i-Q: jan de villeneuve

We put the 60s supermodel and Simone Rocha’s wonder woman to the test

by Tish Weinstock
26 February 2017, 9:25pm

Proving that age ain't nothing but a number, last weekend Simone Rocha sent a bevy of older beauties down her autumn/winter 17 runway. One such beauty was Jan de Villeneuve. Born in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Jan was training to be a teacher when Eileen Ford spied her and brought her back to New York. She spent the 60s posing in front of some of the world's most renowned photographers from David Bailey to Norman Parkinson. Fast-forward to today and Jan has two daughters and lives with her rock n roll drummer lover Andy Newmark. "It was a real treat to walk in Simone's extraordinary clothes with fabulous older models and lovely young girls," says Jan, "I felt very much at home as there was a family atmosphere backstage with Simone's lovely mother, Odette, and their devoted team."

1. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
An interior designer or a nutritionist.

2. Do you keep a diary?
No, but I wrote my dreams down for years, sometimes setting an alarm to wake myself throughout the night.

3. What's the last dream that you can remember having?
An odd dream about sitting on bleachers with four Norwegian girls and their parents, visiting London - the mother had a handbag that was a knitted tea pot.

4. What would you most like to change about the world?
Less money spent on war, more money spent on health.

5. What would you most like to change about yourself?
I'd like to be better at keeping up with 'Life Administration Tasks.'

6. Have you ever pretended to be someone else in the mirror?

7. When was the last time you had an argument?
Can't remember.

8. Do you meditate?

9. What would you look like if you were an alien?
There was a wonderful episode of The Twilight Zone where hideous monkey-like people were the norm and a Marilyn Monroe lookalike tried unsuccessfully to get reconstructive plastic surgery. She's my kind of 'alien.'

10. What did you do on your last day off?
Spent the day with my partner, my adorable eight month old granddaughter and her parents; then we all had dinner at Soho Farmhouse.

11. What's your greatest ambition?
I'd love to be a great photographer myself, but it's a bit late in the day, so I'd like to work with more young photographers and also do a fashion shoot with any or all of my brothers (one looks just like me).

12. Do you have any phobias?

13. Who do you most admire?
Psychiatrist RD Laing, now dead, a brilliant and amusing man who I was in therapy with for two years.

14. What do you talk about when you get your hair cut?
Jobs I've been doing, and hair-dos present and past.

15. What do you think happens when you die?

16. What would you like to be reincarnated as?
A cat.

17. If you could do anything without fear of repercussion, what would you do?
If that includes not dying, I'd like to jump out of a helicopter into the sea (on the route from Nice airport to St Tropez).

18. If you could ask anyone a question, who would you ask, and what?
I'd ask Donald Trump why he insists on "America First, America First..." when the world is interconnected, now more than ever. There shouldn't be a pecking order.

19. Describe yourself in four words.
Optimistic, friendly, loyal, truthful.

20. Have you lied at any point during this interview?

There's plenty more from i-Q here if you're interested


Photography Mitchell Sams

fashion interviews
simone rocha
jan de villeneuve