- May 11, 2012
Eesti EkspressA girl from Kehra who has been raised by her grandmother since the age of five is separated from the top spot of the fashion world only by six girls.
Curly haired and big, a bit ufo-ish eyed Karmen was a restless child. Enthusiastically, she ran around the small and safe Kehra but the most brisk actions took place at her granny's doll corner. She could spend hours there. Karmen changed the clothes of the dolls, with the help of her grandma they always sewed the new clothes. It was interesting to see how changing the clothes almost gave you a whole new doll.
Later, the dolls were replaced with the animals - Karmen put the clothes on to all their pet cats and dogs, photographed them and put the photos to the albums.
Just the same happens to herself right now.
When Karmen was five, her mother died and Karmen and her doll collection moved to her grandmother's place. Granny gave Karmen a doll stroller and still in the elementary school, Karmen used to walk around with her doll stroller.
That's how Karmen's granny, an Estonian and literature teacher of Kehra school who has been in this position for 50 years, remembers Karmen's childhood.
In school, teacher Pedaru is known as a big fan of theater who always took kids to the theater - as for now, Mrs. Pedaru has seen the ballet "Swan lake" for 25 times.
Grandmother used to take her grandchild Karmen with her to the theater - until one day they happened to be in the same theater with Estonian model agent Margit Jõgger. During the break, Jõgger came to Karmen and asked if she would be interested in modeling.
Karmen said she was. And even though her granny felt a guilt at the beginning because Karmen got into the business and was sad as Karmen only finished the 10th grade in school, she now doesn't regret a thing. We can think that maybe Karmen's grandmother's big passion for theater was a push that helped Karmen to become a face of Michael Kors and Gucci, that her face helps to sell Hugo Boss's products and Jimmy Choos perfumes. And now she's also the face of Mango.
And that her 5 feet 11 grandchild is a number seven model in the world. The most desired Estonian.
Weddings in Rome
Last year, in December 14th, Elo-Mai Pedaru and Karmen's father, Teet, stand together in a modest wedding ceremony of Karmen and her Italian boyfriend Riccardo Ruini, in Rome. After the registration, when grandmother went to Karmen's home, it was full of tulips, roses and orchids - all sent by Karmen's employers. Grandmother felt as if she was in a luxorious flower store.
Grandmother believes that Karmen's success is accomplished by a tremendous willpower. As before meeting Jõgger, Karmen couldn't care less about lipstick. She was a dedicated sports chick.
In the 5th grade Karmen got excited by sports and started soccer ball, handball and basket ball trainings. Karmen was a goalkeeper of Kehra's football club Piraaja and was chosen to an U19 national team.
"Karmen's life went between the trainings. In the weekends she went to competitions. She has long legs and she did good in running" her granny says. Karmen trained in a county level running competitions and got 30-40 medals, she took all of them to New York with her.
Grandmother describes how Karmen gave everything in 100 or 400m run - she had to get the medal! She whether died trying but she had to get the prize.
Then came rollerskating and usual skating, but her feet keep growing and there was always a need for new shoes. Karmen used to ride a bike and during the summers she kept herself fit with swimming. Her granny says that Karmen is a good swimmer. During the summer and breaks from competitions she swimed all the time, there are three swimming spots near their house.
And when a sports girl like Karmen made it to the runways, she stood out among the other skinny girls with her very muscular body. Karmen was reprimanded because of her "too muscular arms". When you look at the photos of Michael Kors' latest campaign you can notice Karmen's "too fit arms".
Karmen confesses to Ekspress that she doesn't too sports anymore, she only goes running from time to time. She has a "lucky body" because she doesn't have problems with weight and she stays slim without starving. She eats lots of fruit, vegetables and fish, very little meat and she loves Japanese and Indian cuisines. Karmen says that after a party she can be a bit swollen, which she says is quite normal.