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silver is the new chic

silver is the new chic

for decades, women over 50 have been completely excluded from advertising campaigns or beauty brands (in fact, they have been excluded from most advertising). the fashion industry has remained obsessed not only with standards of thinness or beauty that are far removed from reality, but also with youth. it has created the idea that beauty and youth are somehow synonymous.
in recent years, however, we've seen a growing trend towards more mature models and older influencers.

in 2015, céline launched a campaign that went viral, featuring author joan didion, who was 80 years old at the time. a few days later, saint laurent's campaign featured 71-year-old singer/songwriter joni mitchell. both campaigns were enthusiastically received by the public.

these campaigns were followed by several others, such as saint lauren's 2021 campaign with the always incredible catherine deneuve, looking stunning in a vinyl trench coat at the age of 77. more recently, we saw the massimo dutti campaign with charlotte rampling, 77, in big sunglasses, or marry berry for burberrys, both looking fantastically chic. the row presented this january its latest pre-fall collection, and instead of the usual young models, we saw 65year-old beauty guru and style icon linda rodin.

age, wrinkles, or gray hair are no longer an obstacle to appearing on the cover of a fashion magazine or walking the runway, as was the case with maggie smith, who at 88 was the face of the lowe's campaign; tattoo artist apo whang-od, who at 106 became the oldest woman to appear on the cover of vogue; or helen mirren, who at 78 dazzled on the paris runway.

in addition to the well-known names in the arts, we also saw the return of the timeless top models of the '90s, such as naomi campbell in alexander mcqueen, linda evangelista in fendi, christy-turlington in carolina herrera, or kate moss in anine-bing. even pamela anderson reappears in a clean, sophisticated look by proenza-schouler, a far cry from the days when she ran around the beach in a tiny red swimsuit.

several other brands have introduced models that are more than 40 years old, creating a slightly more diverse pattern in their collections, without completely changing the pattern of the models. 

what do these decisions tell us about the fashion industry?
first, that brands have somehow woken up to the fact that their customers are primarily mature women who have the financial capacity to buy luxury products, who are successful, and who see themselves in these campaigns.
at a time when life expectancy is at an all-time high and we can aspire not only to live longer but also to live better, aging has to be seen as a natural process. and these campaigns help to promote acceptance of the image and body of older women. they celebrate their confidence and show that age hasn't taken away their style.
they also manage to change the focus, creating a moment of disruption in a youth-focused society that is seen as a breath of fresh air.
the big drawback is that, once again, there is no diversity. while these campaigns portray a positive image of aging, they're focused on white women. fashion advertising urgently needs to make room for all ages, all bodies and all colors.

cláudia cavaleiro the editor in chief for CINCO editorial. born in '82 in coimbra, she is graduated in philosophy from the university of coimbra. passionate about books and podcasts in a geek kind of way, she always find something interesting to research. loves to bring awareness to social problems and loves working at CINCO!

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