In case you were a little distracted when Christie Brinkley graced the cover of Sports Illustrated a couple of years ago, at 63, it might be surprising to hear the supermodel is eligible for Medicare.
As for how she’s spending her 65th birthday this Saturday? According to Brinkley, who’s not only the record holder for longest-ever CoverGirl contract but also a stealth lifestyle mogul worth an estimated $250 million, she’s scarcely had time to give it any thought.
In fact, she says, if it weren’t for her kids repeatedly asking her the same thing, she might not have had time to think about it at all. “I’m so busy right now that I really couldn’t make up a plan. And my kids kept saying, ‘Mom what do you want to do? What should we do? Should we go skiing, or what?’ ”
What they settled on, she notes, is having two of her adult children attend a work-related party being given in her honor this week, then spending a quieter Saturday at home in the Hamptons. (Her tip for never having a truly empty nest? “It’s all about the real estate. Get a place on a ski mountain or a beach, and they come home,” she half-jokes.)
The birthday fun will extend into next week, too, when her youngest daughter, Sailor Lee Brinkley-Cook, 20, flies in from Australia. “She has a couple of jobs here, so she’s coming back for that,” says the proud mom of her daughter’s recently launched modeling career — one Brinkley finds “exciting” to watch, and one she can’t help but compare to her own. “We’re so much alike in so many ways.”
As in, the blond mane? The insane cheekbones? No, she says, as in, the “hesitation.” Having moved to Paris at 18 to attend art school, Brinkley was famously discovered on the street by a photographer and booked, over a series of rapid-fire transatlantic meetings and lunches, by arguably the biggest modeling house going. But as she tells is, speed did not equal certitude.
“When I started my career, I was a very reluctant model. Like, it was not part of my plan. I really didn’t like so many things about the idea of it, you know? And she’s doing the exact same thing. She’s, like, ‘No, no, I’m not really a model. I’m going to be a photographer.’ And I was doing the same thing. I was saying, ‘I’m going to be an artist.’ ”