By Jaclyn Pelopida | Photos and video by Valencio Small
A lover of bacon, interior design magazines, and a really good book, Carolyn Van Petten describes herself as being a typical Libra; artsy and liberal. When asked what other job besides modeling she would choose to do, Petten knows exactly how to answer. “I would be an interior designer. I’m obsessed with furniture, textiles, and objects,” she said.
Petten has been a professional model for more than 20 years. She was born and raised in Boston, M.A., which was where her modeling and actor career first began. She has since worked all over the world including New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Paris, Milan, and London. “I’m always up for a road trip!” said Petten.
CVP: My best friend forced me to get some pictures taken. I was super shy and didn’t know anything about the industry then, so it took me a few years to really get rolling.
TS: What was the last modeling/acting job that you did?
CVP: A fit modeling job for Rebecca Minkoff in NYC.
TS: Describe your sense of style and what it says about you and your personality?
CVP: In the winter, I’m more of a minimalist – black mostly. I’m more ethnically inspired in the summer.
CVP: You would probably see me wearing jeans, such as dark denim, with a black cashmere sweater, and either black biker boots or sexy heels, depending on the weather.
TS: What article of clothing do you currently have in your closet that makes you look and feel your best?
CVP: My new Valentino boots. They’re black with gold studs, perfect.
TS: Who is your favorite clothing designer?CVP: There is no way I could pick just one! My favorites are: Balenciaga, Yves St. Laurent, Prada, Chloe, Marni, Dries Van Noten, Yojhi Yamamoto, Stella McCartney, Fendi, and Tom Ford.
TS: What fashion trends do you like/dislike the most?
CVP: I really dislike the 80s. Ugh. I hate the big hair and shoulder pads. I don’t like the silhouettes either. I would have to say my favorite era was the 70s.
Petten has been featured in numerous magazine editorials, advertising campaigns and catalogs, and has strutted down scores of catwalks. She specializes in fit modeling for fashion designers, is a current member of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Actors), and has worked the past year on half a dozen feature films. She was also a realtor for eight years, and even started a photography education program with her husband called “Big Shot Workshops.”
TS: What outdoor physical activities do you enjoy the most?
CVP: I would say I enjoy biking the most; it’s so much more enjoyable for me than running.
TS: Best vacation/travel experience?
CVP: Sailing in the Greek Islands.
TS: What magazine do you find yourself reading the most?
CVP: Elle Decor.
TS: What’s your favorite TV show of all time?
CVP: ’Inside the Actor’s Studio’ with Jim Lipton. It keeps me motivated and inspired.
TS: What’s your favorite movie of all time?
CVP: Probably ‘Casablanca.’ It’s got it all – danger, romance, intrigue – and the lighting is amazing!
TS: What is your favorite drink?
CVP: Coffee before 6:00 p.m. and white wine after 6:00 p.m.
TS: What type of coffee do you prefer? Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts?
CVP: Definitely Dunkin Donuts.
TS: Which season do you prefer?
CVP: Definitely Summer.
TS: What is your dream car?
CVP: The new Tesla Model X, black.
TS: What would you do with your first million if you made it big as a model/actor?
CVP: I would take a long vacation – perhaps Italy, or maybe Greece again? Pay off credit cards and buy a real estate investment property.
TS: What the biggest piece of advice you have for other up and coming models/actors out there?
CVP: Stay in school. Get a degree and save your money – modeling doesn’t last forever, and acting may not either. Also, develop other interests because you need a Plan B.