As a 64-year-old commercial print model, the idea that the only products my age group can sell are pharmaceuticals, is as antiquated as Geritol and it’s 1972 controversial tag line, “My wife, I think I’ll keep her. It’s enough to give me an Excedrin headache #24.
Back in 1999 when I was working as a casting director, cool looking models over the age of 50 were just about unheard of. So, I hit the streets of New York City, armed with my polaroid camera (before digital), stalking my prey, offering gobs of cash for one days work of standing in front of the camera. I loved it. I felt like the host of a game show. Would you like to be queen for a day? Few said no. I became an expert at “street casting”, discovering unknowns and propelling them into the limelight. In 2011, when the idea of models over 50 started gaining steam, I received a call from one of the biggest producers in New York who wanted me to join forces with him and collaborate on a casting business for new faces over 50. While we were in talks for negotiation, he decided to retire and I decided to become one of the new faces at 60.
The word model connotes youth to most and while modeling might be a superficial goal to some, on a deeper level it can change how age is perceived. I can’t help but recast every ad I see with 60+ hipsters. It’s the unpredictability that’s exciting. It brings a fresh dimension that youth cannot. When you add character as opposed to just beauty then you have someone really interesting. When I first started casting, the demand was for 50+ models. Now, 60+ are the new “it” models.
In this DIY age of the Internet there is a revolution going on in the modeling world. More and more men and women 60 plus are coming out of the woodwork and taking control of their own destiny. We see them strutting their sartorial stuff for the first time and posting their images on social media to the tune of a modeling career. They are smart, sexy, and confident with full lives and a zest for living. More than just models, they are role models. They are risk takers.
Sixty-year-old Philippe Dumas took a risk when he posted images of himself on social media and asked the public if he had what it took to be a model. It paid off when he landed an agent. Stylist and fashion designer, 60-year-old Gilean McLeod made waves in a swimsuit campaign for H&M. Dietician and Nutritionist Maye Musk went au naturel at 60 and her career took off.
Three years ago, Simon Doonan, Creative Ambassador-at-Large for Barney’s New York, was called a fashion don’t because, as he stated, at 60, he refuses to dress like a refugee from a Cialis commercial. I can’t agree more. I can’t do conservative. I’ve tried. Every time I would leave for an audition, my husband would look at me and say, I don’t even know who you are. While the fashion industry is opening the gates, the advertising agency is slower to wake up and smell the Nespresso. Things may be changing. My last 2 auditions required nudity. We’re talking AARP. So, I’ve decided to take a risk. From now on, to every audition, where it says, casual attire, I too refuse to be dress like a refugee from a Cialis commercial. Instead I’’ take a risk and be myself, as in the clothes you see in the photo. I will click the heels of my lucky Igor boots 3 times and say, “Give me rock n roll or give me death!
Are you over 60? Do you want to be a model? No experience? No problem. I’m here to help. Are you ready to take a risk? Scroll to the top of the page and hit contact. Shoot me a pic or just ask me a question. For the times they are a changing…