Bernie Madoff stole Carmen DellOrefices life savings Model went work 80

'Madoff stole my life savings': Why the world’s oldest supermodel, 80, had to go back to work
By Maysa Rawi

With her first Vogue cover at age 15, a modelling career spanning over six decades and once posing for Salvador Dali, you wouldn't expect Carmen Dell' Orefice would have to work for a living.

But the 80-year-old has admitted she still needs the money - after depositing her life savings with Bernie Madoff.

Now the grey-haired beauty has to contend with problems not normally associated with a glamourous life of catwalks and photo shoots - including arthritis in her hips and a beard she has to 'pluck every day.'
Supermodel Carmen Dell' Orefice, pictured last year, is still enjoying a successful career and is starring in a photography exhibition next week

The New York-born veteran model is currently the subject of an exhibition at The London College of Fashion after her friend and illustrator David Downton convinced her to dig out old pictures from under her bed.

The show, open to the public next week, features iconic images by Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Norman Parkinson, Horst P Horst and Lillian Bassman.
The model, pictured in 2006, puts her looks down to good
bone-structure - and shots of silicone

And her secret to youth? Good bone-structure, self-discipline - and shots of silicone.

Her age-defying looks continue to earn her work, including a campaign with Rolex and catwalk appearances during last season's Fashion Week.

And it seems she needs the money, facing the prospect of being evicted from her home.

She told The Telegraph: 'The banks always want something.
Carmen, pictured last year, shows off her age-defying figure

'They're deciding now whether or not to shovel me out of my little apartment.'

Carmen, who reportedly lost her money in the stock market in the 1990's, invested what little she had left with Madoff, who swindled thousands out of an estimated $50bn with a Ponzi scheme.

She was introduced to the former Wall Street financial expert by her then-boyfriend Norman Levy.

She and Madoff were close friends until the scheme came to light in 2008.

At the time, she said:'For the second time in my life, I’ve lost all of my life savings.'
Carmen, pictured this year, New York and in 2009, in London, during Fashion Week

But the model is still optimistic, despite celebrating her 80th birthday this year.

Carmen told The Telegraph: 'I'm a working woman of 80 trying to work out what the image I can project is.

'How I can do it with, you know, dignity.'

Luckily for Carmen, she has always adopted a frugal attitude and admits to making her own clothes in the past.
Carmen, pictured in Paris in 1957, shows off the inner diva
Carmen, shot by Leonard McCombe for pictures published in Life Magazine in 1947

Despite retiring twice, Carmen, who married and divorced three times, can't seem to stay away from the fashion industry.

But she insists she is no feminist: 'I never wanted to be part of any kind of movement - and if you're over a certain age, you better keep your bra on because nothing's worse than saggy duds.

'Women have it harder than ever now because they've changed the dialogue, and men don't know what to do when they can't marry their mothers.'