Life Lessons According to an Original 90s Supermodel

Rachel Hunter
Marie-Antoinette Issa

Lifestyle Writer

Sep 04, 2023

The term “supermodel” might be used loosely, but glamorous Rachel Hunter really was one of the OG’s claiming the catwalk as her own during the heady heights of the 90. Today, the mellowed-out mum and new face of Essano reflects on real estate, rose hip oil and what she’s reading right now.

Rachel Hunter
Rachel Hunter

Designer Darling to Downward Dog

As a catwalk-queen-turned-contouring-yoga teacher Rachel currently splits her time between her birth home in New Zealand, the United States, and India – where she was when we caught up.

Amidst her current travels in the Land of the Maharajas, Rachel’s daily rituals are definitely the kind designed to foster a regal sense of wellbeing, with her day commencing with morning meditations, and yoga, before she meticulously tends to her messages, and spends the afternoon exploring local temples. It is a true reflection of both her free-spiritedness and dedication to connectedness in this digital age.

“I also recently did a 21-day panchakarma and I really enjoyed that,” she says. “It was a pretty strict one. It wasn’t like ‘Oh there’s a fruit plate and you can go swimming’, it was quite serious. But it really reignited my digestion. I think gut healing for me is key and I really learned that on this panchakarma.”

It’s a part of ageing that the 53-year-old has learnt to lean into. “At my age, when you’re going through these changes with hormones, for me my body was kind of getting a little bit sluggish, so to go and do that and to actually see that I could fire up that digestive system back up again was great! I came out and I was like 15 pounds lighter. Even though I didn’t go in to lose weight.”

Skin Deep

While Rachel’s commitment to holistic wellness starts from the inside out, she’s not above a little outer assistance, having been named the official face of Essano Skincare earlier this year.

“They’re a true leader in natural beauty,” says Rachel. “I love every single one of their products,” she adds of the certified-organic fellow Kiwi brand famed for their rose hip oil, that she praises for being “affordable, accessible and effective.”

“It’s like organic food, which has become a wealthy person’s situation and you have to pay so much more,” she reflects ruefully. “But back in the day, you could buy a crate of plums on the side of the road for $5,” she says. “It’s frustrating.”

“It’s the same with beauty products – they should be accessible. Whether a recession occurs or not, we must ensure that these things are accessible to everyone.”

Rachel Hunter

From Face to Fashion

Having graced the catwalks for some of the world’s biggest designers during her peak, today Rachel’s style is decidedly more hippie than haute couture. However, her signature elegance remains intact.

“I always have a great black dress that can go from day to evening really easily with the change of shoes, she says. “And I actually have a black shawl that I wear, which is key to me when I’m traveling in India. I also always have shoes that slide on because you’re in and out of places all the time in India and sometimes shoes are allowed and sometimes they aren’t.”

Rachel’s Reflections

When asked what she wishes people knew about her, Rachel says “I think I’m pretty open so there’s nothing too hidden. But I really sometimes get in my own way and I get frustrated with that. You know when you get in your own way, it’s a thing where you make excuses, because ‘oh no I can’t do that’ and ‘okay I can’t do this’, it’s a self taught thing, and I really wanna shift that.” 

It’s something the beauty is actively working on and she encourages other women to shed their layers and really get out of their own way in the constant quest to continue to grow into the most authentic version of themselves. “For me, it’s a constantly evolving journey. It isn’t like a destination that you reach, you’re just constantly working towards it.”

Rachel Hunter
Rachel Hunter photographed here and in hero shot by Makeup artist and Photographer Glenn Nutley

Advice to her Younger Self

Mild, mellowed but as magnificently beautiful as ever Hunter’s hippie vibes are on display when she diplomatically answers the advice she would give her younger self. 

“Do exactly what you did. Because we all say the same shit over and over again, oh if only the young had the same wisdom as what someone older had, I mean how many decades or centuries have we been saying that? It’s just the way it is, it’s the way our nature is, and there’s a beautiful vulnerability and innocence that’s just so open and free and amazing and you know that’s what keeps people young. I thought I had the wisdom then and I probably did and it was a 20 year old wisdom and it’s, that’s perfect.”

Rachel on:

  • Keeping in shape:  Hiking, walking, yoga practice. I do know since I’m getting older and going through this change, weights would probably be a good idea.
  • Guilty pleasures:  Always something that’s salty, definitely. It would have to be salt and vinegar or cheese.
  • Favorite Instagram account: Real estate. I’m so boring. I sold my house in 2020 and I’m renting my place in LA, and I want to find a home.
  • Current book: I’m actually going through a book called Shakti and it’s about the divine feminine. Yeah so that’s what I’m reading and it shows you all the philosophies basically of how divine feminine works in India and up in Nepal. 
  • Best travel destination: I love exotic countries. I would say obviously there’s India. But I also love Morocco. I’d really love to go to Turkey as well.
  • Proudest achievement: Obviously my two kids, Renee and Liam


By Marie-Antoinette Issa

Lifestyle Writer

Marie-Antoinette Issa is a contributor for The Carousel and has worked across news and women's lifestyle magazines and websites including Cosmopolitan, Cleo, Madison, Concrete Playground, The Urban List and Daily Mail, I Quit Sugar and Huffington Post.



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