Fashion's oldest runway model, the legendary Carmen Dell'Orefice, 81, made waves during New York Fashion Week when she strutted her stuff on the runway twice in one day at Lincoln Center on Monday, modeling first a flowing mocha gown by Norisol Ferrari, followed by a colorful calsual dress by Marimekko.

Dell'Orefice was discovered at the age of 13 and had her first Vogue cover by the time she was 15. "It meant nothing to me," she says of the gig at the time, "except that … I thought I looked like a little boy," she told Today.

Dell'Orefice has had a remarkable life off the runway too, that has included being sketched by Salvador Dali, married and divorced several times, and having her life savings lost by Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff, 74, who was her ex-boyfriend's best friend, reports Yahoo. On Friday she was also seen locking arms at a New York Fashion Week event with U.S. Olympic gold medalist and aspiring fashion designer Ryan Lochte, who has been covering NYFW events for E! since the 2012 London Olympic games turned him into a superstar.

Despite her ups and downs, however, Dell'Orefice has an extremely optimistic take on aging. "I think America may be growing up and accepting the fact that the bulk of life exists beyond 50," she said on Today. "This is not to negate the young people coming up. But what kind of an example are we giving young people?"

"I don't know if it's good or silly," she said of her continuing career. "It's what I enjoy doing, and I'm able to do it."

In just the past few years, Dell'Orefice has modeled for Rolex, Shades of Grey, and Belgian luxury bag comapny Delvaux, resports ABC News.

Watch the interview with Dell'Orefice here:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Get Uinterview's FREE iPhone App For Daily News Updates here.

EXCLUSIVE: Joy Cioci's 2013 Collection Inspired By The Sea

Victoria Beckham 'Proud' At New York Fashion Week Show

Spotlight On Menswear And Accessories At Milk Studio

Rochambeau Goes To The Dark Side For Spring Collection

SLIDESHOW: Stargazing At The Toronto Film Festival 2012