Older models in fashion; slowly but surely making their mark

the gentleIt’s been rather a good start to the year for older models. It’s not just that there’s more of them about in 2014, but we’re also seeing more coverage on blogs, websites and in the printed press about how having older style icons to aspire to is a good thing. Some opinion-altering brands are using older models in an inclusive way, perhaps finally aware of the shift in need of their more grown up consumers. Slowly but surely we’re seeing a change. I thought I’d round up some of what’s been happening,

The year started with the Daily Beast reporting how terrific Linda Rodin looked modelling for The Row’s Pre Fall 2014 look book (although we could have told you that).

American Apparel kicked 2014 off with Jacky O’Shaughnessy looking terrific in her knickers.

Leslie Winer and Dame Vivienne Westwood ganged up for a great fashion shoot, showing both women looking better than ever (Vivienne is also the cover model for this month’s The Gentlewoman Magazine see above).

And in the luxury market we had Marc Jacobs use Catherine Deneuve (looking a little scary, it has to be said) for his last Louis Vuitton SS 14 marketing campaign

Then there was the excellent piece by  Anne Karpf in The Guardian about what you need to look like if you fancied being an older model, Anne also has a book out on the subject, How To Age.

We got the inside track on being a model over many decades from model China Machado, as told to Into The Gloss

sadie coles and vogue cont editorOne of my favourite editorial features so far this year was the New York Times T2 Celine’s Prophetic Fashion, featuring Vogue’s Camilla Nickerson, architect Sophie Hicks, and gallerists Pauline Daly and  Sadie Coles (above and below). We might not be able to afford the clothes, but we can get inspired by the images.

Last week, everyone got excited about Jessica Lang being the new face of the Marc Jacobs Beauty line, Fashionista wrote about it here.

And then Charlotte Rampling turned up, in her effortlessly cool way, as the new face of Nars, rather confirming we are at last making the beauty industry take the older woman seriously (all we need them to do now is to replace the Anti-Ageing tag with a Pro-Ageing one).

Hilariously, around the beginning of Fashion Week the industry also started discussing the age issue, as catwalk models are apparently ‘definitely getting older’….and by this they mean 18 rather than 15, which would be very amusing if it wasn’t tragic, although I guess every year gained is a good thing here.

Always an excellent source of balanced sensibleness, the All Walks blog recently highlighted a remarkable academic insight into the subject with  Over 50 And Doing What? from the older model and academic Alessandra Bruni Lopez y Royo.

Keeping up? Are we on a roll ladies, or what…. and it’s only March! What do you think? Are you pleased to see more older models out there?

sophie hicks and pauline daly


  • YES! I’m delighted.

  • amanda says:

    well said indeed. Ax

  • Tiffany says:

    I’m thrilled! I somehow lack the imagination to work out whether clothes I like on a young model will look OK on me – so from a purely practical and selfish perspective, being able to see them on someone my age or older is just wonderful. And from a less selfish perspective, increasing the visibility generally of older women is even more fantastic.

  • Vivienne Austin says:

    Its really amazing that at last older women are being featured in the fashion pages of magazines. After all we are the demographic with the most money to spend and we can be incredible role models for younger generations.
    I have recently finished studying for an MA in Fashion and the Environment where I interviewed women of this demographic to understand their wants and needs. I will be addressing these in a new collection I am developing, using sustainable fabrics and manufacturing in the UK. I totally understand your concern Tiffany, as what is presently available doesn’t always really suit us as we age gracefully!

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