Pillars of Fashion | Supermodel Marpessa Hennink

Posted by Jeffrey
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Marpessa in a 1960s Alfred Bosand gown from Shrimpton Couture, Photo by Carlos Puig Padilla.

Being that the subject just celebrated a milestone birthday, the timing seemed right to share my meet and greet with one of the true supermodels of our age. Even though I detest the moniker, Marpessa Hennink was one of the great catwalk queens of the 80’s as well as an editorial staple in fashion magazines around the world. She is most certainly one of my “pillars of fashion.”

She is as much part of the fashion dialogue as many of the great designers of that era. Ms. Hennink was a model when models were models and not coat hangers who paraded straight down a catwalk. Marpessa, as she is more known, has personality, individuality and is a great talent. She and her contemporaries actually “sold” the clothes when they took their turn on the runway. Imagine, she strutted, she smiled, she pouted, she actually could turn a 360 and shrug off a jacket or coat without a misstep and all effortlessly while taking her turn down that runway. Her ubiquitous presence will never be forgotten by those who were witness to it and she serves as a great example of why fashion became a source of entertainment as well as a business to be reckoned with.

Today, she has returned to Milan to take on the task of being the Global Ambassador for Dolce & Gabbana Alta Moda. Having had a decade’s hiatus in Ibiza, her once again presence on the international fashion scene is as ubiquitous and welcomed as ever. Those of us who have been living fashion for so long never quite retire; we just regroup and reappear in our next incarnation.

Bentornato carissima! We missed you ...let’s hear what she has to say today!

PS.. she is actually a very satisfied client of Shrimpton Couture and one reason why I get to contribute to this site as she suggested I contact Cherie afer seeing a request for writers posted on instagram where she follows Cherie!


What is the most treasured possession in your wardrobe?
My vintage Alaïa, Chanel Couture and Dolce & Gabbana runway pieces… and the first Kelly bag I gave myself when I turned 21.

What is your most sterling trait?

What is your bliss?
Taking my daughter on a surprise trip to Paris.

Where is your ideal home?
Where my heart is.

If you could not be doing your present job; what would you be doing?
Move on to the next level.

What is on your bedside table right now?
Books, magazines and a reading-lamp.

What do you wear to bed?
Depends on my mood and who I’m with.

What’s your advice to the “newcomer?”
Go for it with all your passion, be curious, flexible and keep your feet on the ground.

Who or what is your inspiration/style icon?
Diane Vreeland, Madeleine Castaing.

Who is your favorite designer or ideal subject?
Dolce & Gabbana.

In 3 words or less, describe the current state of fashion.
Evolving luxury.

If you could, would you ever approach one of your peers to employ? Who? Why?
Inés de la Fressange for her wit, class, creativity and fabulousness.

If you won a $200,000,000 power ball, what is the first thing you would buy or do?
Buy a big bottle of Ruinart champagne rosé and figure out the best way to distribute 90% to benefit abused and /or abandoned children and set aside 5% for a museum for Anna Piaggi’s archives in Milan.

If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, who would they be…dead or alive?
Antonio Lopez, Diane Vreeland, Bill Cunningham and Elsa Schiaparelli.

What is the one thing you would change about yourself?
Quit smoking.

Whose opinion do you value most?
Friends and family.

What’s your take on magazines, books versus the internet?
Can’t live without them!

What’s your music library like?
Eclectic, from disco to opera, via reggae, blues and chill-out lounge.

What and where is your favorite meal?
A simple home-cooked meal, anywhere.


Editor's note: We love Marpessa so much we put her on our September cover for the site! It's not every day we have a supermodel and designer's muse to show off! We love you Marpessa!


Candids of Marpessa in some more of her Shrimpton Couture purchases - a couture Valentino and a fabulous little 50s number!


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