29 Apr Lauren Hutton ~ A Woman with Presence
Mary Laurence “Lauren” Hutton (born November 17, 1943) is an American model and actress. Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina Hutton relocated to New York City in her early adulthood to begin a modeling career. Though she was initially dismissed by agents for a signature gap in her teeth, Hutton signed a modeling contract with Revlon in 1973, which at the time was the biggest contract in the history of the modeling industry.
Over her career, Hutton has worked both as a model and an actress, making her film debut in the sports drama Paper Lion in 1968, opposite Alan Alda. She also played central roles in The Gambler (1974) and American Gigolo (1980), and later appeared on television in the network series Paper Dolls and Nip/Tuck. The following year, Hutton’s late-night talk show for Turner Original Production, Lauren Hutton and…, debuted and ran until 1997. Hutton’s partner at the time, Luca Babini, was the director, set designer and post-production supervisor of the talk show, and the couple founded Lula Productions as part of their arrangement with the Turner media company. Hutton appeared in her first feature film in two decades with the 2009 release of The Joneses, in which she starred alongside David Duchovny and Demi Moore.
Hutton has continued to model in her seventies, appearing in numerous advertising campaigns for H&M, Lord and Taylor, and Alexander Wang, and performed on the runway for Tom Ford‘s spring 2012 collection, as well as for Bottega Veneta at the 2016 New York Fashion Week.
After the war, Hutton’s mother divorced her father in 1945, and she relocated to Miami, and later, Tampa, Florida. Hutton spent the remainder of her early life in Tampa, not knowing her father, who died June 24, 1956 from a heart attack at age 37. He was working as a Farm Editor for The Cotton Trade Journal, living in Shelby, Tennessee with his second wife, Mary Elizabeth (Everette) Hutton. He is buried at Oxford Memorial Cemetery, in Oxford, Mississippi. “Never meeting my father was the most painful thing in my life,” Hutton said in 1996. “I look just like him and I’m named for him, but all I have are these two books of his letters and drawings from the war. The day of my birth he wrote and told me about our ancestors, what he thought was important in the world, what books I should read and what he wanted for me.” She attended Newcomb College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1964.
Hutton returned to New York by herself in the mid 1960s, changed her name to “Lauren Hutton”, and embarked on a career as a model. She was advised by agents to hide the gap in her teeth and tried using morticians’ wax to cover the gap; she later used a cap to hide it, which she would often swallow, laugh out, or misplace. Hutton eventually retained this “imperfection” and the All Movie Guide stated that it “gave her on-camera persona a down-home sensibility that other, more ethereal models lacked.” She continued to book modeling jobs, and appeared in a Chanel advertisement in 1968, photographed by Richard Avedon.
In 1973, Hutton signed a contract with Revlon cosmetics, worth US$250,000 a year for 20 days’ work (equivalent to $1,530,000 in 2021), a professional relationship that lasted for 10 years. At the time, it was the biggest contract in the history of the modeling industry. Hutton’s initial contract with Revlon involved representation of the Ultima II brand. Twenty years later, she signed a new contract with Revlon to be the spokeswoman for Results, a collection of corrective moisturizing treatments. Her contract with Revlon garnered Hutton further modeling work, and she became a “cover girl,” appearing on the front cover of Vogue a record 28 times.
In 1988, she appeared in a campaign for Barneys New York, and in 1993, performed as a runway model for designer Calvin Klein, to which The New York Times responded by publishing an article stating that Hutton was “just as good as the current flock of fledglings.” In 1997, Hutton became a brand ambassador and appeared in multiple advertising campaigns for the Australian department store David Jones; in 2001, she was replaced by Megan Gale.
In 1999, Hutton was presented on the November Millennium cover of American Vogue as one of the “Modern Muses”. Following her recovery from a motorcycle accident in 2000, she became the spokeswoman for her own signature brand of cosmetics, “Lauren Hutton’s Good Stuff”, a line of cosmetic products for mature women. The brand was sold primarily in the USA, but was also available through secondary distribution channels throughout Europe and South America.
In October 2005, Hutton was interviewed on ABC‘s Good Morning America program in relation to the future release of an edition of Big magazine that was entirely dedicated to Hutton’s career and included eight pages of nude photos. Hutton agreed to pose nude for the feature, titled “Lauren Hutton: The Beautiful Persists”, when she was 61 years old, and explained to GMA: Her message was to women – do not to be ashamed of who they are when they’re in bed. Society has told us to be ashamed … The really important thing is to not listen to a 2,000-year-old patriarchal society.
Hutton, who is supposedly one of four women offered US$1 million by Larry Flynt to pose nude, also explained that she first sought permission from her 14 godchildren, who told her the photographs would be “inspirational”.
A third-party licensing brand of the Jim Henson Company, Henson Independent Properties (HIP), entered into an agreement with Hutton in November 2010 to act as the global licensing agent for her merchandising program. Targeted at women over 40 years of age, the brand launched products such as eyewear, handbags, and luggage, and home décor, globally in 2012. HIP’s senior vice president at the time referred to Hutton as a “trailblazer” in the press release. Hutton was also a guest judge on the fashion designer reality television show Project Runway in 2010, also appearing in advertisements for J. Crew the same year.
In 2011, Hutton walked the runway for Tom Ford‘s spring 2012 collection, and was selected as the house model for the Alexis Bittar jewelry brand. Designer Alexis Bittar, a recipient of the CFDA Accessory Designer of the Year award, personally selected Hutton after choosing Joan Collins for the previous year. Hutton stated that Bittar’s jewelry is “like art and still doesn’t look like anything I have ever seen.” Her photos for the campaign were shot by Jack Pierson. Hutton then appeared alongside people such as actress Shuya Chang and Annie Lennox‘s daughter Tali Lennox in the spring 2011 ad campaign for the Club Monaco retail brand. The lookbook was photographed by Ryan McGinley, the youngest photographer to be featured in the Whitney Museum of American Art at the time of the Club Monaco shoot.
In 2015, She appeared in a campaign title “Do Something” by designer Alexander Wang, alongside Rod Stewart and Kate Moss and was featured in Tod’s Timeless Icons retrospective in 2016. She was also featured in H&M‘s fall 2016 video campaign alongside Hari Nef. In 2016 for Milan Fashion Week, Hutton walked the runway for Bottega Veneta‘s Spring 2017 show.
Hutton was involved in a 27-year-long relationship with her manager Bob Williamson, who died in 1997. Williamson squandered some US$13 million of her money. Hutton later explained that he had saved her life on five occasions and made sure that she “didn’t get seduced by the work.” She spoke of a void that Williamson filled: I didn’t have a father, and I wanted to be a child with a protector. I’d never seen a shrink, and there was a psychological situation that clearly needed to be addressed. But, you know, I wanted to see the world and how people lived and think about who are we, how are we, why is the world? And Bob did that for me. Once he was gone, she went back to work modeling and made more money that she has kept for her life adventures; estimated net worth today is 20 million. Lauren has not chosen a steady boyfriend figure in her life since 2000.
In October 2000, Hutton joined a motorbike group, which included actors Dennis Hopper, Laurence Fishburne and Jeremy Irons, to celebrate “The Art of the Motorcycle” exhibit at the Hermitage-Guggenheim museum in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prior to the journey, Hutton informed the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “I love the feeling of being a naked egg atop that throbbing steel. You feel vulnerable—but so alive.” En route, Hutton crashed near Hoover Dam, on the border between the US states of Arizona and Nevada, going over 100 miles (160 km) per hour, and suffered multiple leg fractures, a fractured arm, broken ribs and sternum, and a punctured lung. Hopper later recalled from before the start of the ride: “She had on a little helmet, sort of tied under her chin. It was cute. And Jeremy [Irons] came up to her and said, ‘You got to be kidding.’ He took it off her and gave her a proper helmet.”
Hutton is the original vice-president of the Guggenheim Museum Motorcycle Club, and, in 2003, was a board member of the National Museum of Women in Arts in Washington, D.C., US.
In July 2013, Hutton revealed that she was in the process of writing her memoir, which may be titled Smile, and also explained the value of traveling and exploration in her life thus far: “whenever I came back from Africa or the Antarctic, head swelling with the beauty of it all, I found I was loving life again. You look different because of everything that has gone on inside of you…” Her Becoming Sar’h series of books were released beginning in 2017.
She has lived in NoHo in Manhattan in New York City. As of 2004, Hutton resided mainly in Taos, New Mexico, where she owns a prefab steel home and is currently single.
Lauren stays a private person and continues to lead a life of adventure. Did she ever write a memoir? We are not clear on that. She does model and walk the runway for top designers. Lauren also scuba dives, travels, and provides the best advice for life is to LOVE as many people as you possibly can.
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