Antonia Dell’Atte: a model, generous and very friendly woman
We arrived to Antonia’s house and she surprised us by throwing us the keys from the balcony so we could open the door ourselves.
Her house is very big. She cooked Italian pasta with anchovies and broccoli. Also, we ate a very nice ham.
There are lots of closets full of clothes, hers and her son’s. She knows very well how to accessorize her clothes. She has a lot of caps.
Antonia is very tall and nice. She talks a lot with Italian accent. She is very beautiful; she doesn’t need make up to look well.
She told us she worked many years as a model but she had given way to the younger a long time ago.
The interview went like this:
Clara: How long have you been working as a model?
Antonia: It’s been thirty years now. But I think another Antonia Dell’Atte should come and give way to the younger girls.
Clara: Who can substitute the famous models like Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss?
Antonia: I believe girls with strong personality should be found. Girls who know about sacrifice and are willing to do it, because it is a job that demands sacrifice and it is a hard struggle. Many people want to be a model, boys and girls, but few achieve a long career.
Quim: Where did you go on your first trip as a model?
Antonia: I like that. In my first trip as a model I went to America, to New York. In the 80s I worked a lot in New York, where I had a great time. I worked a lot, but I also had a lot of fun.
Quim: Have you been to Paris?
Antonia: Yes, I love Paris. It is the city of light. I’ve been as a model and for pleasure.
Quim: Have you been in the catwalk in Paris?
Antonia: Yes, with Jean Paul Gautier, with Dior, with Channel. Paris is a gorgeous city, but the French men…ummmmmmmmm.
Clara: How did you walk with high heels in the catwalk?
Antonia: I walked fine, but I have a big foot, a forty two, and sometimes it wasn’t very easy to find shoes for me.
Clara: How do you walk the catwalk?
You have to walk with ease, very relaxed. You don’t have to be afraid of falling. If you fall you get up. That simple.
Clara: Many models fall?
Antonia: Yes, many do, especially now that some heels are like spring boards.
Quim: Do you like Armani’s clothes?
Antonia: A lot. You must know that Giorgio Armani is the most fantastic person in the world. I like his designs as much as I like him as a person. He is a fantastic person who has done many god things, very good things.
Clara: For example?
Antonia: He has made possible that women could dress as a man and still be feminine. A woman can wear a suit and a tie and still look like a woman.
Quim: How do you manage to look so gorgeous through the years?
Antonia: I look so good because I like to eat at home, cook, have a quiet life with friends and especially, I love to sing, even if I sing off key. When I am sad, I sing. When I am happy, I sing. That way nobody knows if I am happy or sad.
Clara: But if you lose your voice you can’t sing…
Antonia: I sing even if I’ve lost my voice.
(And she started singing: “I siiiiiiiing, to sing, to always siiiinnnnnnnng”. And we laughed.)
Quim: Have you had a boyfriend?
Antonia: I’ve had some. It’s a good question.
Quim: Who are they?
Antonia: I can give you names, but you won’t recognize them because they are Italian. One was called Willie, the other Giovanni, the other Jack, which is an American name, but they are not known to the Spanish press.
Quim: Did you have a boyfriend named Conde Lequio who works on TV?
Antonia: He was not a boyfriend; he was my husband and now is my ex-husband and father of mi son Clemente. He is a person with many flaws and some problems.
Clara: Which problems?
Antonia: He is not a very good father and he likes women too much. Well, I’m not sure if he likes women or men, but it’s ok.
Quim: How long were you together?
Antonia: We were married only three years. It was very fast.
Clara: How do you choose your outfits, with bracelets, with necklaces?
Antonia: I always choose my outfits with bracelets, earrings. I love rings because I have a big hand and rings hide them. I choose outfits with a set of accessories. I also like handbags very much.
Clara: It is necessary to be tall and beautiful to be a model?
Antonia: I believe so. But there are models that are not very tall and work thanks to their personality and beauty.
Clara: People with Down syndrome could be a model?
Antonia: Why not? If they are beautiful and have personality, they sure can. Let’s hope so.
Clara: Do you know Madonna?
Antonia: Yes, I met her in Los Angeles. She is a great, great artist and a very good mother.
Quim: Where were you born?
Antonia: In a little town in south Italy.
Quim: Do you have parents?
Antonia: I have my mother. My dad died. But we are still a lot of people in our family because I have four brothers. Five with me.
Quim: Are you happy?
Antonia: I try. I believe in God and I try to follow his doctrine. Besides I’m never bored and I laugh a lot.
We left Antonia’s house loaded with bags and very happy. We know that it is not usual to leave an interview with presents, but we will always keep a magic memory of our first one. We met a woman, who is a hard worker, happy and very generous whom we will never forget.
Pictures: Mònica Vàzquez