Mom Muse | Micheline Etkin
It’s hard to find a woman with a bigger heart and more compassion for children around the world than Micheline Etkin. This supermodel and mom of three has made it her mission to give as many children as she can reach a better life.
Born in Lebanon, and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Micheline started modeling for Elite Models at 30 years old after she’d had her three children (Jimmie, Caroline and Richard — now adults) while living in Rio. Interestingly enough, she shared with us that she never actually wanted to be a model. In fact, Micheline used to feel out of place with her height in Brazil and would cry to her mother to find a way to make her shorter when she reached 5 ft. 8 in. tall at 12 years old.
Photo Credit: Michael Franco.
Micheline with her daughter Caroline on the left and daughter-in-law Gina.
Her modeling career has taken her to 42 countries (wow!) and Micheline lived in Paris for a time before moving to the United States and Arizona. This world traveller speaks five languages and can’t imagine life without travel, especially to Brazil. Carnaval in Rio is must-attend event whenever her schedule allows!
From print to runway, Micheline has done it all and has been featured in ad campaigns in major publications, such as Vogue and Vanity Fair. The list of designers she has worked with and modeled for in runway shows is impressive, including the late Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Michael Casey, Escada, St. John, Badgley Mischka, and Monique Lhuillier, to name a few. Recently, for the Golden Globes, a dress was designed especially for her by designer Galia Lahav and dubbed the “Micheline.”
Micheline in the “Micheline” gown at the 2014 Golden Globes with her son Richard, daughter Caroline and husband Dr. Bruce Etkin. Photo Credit: Victoria Sheafino.
Micheline and the late, great Oscar de la Renta.
Currently with The Agency Arizona, Micheline still models, but has retired from being active in the runway division. Constantly on the lookout for ways to help others, the last year before retiring from runway shows she donated 100% of her earnings from each show to the charity that was being sponsored. Philanthropy has always been a big part of her life, and Micheline cites living in Brazil as a major influence. She explains that in Brazil, “(Charity is) a way of life. People need people in Brazil. Since it was a third world country during the time I was growing up, my family always helped on a daily basis, whether it meant providing others with food, water or taking turns with our neighbors buying food and supplies for an orphanage.”
As if she doesn’t have enough on her plate, Micheline also created and manages her own business, Sweets Table by Micheline. Her beautifully-designed sweets tables are modeled after the traditional dessert tables that are so popular in Brazil. Her detectable treats and stunning displays are enjoyed by guests at a wide range of events, from major fundraisers to private parties and special celebrations.
Micheline next to one of her Sweets Tables at the 2014 Stars of the Season event.
Photo Credit: www.hauteeventphotography.com
What else did we learn about this fascinating and super stylish mom?
- As her closet will attest, she is a collector of fabulous accessories and is especially partial to vintage pieces from different locales around the globe. (A woman after our own heart!)
- Music, dancing and food are a big part of her life, and she always plays loud music while she’s cooking.
And at the end of the day, no matter how busy she may be, her family is her top priority — her husband and kids ALWAYS come first.
Micheline and her son Richard.
Her son Jimmie and daughter-in-law Gina’s wedding. Photo Credit: Christine Johnson.
MSL: Describe your style in five words or less.
Eclectic, edgy and glamorous.
MSL: What do you like best about being a model? Top moment of your career so far?
The best thing about being a model is that I have met some of the most amazing people that became part of my life and my family. I also love that I’ve been able to mentor several young girls. My top moment is being chosen to coach over 1,000 children in the last 15 years for the “Children Helping Children Fashion Show” for the PANDA (People Acting Now Discover Answers) fundraiser.
Micheline and Tristan Pastramo at the Stars of the Season event. Photo Credit: www.hauteeventphotography.com
MSL: What is your favorite part about being a mom? Biggest challenge?
To know that all the love and nurturing I gave my children has turned them into such amazing adults that I am so proud of. The hardest part is watching them grow so fast and move away from home… I miss them so much!!!
MSL: You have a number of charitable causes that are important to you. Tell us more about the organizations you are most involved with.
There are a number of causes that are near and dear to me, but especially the ones where I am making a difference in the lives of children. These organizations are where I give the majority of my time and feel blessed to be a part of.
1 | I am honored to announce that I was recently nominated and accepted as an ambassador of ICPCN (International Children’s Palliative Network) and will be working with them to further their efforts in achieving the best quality of life and care for children who suffer from life-limiting conditions. I’m so excited for this new opportunity!
2 | I co-founded the amazing organization, Casa Brazil. With the funds we raise, we have fed over 300 kids a day in northern Brazil for 12 years.
3 | As a founding council member and an ambassador of “Stars of The Season,” I am proud to work with a dedicated group of people to raise funds for Cardon Children’s Medical Center.
4 | Finally, I have also served as an honorary PANDA representative for the past 15 years.
Photo Credit: www.hauteeventphotography.com
MSL: What’s the one item in your closet you can’t live without?
Are you kidding?? It’s very hard for me to pick one… I love everything in my closet. I am a collector.
Micheline’s covetable closet.
MSL: Which fashion designer do you most admire and identify with?
I have had an opportunity to work with so many talented designers and identify with several from different parts of the world. However, I will never forget how a Michael Casey gown feels on… I feel like a goddess!!! I am honored to have been one of his muses.
Designer Michael Casey and Micheline wearing one of his creations.
MSL: Fashion often comes with a price tag stigma. Do you have any advice for moms who have Jimmy Choo dreams, but a Target budget?
Yes!! Style doesn’t have to be expensive. Between outlets, vintage stores, sales online and stores like Target, Zara and H&M, there are plenty of opportunities to dress chic and stylish for much less.
MSL: A beauty secret you are willing to share?
I really believe that to be beautiful on the outside, you have to radiate beauty from within. Meditation, positive affirmation and daily cleanse, not just your skin but also negative thoughts. That light that shines from within you, is the ultimate beauty! Ha… and I can’t forget my daily dose of chocolate.
MSL: What’s your best style advice for other moms out there?
Never forget to make time for yourself. This way, you are able to nurture your own style. Live it, wear it, have fun with it – and don’t limit yourself.