Carmen Kass (born 14 September 1978) is an Estonian model who is a veteran of several Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
Carmen opened and closed the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in 1999, which always is a great honor.
Carmen also walked the 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2008 Shows.
Carmen Kass is from Tallinn (Paide), Estonia, and grew up in Mäo village, near Paide, the capital of Järva County.
Carmen's father is a chess teacher, an interest of Carmen's which has remained with her throughout her life.
The story goes that Carmen was discovered at the age of 14 by an Italian modeling scout in a supermarket in Tallinn, Estonia (isn't that how it always happens?).
|Carmen Kass by Steven Meisel.|
Intrigued by fashion, Carmen moved to Milan, but it didn't work out. She went back home. However, she ultimately decided to give it another shot.
Carmen moved to Paris at 18 and was an immediate success on the fashion scene, helped along by Anna Wintour.
Carmen quickly snagged many international covers, and also became a spokesmodel for Revlon Cosmetics. Other top brands that she represented included Christian Dior, Sephora and Gap.
Carmen has way too many covers to list, all around the world and over the better parts of two decades. Here are some recent ones as of this writing:
- March Harper's Bazaar Chile
- October Harper's Bazaar Turkey, Harper's Bazaar Mexico
- September Cover
- June glass UK
- January Vogue Ukraine
- June Marie Claire Spain
- March flair Italy
|Carmen Kass on the cover of Citizen K International, No. 80, Fall 2016 (Gregory Derkenne, makeup by Eny Whitehead, casting by Olivier Duperrin)|
Carmen remains very loyal to Estonia, but has a wry sense of humor about how low-key the response to her success is in her native land and how she should be appreciated a bit more there. She joked to the NY Times in 2001:
I think they should make me an ambassador. In a few years, I would just name the country Carmen.Hey, we all want to be loved more, Carmen!
Carmen has been on the cover of Vogue over and over again. She was shot for the cover of Vogue Paris November 1997 by Michael Thompson, then by Steven Meisel for the May 1999 cover.
|Vogue US May 1999, by Steven Meisel.|
Carmen Kass returned to the cover of Vogue US in January 2000, again shot by Meisel, which was quite an honor, being the millennial cover.
|Carmen with Gisele on the cover of the January 2000 cover of Vogue, shot by Steven Meisel. The caption "Today's stars" is somewhat ironic, considering that both models remain popular 17 years later.|
Carmen's United Kingdom and United States covers alone include:
- UK: 'Frank' - June 1998; 'Image' - April 1999; 'Vogue' - January & November 2001; 'GQ' - March 2002
- US: 'Harper's Bazaar' (en Espanol) - March 1999; 'Harper's Bazaar' - November 1999; 'Vogue' - May 1999, 'Ocean Drive' - Summer 2000; 'Picture' - May/June 2000; 'Millionaire' - June 2000; 'Vogue' - January, August & November 2000; 'Vogue' - May 2001; 'Harper's Bazaar' - September 2001; 'V' - March/April 2003; 'Harper’s Bazaar (supplement)' - September 2003; 'Vanity Fair' - April 2005
Carmen, as is common among the elite supermodels, has branched out into acting and other endeavors.
Carmen studied in the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York and was in an Estonian film, Täna öösel me ei maga ("We Won't Sleep Tonight"), and dabbled in politics. Her true passion, however, is chess, which she inherited from her father. She became President of the Estonian National Chess League in 2004, and also began dating a top German chess player.
In addition, Carmen also invested in her mother model agency, Baltic Models, and also formed an Estonian loan company, "Credit Market." She is a major investor in various Estonian enterprises. Carmen continues modelling and is a force to be reckoned with in several areas.
Carmen was elected president of the Estonian Chess Federation for 8 consecutive years. She remains a councillor.
Carmen was in Estonia during the convulsions that rocked the country during the end of the Soviet era. She hid under a bridge when Soviet tanks invaded Estonia in 1991. Carmen was one of 300,000 Estonians to form a human chain celebrating Estonia's liberation.
|The "model holding the dead animal" pose remains iconic in the fashion world.|
Carmen continues chugging on. She reportedly splits her time between Los Angeles and Estonia these days. Carmen continues to be featured in provocative editorials and covers, including the Citizen K No. 80 of Autumn 2016. There is no question that Carmen Kass remains one of today's stars.