From The Bottom of The Bottom

“I started as a writer for magazines, and soon they asked me to illustrate my stories. I started from the bottom of the bottom. And I climbed the stairs, one by one.”

Carine Roitfeld

 
 

Photo from her modeling portfolio, date unknown

 
 

Carine Roitfeld photographed by Karl Lagerfeld. Interview Magazine, September 2011

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Crystal Stair

Langston Hughes on the steps in front of his house in Harlem. Photo by Robert W. Kelley, June 1958

 
 

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

Langston Hughes