“Age is just a number. It is totally irrelevant,” famously quipped Joan Collins, “unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine.” Proving that beauty traverses all ages, stylist, model and creator of cult skincare line RODIN, Linda Rodin, is currently experiencing something of a renaissance for her refined personal style and platinum do. Most recently starring in Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s latest The Row campaign, the lifelong New Yorker and self-confessed Italophile takes a moment out from shooting in Miami to talk the changing face of New York and the inherent grace of her dog Winky with Indigo Clarke.
Hello Linda, how are you and where are you at the moment?
Linda Rodin: Hi, I’m well. I live in New York City, which is always inspiring. At the moment I am in Miami working.
What are you working on? It must be nice to escape the New York snow – is Miami a place you particularly enjoy visiting?
Rodin: I’m working on a TV shoot, but I'm not a huge fan of Miami. It is a nice place to work due to the weather and the proximity. It's only a three-hour flight from NYC.
Have you always called New York home?
Rodin: I’ve lived in New York for 35 years, and I live in Chelsea. I have been here almost my entire life so I think I take it for granted now. But I do always love coming home from wherever I've been. I moved to New York City from Roslyn, Long Island, which is 35 minutes away from Manhattan, when I was 18. I moved in with my sister to an adorable apartment on Irving Place. At 19, I moved to Italy for three years, and then back to New York.
What do you love most about it - and anything you don't like?
Rodin: I have a love-hate relationship with the city. I'm addicted to the pace, the few beautiful places that still remain, but it's a noisy city and not the cleanest. And it’s changing way too fast for me. If I go away for a week, I come back and my local shoemaker is gone. My small coffee shop is gone. Facades of beautiful old buildings torn down and replaced with ugly and modern stuff. New York City has become a mall in many neighbourhoods, an overwhelming number of banks and Duane Reade drugstores. Very sad. I miss my New York.
You’re a self-confessed Italophile and spent time in Italy as a teen – it must have been amazing to be there during the 1960s and 70s…
Rodin: I moved to Italy when I was 18 years old, I went there so I could learn the language. After six months I decided to stay. I fell in love with the people, the beauty of the country and the sense of independence – I felt I was on my own for the first time.
As someone that has worked in the fashion world for many years, has your idea of beauty changed over the years?
Rodin: Yes. I appreciate the more classic and timeless things that appear in fashion. Designs and people that have a history behind them.
It's exciting that you are the face of the latest The Row campaign - it's great when a fashion brand chooses a role model rather than simply a model to represent them. What was it like to work with the Olsen's on this campaign?
Rodin: It was wonderful. The Row makes the most exquisite and chic clothing. They found me, and I was so honored that they got in touch. Mary-Kate and Ashley are fantastic. They are so creative, professional, charming and interesting. They have a wonderful way about them: they are very respectful and so focused. I enjoyed every minute of the experience working with them.
You've done so many things in your career so far - modeling, styling, launching a skincare line – how would you describe your career trajectory and the best things that have happened along the way?
Rodin: Everything that has happened is the result of a lot of hard work and meeting interesting and like-minded people along the way.
With a career that is continually evolving, how would you describe what you do?
Rodin: That's a very difficult question. First I always try to be creative, in whatever I do. So in that respect, my product line and my styling keep me on my toes all the time.
Is there anything you still dream of doing?
Rodin: Moving to Italy
What is your all-time favourite: Author, book, song, artwork, food?
Rodin: It’s very difficult to narrow these categories down! Favourite author is Henry James, and my favourite book is The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. Music: Bob Dylan and The Beatles, Duke Ellington, Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holliday, Carlos garden. Artwork: anything by Matisse, Cezanne, Francis bacon, Van Gogh. My favourite people are my family and dear friends, and my doggie Winky. Favourite food: anything fresh and organic.
What does the term 'grace' mean to you? And who do you see as perfectly embodying 'grace'?
Rodin: Oh my. The most graceful thing I can think of is my beautiful dog Winky. Grace also comes from people who are kind and warm. This is the meaning of grace to me.
What is your greatest achievement?
Rodin: I don't know. Maybe it is yet to happen.
What do you enjoy doing most?
Rodin: My most joyful moments are spent at an isolated beach collecting sea shells. Or at a flea market. Or at home with my dog reading a great book.