"People said I was a bitch, but I'm just straightforward. That's the only way to be. Besides that, my only diva-like feature is being late," says Carmen Kass from Estonia, in one of her most open interviews.
"I had never traveled before. I could not even dare to dream about it. Traveling was not allowed during the Soviet Union times. I hated geography at school because I thought, why should I study it if I will never be able to see it?"
A model agent found 14-year-old Carmen in the supermarket and encouraged her to move to Milan, but Carmen's mother was skeptical. However, this did not stop Carmen from opening the first steps towards the model world. She even threatened her mother into signing a visa application: "I said if you do not sign it, I'll do it myself. My brother and sister taught me to fake her signature," Carmen reveals in the interview.
"My family wasn't rich, and I always had to wear my brother's and sisters' clothes, so people were saying "Oh, her mother can't even buy this and that." You have to learn to be strong. I know who I am."
The hardest part of model work for Carmen was when a stranger is constantly touching you: "I have the ability to turn myself off and not even notice what they are doing. It helped me. And when things go wrong or I feel stupid, I forbid myself to show it. When you show it, you feel it," is the secret of the Nordic woman's strength.
But Carmen also talks about the future with brighter notes: "I want to buy a vineyard house in Italy and open a bed and breakfast. I've been looking for a long time for the right place, I have something special in my mind," she admits, but she also does not plan to throw modeling into the corner: "As long as there are offers, I'll not plan to do beauty surgeries, but if I am gray and wrinkled and someone still wants to take pictures of me, then it is cool. "