When you are called the "Face of the Decade" by WWD, people will notice. The tall, waifish Penelope Tree was known for her wide-eyed, high-cheeked ethereal look that made her so famous in the '60s.
Discovered by a famous photographer at the young age of thirteen, Tree found that her parents were adamantly against her pursuing a modeling career. Then, Vogue came a-knocking. She appeared on three covers of the magazine throughout the decade, but it almost didn't happen. Upon initially meeting Tree, some editors deemed her too gawky and plain. But photographer Richard Avedon spoke up, calling the unconventional beauty a rare find.
A rare find indeed. She was often photographed as a peculiar character, such as a wood nymph or a mythical likeness. At one point, she shaved off her eyebrows "to look more like a Martian than I already did." Her avant-garde makeup (which she began wearing at the age of thirteen to aggravate her friends' parents) added to her innocent, yet off-setting look.
Now in her late 50s, Tree prefers to stay out of the modeling limelight, and is heavily involved in charity work. Recently, she was interviewed in her London home. "I felt quite fraudulent because I am not a classic beauty" she said. "Not now, not then. Like lots of models I felt insecure about the way I looked. We know too well that it's a lot to do with disguise and how you put yourself together."