Her daughter Lily may be in the spotlight now, with (sometimes topless) turns on the runways of Marc Jacobs and Saint Laurent, but there’s just no denying that Kristen McMenamy is still the star model of the family.
At 48, she’s been working as a model for the last 30 years–no easy feat. Still in demand for both runway and editorial, the elder McMenamy is the focus of an article in the fourth issue of Style.com/Print. There’s no mention of her daughter’s burgeoning career but there is some juicy dish about her own rise to the top in the era of Supers.
McMenamy was part of the second wave of supes that also included Kate Moss and Amber Valetta–and the original supers, like Linda Evangelista, didn’t take too kindly to being “replaced,” which lead to some amazing sounding supermodel spats.
“Kristen was a big problem with my brother at first; she was crazy!” recalls designer Donatella Versace. According to Versace, it was “like a war” anytime a new girl came on the scene, and when McMenamy arrived in the early ’90s, well, let’s just say we kinda wish fashion reality shows were around then.
“The first time they got together, it was the big girls versus the new girl,” said Versace. “I remember one time backstage, when Linda needed to go on the runway, she was about to put in her fake boobs and found one of them had been taken. ‘Where is my boob? Where’s my boob?’ she was screaming over and over. I think it was Kristen. It was always Kristen.”
Despite her flair for drama, McMenamy does have an honest, humble streak. “I need constant feeding of my self-esteem,” she said. “I am so insecure, which also makes me a great model.”
You can read more about McMenamy’s hijinks backstage and on photoshoots (including one where she was almost strangled by a boa constrictor) in the new Style.com/Print.