The Fashion Models Who Are Transcending Ageism
It seems that the merciless, late-20s expiration date of most models might be a thing of the past. Countless models, over the course of the last couple years, have proven that a model’s appeal, like a fine wine, might actually get better with age. Thanks to the below, older-than-average models, a model at his or her thinnest does not amount to a model being in his or her prime. Rather, these models’ markers of success is their undying sophistication and poise. Proving that age is nothing but a number, meet the models over the age of 45 who are dominating the industry.
1. Lyn Slater, 63
Slater went from giving lectures about social justice in NYC to gaining international recognition for her photos and blog posts as the Accidental Icon. Shattering age and gender stereotypes, Slater allows her unique, personal style—androgynous, irreverent, and whimsical—shine through day-to-day. Keep in mind that, after only two years of running Accidental Icon, Slater has already partnered with UNIQLO. And if you quickly browse through her website, it’s easy to see why; the woman is teeming with words of wisdom that we’d definitely choose to live by.
2. Nicola Griffin, 56
We’re all about ladies and gents making moves and breaking boundaries especially in the beauty and fashion realms. Griffin is another such woman who has broken boundaries in the beauty and fashion industry, and has captured the attention of publications and fashion bigwigs as a result. Discovered while waiting in line at the bank, Griffin—who’s also a mother of two—landed a modeling gig at the age of 53 for White Hot Hair products. And then, three years later, she was featured in Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue. That is all.
3. Yazemeenah Rossi, 60
A quadruple threat, Yazemeenah Rossi not only has more Instagram followers than you, but she also a (swimsuit) model, a photographer, actress, and even a visual artist. Her svelte figure coupled with her cascading white hair is both visually appealing and reassuring for us young folk. Most recently, she starred in an exquisite, and notably airbrush-free swimsuit campaign for a collaboration between The Dreslyn and NYC lingerie brand Land of Women.
4. Naomi Campbell, 46
It almost feels wrong to include Naomi Campbell on this list; the perennial supermodel not only still has “it,” but she’s practically more in demand than her much younger counterparts today. She began modeling at the age of 15 and has since become one of the most sought-after supermodels in the industry. Campbell has covered the pages of Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Essence, among myriad others—and that’s not even including the infinite number of ads she’s starred in and runways she’s graced. As if all of that weren’t already, enough, Campbell has also recently ventured into acting—and unsurprisingly, is killing it at that too.
5. Maye Musk, 68
Musk has been modeling since she was 15 (that’s over 50 years, mind you) By the time she turned 50, she moved to NYC and took on major campaigns for Revlon and Clinique. Musk celebrated her 60th birthday by abandoning the hair dye and chopping off her locks. And, as she wrote on her website, “the new look brought a major campaign for Virgin America, billboards in Times Square, covers of Elle Quebec, New York Magazine and Zoomer Magazine, even music videos and commercials.” Because…naturally. Speaking of music videos, she was even tapped by Queen Bey herself to appear in the 2013 music video for “Haunted.” (Again…naturally.) This is #goals, at its finest.
6. Iman, 61
Hailing from Somalia, Iman is not only one of the world’s most iconic supermodels, but, launching Iman Cosmetics in 1994, she’s also been a pioneer for the beauty industry’s offerings for women of color. Iman was discovered while in college by photographer Peter Beard, and soon after was invited to the States by Wilhelmina Models. And the rest, as they say, is history. Iman’s modeling career is about as prodigious and illustrious as it gets—and though she technically retired from modeling in 1989, she invariably still pops up on the occasional magazine cover.
7. Daphne Selfe, 88
Daphne Selfe, who began modeling in 1949, has managed to not only land a Vogue spread after turning 70, but she’s also went on to pose for Dolce & Gabbana, Nivea, and Olay. Two years ago, Selfe was coined as the world’s oldest professional fashion model by The Guinness Book of World Records. She’s spent a lifetime in front of the camera, and apparently owes it all to good genes—no Botox—and “a bit of Boots [moisturizer].” Goddess.
- Gabrielle Nicole Pharms via Milk