See '70s Supermodel Marie Helvin Now at 69
The fashion icon is a writer, a TV personality, and still a working model.
Each decade has its supermodels and fashion icons, and the 1970s were all about Marie Helvin, Jerry Hall, Janice Dickinson, and Pat Cleveland, to name a few. If you're curious about what it was like to be a star in that world at that time, look no further than Helvin. Now 69 years old, the supermodel has shared her life story in her autobiography and in many interviews. From her marriage to her photographer husband David Bailey to her former friendship with Hall to her relationships with major designers, the model has been candid about a lot.
And modeling isn't just a part of her past—Helvin has continued working in recent years. Read on to find out more about her life now.
She's still a working model.
In a 2019 interview with the brand Veronica Beard, Helvin said that people might be surprised to hear that she's still active in modeling. (That said, a 2022 interview with The Times pointed out that the pandemic meant less work in recent years.)
"A lot of people assume I must be enjoying life in Saint-Tropez or something," she told Veronica Beard. "While I still enjoy modeling, while I'm still successful, I'm going to continue. I've got a cut-off point in mind—I want to be back home in Hawaii by then—but let's see what happens. It seems crazy to stop, just because of age."
She did retire from one type of modeling, however.
Helvin made headlines for one of her jobs back in 2015 when she modeled for Aliza Reger's lingerie line at age 62. She decided to throw in the towel on lingerie modeling after that shoot.
"I very much doubt I will accept another lingerie job," she told the Daily Mail at the time. "This one will be my last. In your 60s it's just too much—I think I'd rather eat pizza!"
She explained of the work that goes into it, "It's my job. Lingerie modeling is extremely difficult to do and it's stressful at my age. It takes a great deal of work to maintain a good silhouette: I train like an athlete."
She's taken on other work, too.
In addition to modeling, Helvin has also been a writer and TV personality. She wrote Catwalk: The Art of Model Style in 1985 and Bodypure: Your Complete Detox Programme for Health and Beauty in 1995. Her memoir, Marie Helvin: The Autobiography, was published in 2007.
As for TV, Helvin was a judge on Britain's Next Top Model in 2005. She also hosted a special about her birthplace called Marie Helvin's Tokyo.
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She's opened up about her personal life.
Helvin was married to Bailey from 1975 to 1985, and they were frequent collaborators. He often photographed her.
"You know, we were both young at the time of our marriage and we both did some things right and some things wrong," she told the Daily Mail in 2015. "It was such a long time ago and I feel only fondness and respect for him today."
Now, she's happy being single. "Of course I hope for love to come into my life," she said. But added, "I love my single life. There are times when I need solitude. For me, the perfect relationship is not living together and not seeing each other all the time!"
She has also talked about being childless by choice.
"When I was with Bailey, I thought he was cool with that. But I think now he was in denial," she told the Daily Mail in 2008. She also said she "still wouldn't have had them" if she knew Bailey wanted kids. "My mum and dad found the business of raising four kids a nightmare," she continued. "I don't regret it. I could never be a mother."
She loves to travel.
In her Veronica Beard interview, Helvin said that, despite her job, she'd rather use her money to travel than spend it on clothing.
"I'm the kind of person who likes going off the beaten track," she said. "You will never, ever find me in Saint-Tropez—that's my idea of hell. I'm drawn to the more unusual. The last time I was in Greenland, I went to the place where the glacier that hit the Titanic came from. The silence was so loud, just deafening in a bizarre way. It was extraordinary. People have this idea of me as a glamour-puss, but, no, I'd rather trek across Greenland."