Mature Models Make a Comeback

Carmen Dell'Orefice - Class is Forever

Carmen Dell'Orefice - Class is Forever

All things come full circle and in fashion we see styles that were popular years earlier eventually making a return. But these days it’s not just the styles that are returning, but the famous models of the past are popping up on runways and advertising campaigns around the world. The market for boomer models is booming. Quite an evolution for an industry that not long ago considered a 25 year old as “too old.” 

The desire to return to these models from the past has nothing to do with nostalgia, and everything to do with money. There’s power in numbers, and the large baby boomer population has huge spending power. Once an ignored demographic by advertisers the boomer client now has clout. Companies worldwide have had to rethink how to reach their so called “mature” customer.

Fashion designers and retailers are finally waking up and realizing that a 40 plus year old woman has a difficult time relating to a 14 year old modelling an outfit. Let’s face it, do you want to wear your daughters or granddaughters dress? Can you identify with a young girl being the face of a major skincare line promoting youthful skin. I doubt she has any influence on you purchasing the product.

I grew up idolizing Twiggy in Seventeen and Lauren Hutton on the pages of Vogue. When in London last year, there were billboards everywhere with a 64 year old Twiggy, modelling for Marks & Spencer and Oil of Olay. Lauren Hutton also in her 60’s, recently walked the catwalk for Tom Ford and has campaigned for Chico’s and J.Crew. Andie MacDowell represents L’Oreal skincare and Kim Basinger is the face of Prada and Miu Miu. Christie Brinkley, now 51 is the face for Covergirl skincare. A skincare line that in the past catered almost exclusively to teens.

Perhaps the most elegant of them all is the gray haired Carmen Dell’Orefice who in her 70’s is the world’s oldest working model. Looking at a recent ad she did for Rolex you can see why photographer Francesco Scavullo said, "I think she got sexier as she got older." The caption for the ad reads “Class is forever.” 

It’s quite obvious to see that many of the pictures have been touched up and many of the faces have been pulled up. Regardless, they represent us over 40 women, who are beautiful, elegant, stylish and sexy at any age.