Elle Macpherson’s Entrepreneurial Evolution

Elle Macpherson for Haute Living by Billie Sheepers 3
Elle Macpherson for Haute Living by Billie Sheepers

Here are two things upbeat Aussi Elle Macpherson was born with: an incredible body and a head for business. Although she’s long been known for the former, earning the nickname “The Body” at the height of her 1980s supermodeldom that saw her land countless magazine covers and first-name status, she’d rather be known for the latter. She will. After years of managing multiple revenue streams stemming from modeling, endorsements and licenses, she has launched two companies where she not only has a stake in the game, but is also passionate about the products she creates with her teams.

The first of which is Elle Macpherson Body, a sexy and sporty lingerie line she launched globally this month in the U.K., USA, Australia and New Zealand. She has a modern business strategy—she co-owns a 50/50 joint venture, Elle Macpherson Body, with Australian entrepreneurs Simon de Winter and Solomon Lew.

It turns out the new underwear is a great fit and looks good both with and without clothes, a reflection of her own sporty lifestyle and experience as a model making clothing look their best. “I wanted to create the perfect T-shirt bra—a new kind of sexy. Dynamic simplicity is the DNA of my brand,” she says.

A mere three years before starting Elle Macpherson Body, she launched another business venture capitalizing on that same famous body, but in a whole different way. The operative word here is “same” because her long and toned physique, along with her fresh-faced good looks, looks largely unchanged at the age of 52 after 32 years in the spotlight.

According to Elle, it has a lot to do with her alkaline diet, which she’s adhered to for some years. “When I was younger, I was able to rely on genetics. Today, at 52, I need to make conscious choices that support my body for optimum health, vitality and beauty from the inside out. That’s why we started WelleCo, to share these amazing bio-live plant-based supplements that are part of my everyday routine.” An alkaline diet means more vegetables, less animal protein, more fruits and less processed food. Formulating an easy-to-take, very high-quality supplement was the impetus for WelleCo, a wellness company she created with her business partner Andrea Bux and nutritionist Dr. Laubscher. The result is a high-end supplement line centered on a signature product—“The Super Elixir.” The alkalizing greens makes it simple to get a perfect ratio of 45 super foods in one shot.

Elle Macpherson for Haute Living by Billie Sheepers 2
Elle Macpherson for Haute Living by Billie Sheepers

“People are starting to realize the importance of looking after themselves and wellness is a way of life now. I have also noticed the correlation between wellness and beauty,” says Macpherson. WelleCo has also developed a clean plant protein powder in chocolate and vanilla and an anti-anxiety Sleep Welle tea. Her timing is impeccable as juice bars and organic and raw-food restaurants are popping up on every corner in major cities across the globe.

The Super Elixir
The Super Elixir

I know if I nourish my cells from the inside, it will show on the outside—beauty from the inside out. I am also passionate by children’s nutrition and we have created a protein powder for kids as a healthy snack,” she says (available soon on Welleco.com). WelleCo also plans to expand with unlikely natural daily beauty essentials like supernatural toothpaste, deodorant and “essentials we need every day.”

WelleCo has a legion of ardent fans for whom drinking “The Super Elixir” every day is becoming a way of life—actors, actresses, models, moguls and mere mortals alike. Based in a specialist blend of premium bio-live barley grass and wheatgrass, the elixir has super ingredients like kelp, goji berries, green tea extract and Siberian ginseng that give users a buzz and good absorbable nutrients (something Dr. Laubscher says is crucial and the main difference between this superpower and synthetic vitamin tablets); they say it makes cups of coffee superfluous. The supplement line is somewhat boutique, offering up high-quality ingredients in a keep-forever black glass jar for $135 (or a refill 300g for $80 per month). The refillable glass jar was designed by Australian artist Jasper Dowding. It’s sleek and black with Art Deco-inspired lines beautiful enough to be kept on the kitchen counter in any home. The dark glass serves a practical purpose too, blocking out UV light to keep the nutrients intact. “It’s practical beauty. Keeping it on the counter protects the bio-live ingredients and reminds you to take it every day,” she says with a wink.

Elle Macpherson surfing
Elle Macpherson for Haute Living by Billie Sheepers


HL: What are your best beauty tricks?

EM: Some simple tricks that anyone can do is drink three liters of water every day (with two teaspoons Super Elixir) and try to get at least seven hours sleep. Sleep makes such a difference as it helps the body to detox, rest and restore. I also laugh a lot as I believe laughter opens the heart and smooths conflicts The other is to wear great underwear! Truly, a good bra can change your silhouette, and appearance. It’s the foundation for my clothing, that’s why I love my new collection from Elle Macpherson Body. (available at Bloomingdales, Lord & Taylor or online from Anthropology, Saks, Dillards and net-a-porter.com)


HL: You’ve said you like to work out outside. Do you never hit the gym? What do you do outside?

EM: I don’t like give too much advice about strict diet and exercise routines because everyone is different and it has to fit in with your life—but I am often asked what I do—so I let people know I much prefer to be outside than the gym. Although, I’ve recently had a couple of boxing lessions with Eromosele Albert who is brilliant and I love training with him. I try to be active for about an hour every day, doing anything that helps me to experience nature. Like bike-riding, paddle-boarding, swimming, water-skiing, snow skiing or hiking. I also believe that muscle tone decreases as we age, so some weight training is beneficial. After a run or swim, I also try to do about 15 minutes a day of weight-baring plank exercises, push-ups and sit-ups. All of these are great to keep the muscles strong. And I take our Super Elixir nourishing chocolate protein powder in an almond milk shake straight after my workout to help build lean muscle—it’s a clean plant protein—easily absorbable and delicious.


HL: What are your favorite haunts in Miami?

EM: My favorite restaurants are at the Fontainebleau hotel—Scarpetta and Hakkasan. I also like Komodo on Brickell, Mandolin and Casa Tua. For shopping, I love exploring the Design District where art and fashion meet and where the new ICA is being built. I can find all my favorite brands there—places for lunch and interesting architecture. I also find myself at Aventura Mall where there’s a great mix of high street brands and luxury brands under one roof.


HL: Was it an adjustment to move here?

EM: I was born in Australia, lived in NYC for 14 years and then London for 17 years. From my experience, any move can be disruptive for a time (she laughs), but happily we have all settled in to our new surroundings, business and schools. We are very lucky to live where we do and Miami is such a beautiful and magical city. I love that the Bahamas and NYC are just a couple of hours away.


HL: What are your favorite fashion brands?

EM: Adidas Gazelle sneakers or Adidas by Stella McCartney sportswear is fun. For shoes, I love Louboutins and Roger Vivier, Zanotti and Miu Miu. Melissa Odabash and Lisa Maria Fernandez for swim and beachwear. Azzedine Alaia is still my favorite designer after 30 years. Isabel Marant for everything, especially T-shirts. And, of course, my recently launched Elle Macpherson Body lingerie!


HL: You are married to the notoriously private Jeff Soffer. Tell us something he wouldn’t.

EM: Well, he is very private—and I respect this about him—so I won’t say much other than he is also a wonderfully, warm, committed and dynamic father and stepfather.


HL: You are a mom of two teen boys. How do you keep them grounded given their surroundings?

EM: Raising my two sons and helping them navigate their own way through their various phases to adulthood has been my priority. It’s also a privilege to be involved in the lives of Jeffrey’s three children who I love and adore. Both Jeffrey and I do our best to demonstrate the values we hope our children will adopt. We also surround them with love and encouragement every day, no matter where they are; they are all growing into strong, thoughtful and considerate young adults.

Elle Macpherson for Haute Living by Billie Sheepers
Elle Macpherson for Haute Living by Billie Sheepers