The nineties ushered in a new aesthetic showcasing the uniqueness and individuality of models. Audrey Marnay burst onto the fashion scene; a modern Audrey Hepburn, gamine, slight and lending a je ne sais quoi to everything she did. Noted among other models for her sense of humor, Audrey was a favorite of photographer Steven Meisel and designers of the time.
Nowadays Audrey can be found lending her voice to charitable organizations including Les Enfants de Bam and spending time with her own family.
You started your career as a model. Is the rumor true you got into modeling so that you could earn money to buy a bicycle?
Indeed it is true. I wanted to get a moped. I lived in the countryside with my parents and I needed to have a mode of transportation that could get me to the big city to go to the cinema and see friends. Instead, I moved to New York and bought myself a car at 18; my first child, a Mercedes Benz 280SL Pagoda from the 70’s.
What were the most memorable moments about your career?
There have been a lot. My favorite designer, as a teen, was Jean Paul Gaultier and I got to walk as the bride in his couture show. I was so emotional that I was crying while walking. Going to the White House for Annie Lebowitz’s book launch Women and meeting Bill and Hillary Clinton and walking in the Michael Kors runway show in Los Angeles on Steven Spielberg tennis court.
What did you discover about yourself through modeling?
I discovered a passion for clothes and luxurious fabrics. I knew I already loved clothes but it became amplified. I started modeling when I was 15 so modeling shaped my life. It gave me ideas about jobs that don’t get talked about in school as options for your future.
In addition to modeling you’ve acted and worked as a stylist. What do you find the most rewarding and why?
I love to try new things but always with a common thread among them. I designed for Claudie Pierlot for a year in 2010. It was fantastic. I chose fabrics and sketched, although I draw like a kid they had professionals to help me. Acting felt like a continuation of modeling in the sense I always played roles in magazines stories, so I was a silent actress. Today I am having fun with my YouTube Channel where I can express what I want and give to the people who watch. It’s rewarding; I am doing it alone, building my little world and being in charge of it.
Tell us about how you became involved with Les Enfants de Bam.
I discovered them in 2010, through my kid’s school. I always wanted to help but was never able to choose from all the many causes. I went to Burkina Faso to be sure we were helping and it was the most magical moment of my life. When we went to visit they felt so happy just knowing someone was thinking about them it made their day.
What does your role as a sponsor involve?
I try to find ways to raise money. I created a cocktail for the Bristol Hotel in Paris. I worked with Bonpoint, Chevignon, designed a bracelet for Etername and created one bag a year with Sous Les Paves and sold them at Colette and Montaigne Market. I’m fortunate they have been so kind and generous enough to help us.
How can people get involved with Les Enfants de Bam?
There is one simple thing you can do; sponsor a child. Our family sponsors one student each and we receive letters from them through the year.
What would people be surprised to learn about yourself?
It’s hard to say. I cook, I drive fast cars, I have three children and I love photography.