My interview with the lovely Linda Rodin for Salle Privée.
Meet Linda Rodin: a self-proclaimed Italophile and the epitome of her skin care line Rodin Olio Lusso. After a long career in the fashion industry, enjoying a brief stint as a model in the ’60s with Twiggy and stylist for the likes of Harper’s Bazaar, Adriana Lima and Madonna, Rodin started her eponymous skincare line in 2008 by accident, creating a cult following with her famous body oils from flowers and botanicals.
Good morning Linda, thank you for taking time in your tight schedule. We’ve heard that your work is pretty intense and that you were travelling.
“Yes, I was. We were facing difficulties in the production process with a new product so I had to take care of that. This morning I had a photo shoot with a new company who’s working with beautiful cardigans and I was responsible for my own styling.”
Could you describe a normal day at work?
“I start with a cappuccino, that’s my engine. And a dog walk – he’s first! We walk to the corner where there is this little crêpe place that a lovely Russian guy owns and he makes these delicious crêpes. I never have one but I stand there and get my coffee and watch everybody else eating these yummy things, but I can’t really eat that in the morning. After that I go to the factory or to a photo shoot to work as a model or stylist, nothing editorial, only advertising. “
You’re a former model, fashion editor, stylist and founder of Rodin Olio Lusso skincare. Why the interest in the fashion- , and now the beauty industry?
“When I was a kid I always gravitated towards fashion, I liked things that were elegant. My mother was kind of a fashion fancier.It just came across as a natural thing due to my parents and my life. During my period of work as a model I couldn’t find the products that I like, so I decided to try to make them myself. And one thing led to another and I came up with Rodin.”
The theory behind your beauty line is: “If I like it, then somebody else is going to like it.”It sounds very simple but also quite ambitious?
“The thing is: I never made it for anybody else but myself. So I was actually surprised that so many people loved it, which made it so special to me too. I never relied on anybody else. People just loved what I was doing. If I don’t like it, I’m not going make it.”
Could you share with us your background, what were your parents like for instance? Did your mother or father share the same feeling towards style and beauty?
“I come from a creative family. My mother was very stylish and creative. She was an interior decorator and owned a little antique shop. My father was a dentist but also very creative in his own way, he would love to paint for instance. My brother was an architect and my sister was a photographer, so the environment was very stimulating. “
Which memories do you cherish the most looking back on your childhood?
“Oh my, all of them! I had a very nice childhood. I was blessed to travel so much and discover many different cultures, countries and people. I especially cherish good memories of Italy. When I was 18, I moved there, met Twiggy, and modeled there. I learned Italian and traveled all over the country for more than three years. I’m a total Italophile, and I adore speaking the language. That trip changed my life. I’m very fortunate.”
Could you share with us your favorite places in Rome?
“Last time I visited Rome I stayed with friends and we didn’t go out in the city, we stayed more on the countryside. I love its nature: the food, the language and of course its museums. Campo Dei Fuori is one of my favorite places to visit. “
What are your favorite stores in New York?
“I like the little shop on the lower side of New York like Creatures of comfort, Maryam Nassir Zaheb, Warm and Gabriella de la Vega.”
On Mother’s Day you will launch ‘Rodin Bis’, the newest scent in your beauty line. It’s a re-creation of the way your mother smelled. How would you describe your memory off her and that specific scent?
“My mother had that smell which was a mixture of her powder puff, lipstick which used to have this intoxicating smell in the 1950s, not anymore, a bit of toasted sugar with a touch of black pepper, juicy fruit gum and whiffs of tobacco because of her smoking during the days. It’s just my verbal memory to her, I cannot really put it into words. For me it’s really evocative of my mother and that period of time in the 50’s. She was a big inspiration to me. Nowadays nothing smells that classic anymore.”
How has your style evolved over the years?
“In a funny way, I think I’m pretty much the same (laughs)! I’ve always been a jeans girl. I’ve always had the same exact silhouette: thin legs so I can wear tight pants: dark and white denim with a man’s shirt. It hasn’t changed that much. I used to wear a lot of vintage when I was younger and now I rarely buy vintage clothes, only to look at it mostly, though I love to visit flea markets. Concerning designer labels are Miu Miu and Céline my favorites due to their simplicity and originality. “
There’s a whole new movement of upcoming elderly models like Daphne Selfe ( 81), Jenni Rhodes (82) and Carmen Dell’Orefice. You’re the face of the new campaign for The Row. Can you explain this trend?
“I have never seen it as a business, or me being in style, embracing my older age.It’s lucky for me (laughs)!It’s kind of funny. We have been around forever and now suddenly it’s a ‘trend’, like earlier the Japanese models, and before that models that looked like Abbey Lee. Trends come and go and when a trend becomes a classic it’s a whole different story. But it would be nice if we could stay around a bit (laughs)!
Read my whole interview on Salle Privée
Images: courtesy of Linda Rodin and Blogsight