a guy walked up to me and asked me if I was Carol Alt and I started to wrack my brain as to how I knew him so I asked him how he knew my name and he said, “aren’t you on the cover of Sports Illustrated?”
You appeared on so many magazine covers do you have three favorite magazine covers?
That first Sports Illustrated cover–they put your name on the cover so that was great… also photographer Albert Watson shot me for the cover of French Vogue in a yellow dress and then there was a shot of me in a leopard skin hat for Harpers Bazaar.
When our publisher Chase Backer interviewed you the other day on Liquid Lunch on Newsmax TV I think you said you lost count of all the covers you have appeared on but that it was close to 700 which is incredible. Do you have a warehouse somewhere where you store all those covers?
I do have a giant wall that is organized in sections movies, TV series, commercials, books, and magazines.
When you look at all those pictures of yourself what do you think to yourself? wow, not bad?
I think I’m tired…I’ve worked really hard! (laugh)
During the height of her popularity, Alt was the face of ad campaigns for Covergirl, Givenchy, Noxema, Hanes, Diet Pepsi, General Motors and others. the plain-spoken supermodel is clearly a product of her hardworking parents who instilled a work ethic that has seen Carol Alt climb to the top of the modeling industry, while at the same time pursuing an acting career–Alt credits Susan Kellerman as one of her favorite acting coaches.
What did you like about your acting work in the 1995 mini-series Anna Karenina? You definitely had a lot more lines to memorize than Christie Brinkley did in Vacation.
There were 800 scenes to shoot–one of the greatest compliments I have ever gotten was from an editor who told me “you cut like butter–seamlessly.” I’ve been acting since I was 18, in those early days actors didn’t model and models didn’t act. Actors had to model in Japan.
Speaking of fame how does it feel when fans come up to you for a photograph or an autograph–do you cringe and bear it or do you enjoy that part of being such a recognizable face?
I actually love it because they are really commenting on the work.
Favorite photographers to work with?
There were photographers that would hire me all the time–so whomever I worked with the most were definitely some of my favorites–Albert Watson, Patrick Demarchelier…I remember once doing a shoot and it ended up becoming five different covers.
What were you known for in the industry?
Well, they called Elle Macpherson “The Body” and they called me “The Face.”
How has NYFW changed over the years?
Oh, it’s so different now and has gone through so many incarnations. I remember when I started I was just looking for something to do between assignments so I would go to the showrooms or ateliers of Ralph (Lauren) and Calvin (Klein) and other girls would as well not just the 7th avenue fit models – think we got paid $700.