Kass in 2011
14 September 1978 |
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Manager||Women Management New York
Baltic Models Tallinn
Storm Model Agency London
Brave Model Management Milan
Silent models Paris
International Creative Management London
Carmen Kass (born 14 September 1978) is an Estonian model, businesswoman and former political candidate.
The longtime muse of designer Michael Kors, she is considered a supermodel within the fashion industry. In the year 2002, she was estimated to have been the second-highest-paid model in the world. Outside of modeling, Kass ran for the European Parliament in 2004 and was the president of the Estonian Chess Federation from 2004 to 2011.
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. Her father, Viktor Kass, is a chess teacher in Põlva.
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. Kass's first Vogue cover was French Vogue in November 1997.
Her career was launched by Anna Wintour and by 1999, Kass was walking the runway for 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. 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.
Kass was the muse of Michael Kors, and the face of the brand for 10 consecutive years. Kass has been also the spokesperson of the Narciso Rodriguez For Her perfume and its various limited editions for 14 consecutive years to date.
Kass was named "Model of the Year" at the 2000 VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards. 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).
While a model in New York, she attended the Lee Strasberg Institute. 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). She also had a cameo appearance in the film Zoolander, where she played herself.
In February 2004, she joined Estonia's ruling Res Publica Party. Kass ran for the European Parliament after her homeland joined the European Union in May 2004. She won 2,315 votes from the Estonian electorate, but was not elected to the European Parliament.
Kass is a keen chess player. She was elected president of the Estonian Chess Federation for 8 consecutive years and currently serves as a councillor. She ran a campaign for Tallinn to host the 2008 Chess Olympics; however, Dresden, Germany was chosen instead.
She is part owner of her mother agency, Baltic Models. In Estonia, Kass owns some private companies, including two real estate companies.
Kass speaks fluent Estonian and English, and is conversational in Russian and Italian.
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- "Euroopa Parlamendi valimiste tulemused Eestis". Postimees. June 14, 2004. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- Andres Vaher (24 May 2004). "Carmen Kass malepresidendi ametist: "Aga miks ka mitte?"". SL Õhtuleht. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- Kerli Nõu (1 March 2006). "Modelliagentuurid toodavad Carmen Kassile tasemel järglasi". Äripäev. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
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