Carmen Kass has gone on to become one of the world's most successful models, fronting campaigns for Calvin Klein, Christian Dior, Chanel, Donna Karan, Givenchy, Fendi, Michael Kors, Guy Laroche, Krizia, Versace and also General Motors.
Kass is well known for her work for Sephora, one of the world's leading cosmetics retailers, and the Christian Dior perfume, J'adore.
She was awarded by Vogue as "Model of the Year" at the 2000 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards.
* Carmen, how are you ?
Carmen Kass : Great, thanks for asking.
* This year you've got eight campaigns only for the spring/summer collection. What is the key of such a huge success ?
Carmen Kass : I have been working in the business rather successfully for 14 years and yet it is impossible to predict what season will be good and what less good. I guess I have proved to the clients in the business that I have a value that sells with a combination of pleasant and uncomplicated work time. I never complain, treat everyone equally and always give my best when at work.
* How was it like for you to leave Estonia and move to the big fashion cities at a young age ? Have you had to overcome any unusual obstacles or hardships in the beginning of your successful career ?
Carmen Kass : Perhaps the most difficult times were to deal with new cultures and languages. One may get a chance in a high fashion just for outer beauty but to continue successfully you must master communication skills.
Carmen Kass : Back in a day models (Naomi, Kate, Christy, Nadja, Cindy, Claudia, etc...) that were continuously working with major fashion houses, appeared on the covers of major fashion magazines and acquired fame also outside of the business through that kind of modeling became credited with a status Supermodel. Today models like Petra Nemcova, Heidi Klum, Bar Raphaeli and many others alike have been credited Supermodel status with all kinds of other reasons and therefore I think that media has ruined original status of "supermodel".
Understanding the above mentioned, I never paid importance to the status but cared more for ongoing business.
* Please describe a recent enjoyable experience from your career.
Carmen Kass : Every offer becomes enjoyable when executing.
* When aspiring models see you, they idolize you and want to be like you. How do you feel about the admiration you receive from them and from fans all around the world ?
Carmen Kass : There is nothing more awarding than being appreciated for your work, without fans and admirers there is no continuity ! I thank and love them for that !
* What have you discovered about yourself through modeling ?
Carmen Kass: Confidence, courage and knowledge that we all have our place under the sun.
* You are also the president of Estonian Chess Federation, and I guess it's almost impossible to defeat you in a game. When and how did your interest in chess begin ?
Carmen Kass : My father was a chess teacher when I was a kid and ever since the passion has travelled with me. Although I play almost every day, to defeat me is not so hard if you know how to play. I am just a hobby player not a professional one and there is whole big world between these two.
* As a chess player myself, I always wonder, which piece is more weighty – Knight or Bishop ?
Carmen Kass : I have learned that although in some positions Knight can be stronger, the simpler and more radical answer to that question is by placing Knight or Bishop in the middle of the board and counting how many squares do they individually capture. Result 8/13 for a Bishop (or 9/14 if counting the one it stands on).
* What do you think about the quote : "Life is the art of drawing without an eraser" ?
Carmen Kass : That would make life unchangeable. I believe that life holds and uses the eraser in itself, but drawing needs a helping hand for it.
* What makes you happy ?
Carmen Kass : Life in its glorious existence !!!
* Where do you see yourself in five years ?
Carmen Kass : Allow me to quote Ray Evans famous lyrics :
When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother what will I be ?,
Will I be pretty ? Will I be rich ?
here's what she said to me :
Que Sera Sera, Whatever Will Be, Will Be
The future is not ours to see, Que Sera Sera
WHAT WILL BE WILL BE.
- Special thanks to Sigrit / Baltic Models - Estonia (www.balticmodels.ee) for arranging the interview with Carmen Kass.