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Lauren Hutton took time out of her busy schedule to sit down with guests at the 92Y for an intriguing interview about her amazing life – one we all wished to have had.
Hutton, an all-American countrywoman, born November 17, 1943 and 12th generation from Charleston, South Carolina, is the crocodile dundee of modeling. She created the label “supermodel” that you know today.
Born Mary Laurence Hutton, her journey began with a few bags and only 200 dollars in her pocket, heading to New York City to find work.
She was used to the country, enjoying snake, fish and crocodile hunt by hand.
As a child, she said she was a bit of troublemaker and was illiterate until the age of eleven.
Following her timeline, in her early teen years, she started off as most college grads today do, taking a job as a cocktail waitress and a daytime “lunch bunny” at the Playboy mansion. Hutton said she did not like the pay and the waitresses’ outfits felt degrading to her.
Hutton wanted to become a model after school in New York City for one main reason; she wanted cash to travel.
She was turned down by many fashion companies, labels and brands. She went as far as lying on her resume and in interviews since she had no prior experience from her small southern town. Dior finally gave her the chance that made her a fashion icon for decades.
World-renowned and award-winning fashion queen Fern Mallis once said, “she has completed her entire bucket list at the age of 30 and everyone else’s too by now.”
Hutton has appeared on 28 Vogue covers since her modeling career started in the 60’s. She started the trend of a product associated exclusively with one model for advertising.
She has traveled extensively, and still does, and has close tribal relationships in Africa, China and the Amazon Forest. She did not step foot onto European soil before she was 38. “I like how the amazon and wild is always different. Europe will never change it will always be there.”
Being an accomplished actress as well, Lauren Hutton worked with many directors over the years, including Robert Altman, Paul Schrader, and Jean-Paul Rappeneau to name a few. She co-starred with Robert Redford in ‘Little Fauss and Big Halsy’ and Jim Carrey in his first movie ‘Once Bitten’. Her film debut was with ‘Paper Lion’ in 1968 and she won notices for her performances in ‘The Gambler’, ‘Someone’s Watching Me!’ and ‘American Gigolo’.
For the past 12 years, Hutton has worked attentively with women’s health, environmental and wildlife foundations, such as the Woman’s Campaign Fund and World Wildlife Foundation. She is also the original vice president of the Guggenheim Museum Motorcycle Club.
She gave a lot advice for aspiring models and upcoming fashion gurus, “Fashion is what suits you. Don’t listen to the fashion trends and changing trends.”
An adoring fan from the audience shot up from their seat and asked her, “What was the moment when you knew you made it as a super model?” Hutton responded, “When I walked by a news stand and saw on the cover of People Magazine saying ‘She Got It All’ and I got a chill running down my back. It was an honor for someone to say that since no one ever has it all.”
The last quote she made, made an impression: “See yourself, block out others’ opinions and what they say about you.”
Image credit: Joyce Culver for 92Y