Carmen Kass

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Carmen Kass
Carmen Kass Milan Fashion Week 2010.jpg
Kass in 2010
Born (1978-09-14) 14 September 1978 (age 44)
Paide, Estonia
Modelling information
Height1.79 m (5 ft 10+12 in)
Hair colourBlonde
Eye colourGreen
  • Women Management (New York)
  • Silent (Paris)
  • Brave Model Management (Milan)
  • TESS Management (London)
  • Uno Models (Barcelona)
  • Elite Model Management (Copenhagen)
  • Mega Model Agency (Hamburg)
  • MGM Models (Hamburg)
  • MIKAs (Stockholm) [1]

Carmen Kass (born 14 September 1978) is an Estonian model and former political candidate. She has worked as the face of brands such as Chanel, Versace, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci, Valentino, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Christian Dior, Givenchy, and, for ten consecutive years, Michael Kors. The American edition of Vogue declared her and Gisele Bündchen the two supermodels of the era on its January 2000 cover.[2]

Outside of modeling, Kass ran for the European Parliament in 2004 and was the president of the Estonian Chess Federation from 2004 to 2011.

Early life[edit]

Kass was born in Tallinn and grew up in the village of Mäo, near Paide, Järva County. Kass, her elder sister Victoria and elder brother Kutty were raised by their mother, Koidu Põder.[3] Her father, Viktor Kass, was a chess teacher in Põlva.[4]



When Kass was 14 years-old, she was discovered in a supermarket by a model scout from Milan. Her first venture into the modeling world was unsuccessful, and Kass left Milan after a short time.

Kass then moved to Paris at the age of eighteen. She soon received exposure by appearing on the covers of American, French, British, and Italian Vogue, Australian Elle, UK Image, Madame Figaro, and French Numéro.[5] Kass's first Vogue cover was French Vogue in November 1997.

Kass backstage at a Bill Blass fashion show in 2003

Her career was launched by Anna Wintour,[6] and by 1999, Kass was walking the runway for numerous and diverse top designers, such as Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, and Dolce & Gabbana; and posing in advertisements for designers and brands, like Calvin Klein, Chanel, Gucci, Donna Karan, Dsquared2, Versace, Givenchy, Fendi, Max Mara, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, Narciso Rodriguez, and even General Motors.[7] She also appeared in a Gap denim advertising campaign, and was a spokesperson for Revlon cosmetics, Sephora, and the Christian Dior perfume, J'adore. In 2007 alone, Kass booked ten campaigns with notable designers for Spring/Summer collections. From 2007 onwards, she became the model and spokesperson for Max Factor.[8][9]

Kass was the muse of Michael Kors, and the face of the brand for 10 consecutive years.[10][11] Kass has been also the spokesperson of the Narciso Rodriguez For Her perfume and several of its editions for 17 consecutive years to date.[12][13]

Kass was named "Model of the Year" at the 2000 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards.[14] In the year 2002, she was estimated to have been the second-highest-paid model in the world.[15] She is well-known for her distinctive runway walk in the fashion industry. Despite her height, her feet are relatively small (about an American size seven).[16]

She opened and closed the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in 1999, and also walked for the brand in 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2008.[17][18]

She is considered to be one of the models who ended the heroin chic era along with Gisele Bündchen.


While living in New York, she attended the Lee Strasberg Institute.[19] In 2004, Kass played the female lead in the Estonian murder-mystery film Täna öösel me ei maga ("We Won't Sleep Tonight"; titled "Set Point" in the international release).[20] She also had a cameo appearance in the film Zoolander, where she played herself opening the Derelicte fashion show.

Kass (left) participating in the 2004 Mainz Chess Classic


In February 2004, she joined Estonia's ruling Res Publica Party.[21] Kass ran for the European Parliament after her homeland joined the European Union in May 2004.[22] She won 2,315 votes from the Estonian electorate, but was not elected to the European Parliament.[23]


Kass is a keen chess player.[24] She was elected president of the Estonian Chess Federation for 8 consecutive years and currently serves as a councillor.[25] She ran a campaign for Tallinn to host the 2008 Chess Olympics; however, Dresden, Germany was chosen instead.[26]


She is part owner of her mother agency, Baltic Models.[27] In Estonia, Kass owns some private companies, including two real estate companies.

Personal life[edit]

From 2004 until 2014, Kass was in a relationship with Eric Lobron, a German chess grandmaster.[28][29][30]

She is fluent in Estonian and English and is conversant in Russian and Italian.[31]

Her nephew, Antonio Sebastian Kass, is also a model[32] and a musician.[33]


  1. ^ "Carmen Kass - Model".
  2. ^ "Vogue Archive: January 2000 cover".
  3. ^ "Eesti ime: Carmen Kass". Eesti Päevaleht. 3 November 2000. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  4. ^ "Carmen Kassi isa: "Olen mõtetes kogu aeg lastega!"". Õhtuleht. 10 October 2003. Retrieved 19 August 2012.
  5. ^ "Carmen Kass biography". Archived from the original on 16 August 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  6. ^ Irvanets-Goldmann, Jekaterina (2013-10-08). "Estonia's top international models". Estonian World. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
  7. ^ "Profile of Carmen Kass". Fashion Model Directory. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Meet Max Factor's Model". Max Factor. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
  9. ^ "Max Factor'i modell on Carmen Kass!". Ideaalkosmeetika. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
  10. ^ "Michael Kors Advertising Campaign | Destination Kors". Archived from the original on 2020-08-08. Retrieved 2016-09-24.
  11. ^ "Carmen vs. Karmen: Who is the Ultimate Michael Kors Muse?". 16 February 2016.
  12. ^ "Narciso Rodriguez on Carmen Kass". 20 August 2012.
  13. ^ "Inez & Vinoodh inmortalizan a Carmen Kass para Narciso Rodriguez 'L'Absolu for Her'". 13 July 2015.
  14. ^ Laanem, Tiina (24 October 2000). "Kuri eesti tüdruk Carmen Kass". Ärileht (in Estonian). Eesti Päevaleht. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
  15. ^ "Carmen Kass". nymag. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
  16. ^ Ulfsak-Šeripova, Maria (3 April 2008). "Ma ei ole üldse nii kuulus!". Anne&Stiil (in Estonian). Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  17. ^ Tael, Triin (19 November 2008). "Heidi Klum ja Carmen Kass särasid Victoria's Secreti pesušõul" [Heidi Klum and Carmen Kass shined in a Victoria's Secret lingerie show] (in Estonian). Õhtuleht. Archived from the original on 2012-04-10. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  18. ^ Michelson, Tarmo (January 14, 2003). "Carmen Kass teenis ühe õhtuga kolm miljonit krooni" (in Estonian). Õhtuleht. Archived from the original on September 17, 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  19. ^ Kilumets, Margit (3 June 2004). "Kui vana on Kassi hing?" [How old is the soul of Kass?] (in Estonian). Eesti Naine. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 3 April 2010.
  20. ^ Kulli, Jaanus (February 11, 2004). ""Täna öösel me ei maga" esilinastub juba märtsis" [«We Won't Sleep Tonight» will already premiere in March] (in Estonian). SL Õhtuleht. Archived from the original on 2012-05-03. Retrieved April 2, 2010.
  21. ^ "Carmen Kass astus Res Publicasse". Eesti Päevaleht. 27 February 2004. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  22. ^ "Carmen Kass kandideerib europarlamenti". Postimees. 5 March 2004. Archived from the original on 27 December 2004. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  23. ^ "Euroopa Parlamendi valimiste tulemused Eestis". Postimees. June 14, 2004. Archived from the original on 20 September 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  24. ^ "Chess Classic 2004: Carmen in Mainz". 6 August 2004.
  25. ^ Vaher, Andres (24 May 2004). "Carmen Kass malepresidendi ametist: "Aga miks ka mitte?"" (in Estonian). SL Õhtuleht. Archived from the original on 2012-05-03. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  26. ^[bare URL]
  27. ^ Kerli Nõu (1 March 2006). "Modelliagentuurid toodavad Carmen Kassile tasemel järglasi". Äripäev. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
  28. ^ "Krush takes the Accoona trophy". 18 September 2004.
  29. ^ "Carmen vs. Karmen: Who is the Ultimate Michael Kors Muse?". 16 February 2016.
  30. ^ Carmen Kass: Early Life, Boyfriend & Net Worth,, 26 Dec 2020
  31. ^ Carmen Kass,
  32. ^ "Modellisaate Antonio: ma pole kunagi uhkustanud, et mu tädi on Carmen Kass" [Antonio of the model show: I've never had vain pride in my aunt being Carmen Kass]. Elu24 (in Estonian). Postimees. 2015-12-21. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
  33. ^ "Modellisaate Antonio avaldas religioonist pajatava räppsingli" [Antonio of the model show published a rap single about religion]. Elu24 (in Estonian). Postimees. 2016-02-03. Retrieved 2017-02-12.

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