Carolyn Murphy was born on August 11, 1973 in Panama City, Florida. Her parents from Virginia, her father was a sergeant in the Air Force and her mother a homemaker. Carolyn was raised along the Panhandle and abroad, often spending summers on her families 1,600 acre farm in Phenix, Virginia. The farm was established in the late 1800's and remains in her family to this day. This environment was her biggest influence, along with her great grandmother who was an avid gardener, artist, teacher, writer, crafter and literary connoisseur.
Carolyn never expected to become one of modeling's icons. Her passions were nature, art, animals and books, often being called a "tomboy." She was also a competitive swimmer for 10 years, and almost went to the Junior Olympics for backstroke in 1988. She graduated from fort Walton Beach High School in 1991 with honors, accumulating awards for essays and poetry along the way. Her mother decided to enroll her in a local modeling school and at the age of 17, and immediately she was spotted by an agent at a model convention and was sent to Paris after graduation.
Reluctant to a career as a model, Carolyn opted to return to Virginia and pursue her college studies in Art History and American Literature. In order to pay for college she began modeling part time in NY and Japan. Fashion editors and photographers were immediately impressed by her instinctive ability behind the camera. She attributes this quality to her creative background, "It's all about finding the art in fashion," she says. Carolyn was respected by photographers for her willingness to create the perfect image and often was considered more of an actress for this dedication.
In 1995, at the age of 22, Carolyn landed one of her first campaigns and industry contracts, with Prada. She was gracing the covers of French Vogue and working with every major photographer- Mario Testino, Steven Meisel, Helmut Newton, Michael Thompson, Irving Penn and Patrick Demarchelier. Over the next few years she would model for advertising campaigns such as Versus, Blumarine, DKNY, Lagerfeld, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Celine, Max Mara, Calvin Klein, CK, Fendi, Ralph Lauren, Jantzen, Lord and Taylor, Anne Klein, Banana Republic, 7 Jeans, Roberto Cavalli, Iceberg, Versace and The Gap.
In 1999 Carolyn married and took some time off in Costa Rica to explore the biodiversity, and surf. While there she donated her time to local schools by teaching english, gathered supplies and money to better the education system. In 2000 she returned to the United States and gave birth to her daughter, Dylan Bleu, at home on her farm in Upstate NY.
Harry Winston signed Carolyn in 2001, for two years as their "first face" in advertising. That same year, Estee Lauder began testing Carolyn and in 2002, she signed one of the industry's most lucrative, multi million dollar contracts and launched as the face of the brand's "Defining Beauty" ads. She continues to appear in their advertisements, recently posing for "Re- Nutriv" and "Sensuous" perfume.
Most recently, her ads include Tiffany and Co., Tom Ford Eyewear, Iceberg, Cesar Paciotti, Roberto Cavalli, The Gap and LOFT.
She is frequently featured on the covers of top fashion magazines, including Vogue, W, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Glamour, Allure, Marie Claire and Time. She also appeared on the highly coveted cover of Sport's Illustrated in 2005, followed by another cover in 2006. In 2009, Steven Meisel chose Carolyn to be profiled in American Vogue, along with the Supermodel's careers he helped launch.
Carolyn has always made her daughter and being a mother her priority. In 2003 she was named Hallmark's "Mother of the Year." She also enjoys giving back to the community and has supported various charities that support the well being of children, health, animals, art and environmental groups. Some of these include:
-'California State Parks' on rallies and raising money to preserve the parks (on the board)
-Collecting pairs of shoes and hosting events for 'Soles 4 Souls'
-Helping disabled children surf for 'Life Rolls On'
-Raising money and hosting events for 'California Wildlife Research'
-Supporting VH1 'Save the Music'
-Posed for the "celebrity calendar" in 2003 for the ASPCA
-Donates time to care for animals at local Humane Society shelters
-Committee for 'Surfrider Foundation'
-Hosted a surf camp in 2009 for daughters and sons of fallen soldiers for 'Freedom is not Free'
-Currently launched a read-a-thon for 'Jumpstart' in 2010
-Hosted a fundraiser for 'Amaryllis Farm and Horse Rescue' in 2010
Carolyn is a strong advocate of sustainable living, organic/local foods and CSA groups and integrative healthcare. She lived in a farmhouse on a mini farm from 2007-2010 in Ojai, California raising chickens, horses, composting and growing her own food. She has contributed to Christopher Gavigan's book called "Healthy Child, Healthy World" and has been featured in "green issues" for Elle Magazine, C Magazine and Organic Living.
Her personal studies include Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Biodynamic farming and the world renowned Waldorf Schools. She also believes in natural, home birthing for families and is currently researching a documentary on prenatal healthcare and the correlation to child behavior. In her free time, she enjoys her life between NY and Southern CA, discovering the challenges of urban gardening, is taking classes on art and writing, and plans to return to college in 2012 to get her degree in creative writing.