For Elle Macpherson, it’s not just about living a beautiful life, it’s about living a healthy one, too. After dominating the modeling world, the Aussie is tapping into the health and wellness space with her company WelleCo and its star product, The Super Elixir, an alkalizing formula of super greens. We’ll have what she’s having!
How did you come up with the idea for WelleCo?
It happened organically! My partner and co-founder, Andrea Horwood Bux, and I recognized this movement that beauty comes from the inside out, which is so compelling to the future of beauty. About two years ago, WelleCo was one of the first companies to bring a natural ingestible alkaline formula into Selfridges. We saw that people were feeling transformed and were sharing their experiences on social media. The combination of our pure and unique product [The Super Elixir] with our manufacturing standards and the efficiency of these all-natural plant-based nutrients has really driven our growth.
What effects have you seen from the product?
I recently did a day of alkaline and I was really specific about the food I ate. It wasn’t a cleanse but a focus. I noticed things like the brown spots on my face from the sun had lessened because there wasn’t acidity in my body. I also learned to replace some of the food
I ate with vegetables and fruits so my body could return to an alkaline state, which means your digestive system works better and your liver gets rest and recuperates. Our formula is very potent and highly absorbable. I drink mine in the morning with filtered water.
What does your diet look like today?
I eat plant-based and raw foods as much as I can. I also eat organic. I’ve noticed a big difference in the way I look and feel. When I was younger, I didn’t pay as much attention to my diet or the nutrients I put into my body—I just wanted a quick-fix from the outside. I didn’t believe that working from the inside out worked, but my experiences have taught me that if I can balance myself on the inside, it definitely shows on the outside.
Do you cook?
I prepare food, because a lot of my food is raw. I have a dehydrator and I’ll use things like flax seeds to make dough for bread or granola. I make yogurt from young coconuts and lemon juice, as well as hummus and tahini. I know how to prepare the foods I love to eat, which are hard to find when I’m out.
What’s your indulgence?
My indulgence is having the time to prepare the food I love to eat. I don’t look at it as a treat to eat a bunch of sugar, because I don’t feel great afterward. When I go to a restaurant and they have wonderful organic food on their menu that’s prepared with care, that’s a splurge. Not many restaurants are that conscious.
What’s your workout routine like these days?
Being active is important from a wellness point of view, not [only] for looks. When I was younger, my routine was about burning calories and lifting weights in a particular period of time to sculpt my body. As I’ve matured, I’ve realized I need to listen to my body. I believe it’s important to be active outdoors in fresh air for an hour a day, if you can. I’ll get up at 6 a.m., jump on the bike, and ride to the beach to have a swim. I’ll do about an hour of deep-breathing exercises and meditation. If I’m on the road, I’ll bring my running shoes and jog around just to check out where I am.
What were castings like when you started out?
Castings were simple: Get naked, get dressed, and walk like you know what you’re doing. I was self-conscious, so castings were really hard!
What was the first show you ever walked?
I think it might have been Perry Ellis. I remember being so proud of being chosen to walk. Azzedine Alaïa was definitely the one that stands out because we were paid to wear incredible clothing and all the girls loved it. I was so nervous walking in those heels!
What are some of your wildest Fashion Week memories?
We all worked so hard going from show to show. The shows themselves and being with the girls was fun. This was the first time studio models and cover girls migrated to the runaway, making the shows more relevant. In the ’80s and ’90s, the models were iconic, as were the designers. From Versace to Valentino, the shows were spectacular—Jean-Paul Gaultier, Claude Montana, Stephen Sprouse, Calvin Klein, and Donna Karan…brilliant designers and superstar models.
What are your thoughts on the new generation of models?
The fashion industry has changed so much since the ’80s and the ’90s, when there was an iconic status to the girls in fashion who were well-known by their names and their faces. They were versatile because they would do runway, TV commercials, bathing suits, fashion, and more. That was the beginning of the diversification, which we’re seeing so much of today. Before the ’80s, you were either a commercial model, a swimsuit model, or whatnot—you never really did it all—but in the ’80s and ’90s, we had girls who were great at making a name for themselves in everything. To some extent, we see a lot of girls bridging that gap today. Both Gigi and Bella Hadid are doing that: They’re doing runway, beauty, fashion, and have a huge following. It’s an interesting time.
Social media has undoubtedly had a major impact on the evolution of the industry.
Social media has made fashion and beauty more accessible. When I was working, the more distanced you were from the public, the more iconic and successful you were. Today, the closer you are to the public, the more attainable your beauty is, and the more approachable you are, the more successful you are.
You’ve lived in Miami for more than two years. Have you thought about living anywhere else?
Before moving here, I lived in London for 17 years. Before that, I lived in New York for 14 years, and before that, I was in L.A. for three years. I was also in and out of Paris for about seven years. I’ve loved every place I’ve lived, just for different reasons.
How has your style evolved over the years?
I pay attention to quality and personal style—always evolving yet not following trends. I believe personal style comes from who you are, not what you wear. I feel less is more, and I don’t invest much in high street brands. I prefer quality pieces that I love and keep for a long time and wear until they fall apart, or I can’t bear to see them anymore—which is rare because I just give them a rest for a while.
You have two teenage sons. Do you think they’ll get into modeling?
They’re focusing on their education, which I think is very important. One of my sons is studying business and entrepreneurship in Boston, and my youngest is just going into high school. I support my children in their individual dreams, whatever they are. My oldest has a pilot’s license and is well-rounded and motivated. I like to guide him the best I can and as much as I can. He talks to me a lot about the decisions he makes.
Do you ever attend shows for fun?
I prefer to watch shows than to walk them, although closing Marc Jacobs’ show a few years ago was a beautiful honor and surprise for me.
Do you have any plans for this NYFW season?
I’ll be working with my team on building a strong presence for WelleCo in America, and I’ll be designing lingerie and planning brand building for Elle Macpherson Body—two businesses that excite and inspire me daily.
TRY THIS: THE SUPER ELIXIR GREEN SMOOTHIE
THE SUPER ELIXIR Alkalizing Formula and Nourishing Protein taste amazing with water and almond milk, respectively. If you love smoothies, try this recipe from @vitalityandbalance:
2 tsp Super Elixir alkalizing greens
1 cup spinach
1 cup kale
1 green apple
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup cucumber
1 tsp grated ginger
Blend together and serve!
The Super Elixir by WelleCo is launching at Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York, Credo Beauty, Cos Bar, and Revolve. Super Elixir greens refill, $45–$195; Hydrator Bottle, $22; Super Elixir 300g Caddy, $135