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Catwalks and high-profile fashion campaigns have long been dominated by youth and innocence/ inexperience but, recently, this has been subtly shifting. By the looks of things, the face of Fashion has matured so that finally, gradually, we're starting to see our own selves reflected back at us from billboards and runways. And while this sounds like a small thing, it's not. It's huge.
Following some luxury campaigns from the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein and Celine that focus on the more mature lady - as well as catwalk appearances by 70-year-old model Jan de Villeneuve for Simone Rocha in London, and actress Amber Valetta, 43, walking for Michael Kors in New York - Zara's taken note and cast three 40+ models in its new Timeless campaign.
Between them, Malgosia Bela, 40,Yasmin Warsame, 41, and Kristina de Coninck, 53, have walked big fashion houses such as Dior, Valentino, Givenchy, Dries van Noten and, now, Zara. And not only that, as part of the campaign they've been interviewed about their experiences of fashion as they have gotten older - showing that style is timeless and age is just a number.
As we'd expect from the Spanish high-street store, it's picked up on the mood of the moment, and we hope it's a good indicator of what's to come across the industry.
Here are some of the earliest adopters in the mature model movement...
Dolce & Gabbana
Dolce and Gabbana recently welcomed a host of 40 plus women onto the catwalk for their Winter 2017/2018 show in Milan. They featured Marpessa Hennink, 53, and Jennifer Tilley, a 58-year-old actress, on the runway, and proved once again that women over 40 can still kill it at fashion shows.
But this wasn't the first time the Italians had opted for older models; our favourite part of the brand's iconic 2015 fragrance campaign, was not Scarlett Johansson and actor Matthew McCoughnahey, but the three 60+ Italian women who are glorious proof that high fashion needn't be young fashion!
Online fashion retailer JD Williams launched a campaign (opens in new tab) in 2016, to prove that women over 50 take more risks than anyone else - and look fantastic while doing so. The campaign featured the pictures and stories of women all over 50 who had done amazing and brave things, like being the world's oldest skydiver at 84, or taking up motorcycling in their 70s. Proof women can look fabulous and do remarkable things at the same time!
Ted Baker, LFW, Vogue...
At 51 Pam Lucas broke down the barriers of an ageist fashion industry by signing with modelling agency Ugly. Since she's been in her 60s, she has found herself in high demand. The model has walked the runway at London Fashion Week, modelled for Ted Baker and has even found a place within the pages of fashion bible Vogue. Pretty impressive for an 'older' lady, we say.
Author Joan Didion was featured in a 2015 campaign for fashion brand Celine - which is famous for its ethereally cool and subtly sophisticated image. Joan looked every inch on-brand for this campaign, sporting a simple black polo-neck and a huge pair of blacked-out sunnies. We love it...
Yves Saint Laurent
Aged 70, musician Joni Mitchell was featured as the face of fashion powerhouse Yves Saint Laurent's 2015 campaign. It was a considered choice for the high-end designer, as it debuted a more folksy aesthetic - something the 70s singer undoubtedly encapsulates.
Model Twiggy has long been a spokeswoman for everyone's favourite high street brand Marks & Spencer, and has produced a number of clothing lines in collaboration with them. But it was only relatively recently that the company made the move to include even more wonderful 40+ women in their shoots - specifically, their 2010 Christmas campaign.
The ads featured 40+ women including Danni Minogue and Lisa Snowdon - a pretty fabulous group if ever you saw one.
Writer and editor Alanna Freeman is an inquisitive storyteller, whose interests—like her beloved global travels—know few boundaries. As well as Woman & Home, she has worked for the likes of Soho House, Telegraph Luxury, Conde Nast Traveller, delicious., Elle, and Vogue, and GQ Australia.
Alanna has been known to turn her hand to copy projects involving souped-up streetcars and cutting-edge technology—she swears they are genuinely both fascinating, even to the uninitiated! A writer who likes to add a bit of color and texture to her work, she has an MA in Communication Design: Illustration from Kingston University.
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