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Older models are the 'newest' fashion trend








Twiggy, second from left, featured in the Marks and Spencer campaign last September at age 57, and had a positive imact on the company's profits.

It seems that models previously deemed 'too old' for the fickle industry of fashion photography are the new hot item, with demand for middle-aged models far outstripping supply.  The demand for mature models has increased 30-40% over the last three years and is continuing to rise.  One of the first campaigns notable for it's use of older models was Dove's 'Real Beauty' campaign, using 95-year-old Irene Sinclair and asking the question 'Wrinkled or Wonderful?'.  The campaign also featured 45-year-old Merlin Glozier with the accompanying question 'Grey or Gorgeous?'.

Couture fashion houses are also starting to recognise maturity in women as something to be celebrated. With 48-year-old Sharon Stone being unveiled as the new face of Christian Dior, Prada using 52-year-old Kim Basinger to promote her miu miu label, and Versace using Madonna,47, in their campaign last year.

Elaine Dugas, a director at London's Models 1, says the resurgence of mature models is because 'visually people want to see something that is realistic'.  And while all the models used are still very aspirational for their age, surely the industry move toward recognising maturity in women is a positive change?  It is more likely, that as opposed to being a feel good exercise by the fashion industry it is an economic strategy, as companies acknowledge the realities of an ageing population, and the high levels of disposable income that middle-aged women now have searching the market for luxury goods.  Women are sick of seeing 15-year old girls advertising anti-wrinkle creams it seems.

ref:The Independent on Sunday, 15.1.06

Reader Comments (7)

I found this because I work with adults 55+ and have for almost 20 years. I am getting older too! Want to find out about the possibility of modeling. I am currently 47 will be 48 in July and am often told I look younger.... thought modeling might be fun.
im102 on may 14 i have always wanted to be a modle
December 5, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterzigy
Using these 'older' women is a bonus - BUT THEY'RE ALL SURGERIED and therefore do not reflect 'normal' women. These are 50-57 year olds who look 40 due to surgical alteration and air-brushing. And they're deemed to look "good for her age". They don't. Ultimately, using these altered women is just as negative as using 13 year olds. No-one can tell me, that with all the amazingly beautiful (and I mean magazine-traditionally beautiful) women out there who look their age, not one is 'good enough' to put into a magazine. Even in my little suburb in Sydney, I see mature-aged women with verve, style and PRESENCE every single day. Heavens above !!
March 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermartina
What gets me is 40-some yr. old women being pitched anti-wrinkle/aging products. Too young to worry about that, and why worry, as long as you take care of your skin?
June 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNance
Thank you, Martina. You speak for me. These models are overladen with make-up also.

As I look over your website, which is a good place on the net, I see an obsession with fat as the big problem. While your advice on how to lose weight (and increase personal growth!) is great, it doesn't address the social issues (other than thin obsession) that lead to fat. These social issues include fast food, food additives, warped nutritional practices (white flour, junk food); and lack of time and equality of work in the kitchen to cook good meals for families. Obesity became such an issue when women filled the workforce but are still expected to cook for the family.

Other issues besides fat include some solid looks at why "beauty" includes only a few body/facial features of our various ethnicities. Another issue should be age-ism. Personally, I aspire to eventually look like that Navajo photo of the elder with the world map on her face... a look of wisdom. How to get from here (60's) to there is a bit rocky in this society! Along with age-ism, there is sexism in body image. Thank goodness, we now are beginning to allow elderly women the cordiality of dignity that men have enjoyed for centuries. But many body/facial types of elderly men are admired, even fat men; and all without make-up. Only "elderly" women who "look good for their age" and appropriately coifed, with wrinkle control get dignity status. Such as your above example. Big AnyBody problem.

Nice website. Broaden your view of AnyBody.
October 27, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermartz
I am 54 years old. I am told that I look 30-40 years of age. I have taken care of myself over the years. I would like to be an older model. I am excited about starting participating in something different.
February 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMartha
This articale is about fashion, models, and trends which I no alot of. Fashion repeats itself over and over again, I remember about ten years I had this jacket which I seen in the store just the other day.
April 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBritish Library
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