I graduated highschool in St. Thomas and wanted to get as far away from the island as possible. The biggest, noisiest, most interesting place for me was New York City, so that’s where I headed. I got a job as a salesgirl and thought I’d take a year off before going to college to study to be a veterinarian. I was so sick of school – I just wanted to live a little! Well, to make a long story short, I got fired from my job after just a month because I wouldn’t sleep with the boss, and I got in a funk and cut off all my hair, dyed it orange, and went to the grand opening of Fiorucci’s in NYC. (this was in 1977 – the Summer of Sam, the summer of the huge heat wave, the winter it snowed buckets – and I was walking around in the snow with boots with no toes…) And at Fiorucci’s there were the Sex Pistols, fresh from England, and a ton of photographers. They thought I was a punk from England, and started taking pictures of me. Someone came up to me and asked if I were a professional model and I said no, and the person said he was an agent, and if I wanted, he would sign me up with an agency – all I had to do was come to his place the next day. I said go to Hell you pervert I wasn’t born yesterday. Turns out he was a real agent, and he signed me up with Elite. At the agency I said I’d do any work they could find for me – I’d lost my job and I needed to pay my rent, so they sent me to some jobs no one else wanted, and that’s how I came to work one day for Avedon, and the rest is history. He called Vogue to tell them to hire me – and when Richard Avedon calls vogue, they listen.
My ageny was thrilled – I was working all the time – but I wanted to travel and they sent my to London, Milan, and then to Paris. I fell in love with Paris, although it wasn’t an auspicious arrival – in the middle of a rainstorm and the taxi broke down on the highway. But the city enchanted me, and then I met my husband…and ‘voila’ as they say in French!
We met in 1979 and married in 1983, and been together ever since!