Natalia Mendez Ramirezpopularly known as nork and considered the best Cuban model of all time, she dedicates herself at 77 years of age to taking care of her plants and the animals she rescues from the streets.
In an interview granted to the Cuban presenter and journalist Julius AcandaNorka narrated how her life passes in Cuba, in the tranquility of her home in Cotorro, Havana.
albert korda immortalized Norka’s image in thousands of photos taken between the 1950s and 1960s. He turned her into a beauty icon in the world of fashion that until today gives her a top place among the most famous Cuban models.
Norka was on the catwalks of Paris, she was a model for Dior, she wore jewelery from the most important French firms, she worked with Hollywood artists such as Frank Sinatra Y Marlon Brandoamong others.
More than 60 years have passed since the beginning of her modeling career, and although time has left an inevitable mark, Norka maintains a mysterious beauty and her graceful pose and walk.
“I was never the prototype of a Cuban woman, that was what made Alberto Korda fascinate me, I was the woman he was looking for and couldn’t find,” said Norka.
In the current context in Cuba, she says she feels like a ghost, and she is surprised that the world still remembers and celebrates her.
“I don’t feel forgotten, I’m a ghost (…) From time to time, photos of me appear everywhere,” she said.
Recently an American university honored her and invited her to pose before the cameras, a challenge that the Cuban accepted. However, it was not revealed in the report with which institution the project was carried out.
In the midst of the current economic, political and social crisis that Cuba is experiencing, Norka invited people to be more concerned about their presence, about being “more pleasant to see, that they think that it is not just for one, it is out of respect for others”.
In 2019, the Cuban Art Factory launched a project to pay tribute to great Cuban artists who left their mark on the national culture and among them was the name of Norka, who is for many the best Cuban model of all time.
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This is the life of Norka, the most famous Cuban model of all time