Carmen Kass Biography
Sun Sign: Virgo
Born in: Tallinn
Famous as: Model
father: Viktor Kass
mother: Koidu Põder
City: Tallinn, Estonia
education: Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute
Carmen Kass is an Estonian Fashion model who has dabbled in acting and politics as well as her successful super modeling career. She was discovered at the young age of 14 and was walking high end fashion show runways in Milan and Paris by the time she was 18. Throughout her career she has been featured on the covers of several fashion magazines around the world, as well as in advertising campaigns for many important fashion labels. She used her prominence as one of the richest people in Estonia to run for political office in the European Parliament, but did not win a seat. The supermodel has also had minor roles in a few films, as well as opening and closing important fashion shows for over a decade. Tall and graceful, Kass is known for her distinctive runway walk and charming gap toothed smile, but also loves to play chess in her spare time. Her father was a professor of chess and she has been romantically involved with a German chess champion; as well as being a powerful chess player in her own right. She is also a part owner of her mother’s company ‘Baltic Models’, which is the agency that helped her get the initial jobs, at the start of her career.
- Carmen Kass was born on September 14, 1978 in Tallinn, Estonia. She was raised in Mäo village and was raised by her mother. Her father, a chess teacher in Põlva, was not involved in her upbringing.
- Kass got a start in modeling from an early age when she was discovered in a supermarket by an Italian modeling scout in her native Estonia in 1992. Still a teenager, she resisted pressure to have cosmetic surgery, to change her lips.
- Kass moved to Milan and then Paris in 1996, receiving early exposure at the age of 18 on the covers of French and American ‘Vogue’ as well as many other prominent international fashion magazines.
- By 1999, Kass was already enjoying success as a runway model for high fashion brands like ‘Michael Kors’, ‘Donna Karran’ and ‘Dolce & Gabbana’, as well as opening and closing the ‘Victoria's Secret Fashion Show’ in November of that year. She also made appearances in advertisements for a wide variety of brands including ‘Gucci’, ‘Versace’, and ‘Marc Jacobs’, and appeared on the cover of ‘Harper’s Bazaar’.
- In 2000, she landed several major victories for her career. She signed a contract to be the face of ‘Christian Dior's J'adore’, won the ‘VH1/Vogue Model of the Year’ award, and was featured on Vogue's November cover alongside fellow top earning supermodel Gisele Bundchen.
- In 2002, ‘USA Today’ estimated Carmen to be the second highest earning model in the world. She opened and closed the ‘Marni’, ‘Yves St. Laurent’ and ‘Oscar de la Renta’ spring shows, as well as walking the runway for several major brands.
- When her native country of Estonia joined the ‘European Union’ in May of 2004, Kass ran for European Parliament as part of Estonia's ruling ‘Res Publica Party’. Despite receiving 2315 votes from the Estonian electorate, she was not elected.
- Like her father she plays chess, and in 2004 she was elected president of the ‘Estonian National Chess League’ and ran an unsuccessful campaign for her hometown to host the next Chess Olympics.
- In 2007 alone she picked up ten major ad campaigns for spring/summer collections and walked the runways for several notable brands including ‘Michael Kors’, where she also featured as a spokesmodel for the next four years. In addition to appearing in New York, Paris and Milan, she was featured on the covers of many prominent fashion magazines within the next several years.
- In 2008, she founded an ‘SMS’ loan company in Estonia called Credit Market. Since then the Estonian media has released an article regarding the company's financial difficulties.
- Today Kass continues to appear on fashion magazine covers and runways around the world. In 2014, she appeared on covers in Spain and Italy.
- Carmen Kass has opened and closed several prominent fashion shows for distinguished labels throughout the years. One of her early triumphs saw her opening and closing for the ‘Victoria's Secret’ show, in 1999.
- Kass's distinctive runway walk and flawless look has launched her to the top of the industry. In 2001 she was given ‘VH1/Vogue's Model of the Year Award’.
- Carmen who is one of the richest Estonians and one of the best paid models of all time has also faced severe criticism. In 2001 she was featured in a New York Times article entitled ‘I’m the Richest Girl in Estonia’ and made a cameo appearance as herself in the film 'Zoolander', which parodied the fashion industry. Apart from this, several outrageous and caricatured portrayals of her have appeared in the pop media.
- Between the years of 1998 and 2004 Kass was dating restaurant owner Richie Akiva.
- Since late 2004, she is reported to be seeing Eric Lobron, a German chess champion, after parting ways with her former fling.
- Throughout her career Carmen Kass has been one of the best paid models of all time. As of 2015, her net worth is an estimated $2 million.
- Despite her extra tall height, this famous super model has unusually small feet. She often complains of falling out of her shoes during runway shows.
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