CAR­RIE BERKEY

The salt-of-the-earth fash­ion model and our sum­mer cover star be­lieves beauty comes with con­fi­dence, and time.

Simply You - - Cover Star -

“Fun is my ev­ery­thing,”

says Car­rie Berkey, our cover star with the in­fec­tious smile. “I truly think the key to beauty is be­ing happy.”

The 47-year-old mother of five says although she feels amaz­ing in the here and now, it’s taken her a while to feel com­fort­able in her own skin.

Car­rie has been mod­el­ling since she was scouted in her home town of Beaver­creek, Ohio, at the age of 18. “I some­times wish to go back in time and take the con­fi­dence I have now and see what that would be like,” she says. “I’m hap­pier and at peace with my­self and it’s an awe­some feel­ing. I feel you can do any­thing bet­ter when you feel amaz­ing.”

A tomboy when she be­gan her ca­reer, Car­rie still found her foot­ing in the fash­ion in­dus­try, work­ing in the fash­ion cap­i­tals of New York, Mi­lan and Paris and be­yond, for lead­ing brands in­clud­ing Chanel, Mis­soni and Ralph Lau­ren. Gior­gio Ar­mani, how­ever, was her favourite de­signer to work with: “I spent a lot of time with him… he spoilt me!”

While mod­el­ling around the world, along­side top mod­els, ac­tors and mu­si­cians, was an in­tense ex­pe­ri­ence, Car­rie says it was also lib­er­at­ing. “I felt free and en­joyed meet­ing new peo­ple and trav­el­ling,” she says. “I felt grate­ful for ev­ery job and ex­pe­ri­ence I had.”

The model knew she’d made it when she walked down the street in her adopted city of New York one day and saw her face on al­most ev­ery mag­a­zine on the news stands, not to men­tion the bill­boards be­hind. An­other break­through mo­ment came at a Su­per Bowl view­ing party, where her cam­paign for Os­car de la Renta per­fume was launched in an ad break dur­ing the game, the most-watched US sports event of the year. “That was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence,” she re­flects. “I hadn’t told any­one, and af­ter it played it was fun to hear ev­ery­one’s re­sponses!”

Eleven years ago, Car­rie moved to Wanaka with her fam­ily. Two of her chil­dren, Lucy (19) and Ben (18), are now

away at univer­sity and she lives with her three youngest, Bridget (16), Henry (13) and Josie (11), who share their mod­ern prop­erty on the hills of Mt Barker with a horse, sheep, two dogs, a cat, a bird, fish and a black lop bunny.

Car­rie is liv­ing the re­sort-town dream, hik­ing, bik­ing, snow­board­ing, wa­ter­ski­ing, wakesurf­ing, play­ing bas­ket­ball, and boat­ing with her chil­dren. Most of these ac­tiv­i­ties are lit­er­ally in her back­yard, or just be­yond. Her home, over­look­ing the town and lake, in­cludes a pool, bas­ket­ball court, slack­line, and a vol­ley­ball and net­ball set-up. When it’s time for rest, the home is as cosy as you’d ex­pect, com­plete with woollen throws and pil­lows from the Wil­son & Dorset bou­tique down the road.

It hasn’t been all high-fash­ion and small-town sweet­ness for Car­rie, though. She’s been through a di­vorce and a bro­ken neck. She’s also been the sup­port for her chil­dren, one of whom has over­come cancer. “Be­ing a mother has had its ups and downs, but my kids have shaped me into a bet­ter per­son. Be­cause of them, I’ve re­alised I needed to dig deeper and do bet­ter for their sake,” she says. “These lifetest­ing mo­ments have made me stronger.”

While her home is far from the world’s fash­ion cap­i­tals, Car­rie loves work­ing in New Zealand, even help­ing to put on lo­cal fash­ion shows, and is of­ten flown about for work through her agency, Unique.

When she’s not on set or pool­side with Sim­ply You, the model’s off-duty style is ca­sual and com­fort­able – her favourite la­bel is merino-made Mons Royale.

Af­ter al­most 30 years of mak­ing de­signer gar­ments look their best, Car­rie has learnt that the se­cret to look­ing good in her own clothes is to keep things easy. “I feel sexy in sim­ple, sleek cloth­ing – not too much makeup, but an amaz­ing per­fume.”

Car­rie’s beauty regime is equally downto-earth. “I try and get plenty of rest, ex­er­cise and drink lots of wa­ter,” she says.

The model’s new mantra to help her suc­ceed is: “I am strong, I am beau­ti­ful and I can do any­thing.” We think it’s work­ing.

“Be­ing a mother has had its ups and downs, but my kids have shaped me into a bet­ter per­son.”

Dress, $895, by Yvonne Ben­netti. Ear­rings, $44,100, and ring, $37,500, by Par­tridge Jewellers. Pat­terned pool tiles, from Mid­dle Earth Tiles.

From the ar­chives: Sim­ply You cover star Car­rie Berkey shares some of her mod­el­ling work from New York in the 1990s.

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