Mature Models And Their Place In The Industry

  • Esther O'Leary

If you have worked as a model in the past or have always wanted to be a model but worry that your best years are behind you think again! These days mature models are more popular than ever as marketers wake up to the influence of ageing consumers. The grey rebellion is real as models over 60 years old are being taken seriously.

Older Female Models Fight for Their Place

Not only are there a wide range of catalogues and magazines aimed specifically at older people, but big brands and even exclusive fashion houses are opening up to the idea of using models of all ages. US clothing company American Apparel named a 62 year old model as the face and body of its lingerie campaign, and high street brands including Zara and Marks and Spencer have also worked with older models. Now well into her 80’s, Daphne Selfe is one of the world’s oldest supermodels, whilst 73 year old male couture model Charles Schumann and 69 year old Maye Musk are proving that it’s never too late to make it big.


Successful Mature Models

It’s inspiring to see successful models grace the runway and covers of well-known magazines. With Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Dries Van Noten championing mature models, we thought we’d take a look at a few who are grabbing the fashion world with both hands.

Daphne Selfe, age 89, modelled for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair.

Jan de Villeneuve, age 72, graced the catwalk for Simone Rocha and Osman.

Maye Musk, age 70, has fronted campaigns for Swarovski and appeared on the cover of Grazia magazine and Prestige.

Frances Dunscombe, age 85, has posed in Prada for Hunger Magazine and walked in London Fashion Week.

How to Become an Older Model

Both older men and women can expect to enjoy a successful modelling career, and whilst you will need to be fit and healthy, the great news is that there is no set look for you to conform to. Agents like to see natural beauty and confidence, and that can be found in models of all ages.

In order to be considered as a mature model you will need to be:

  • Aged 35-40 years or over.
  • Have a healthy and toned body.
  • Demonstrate a vibrant personality through your poses.
  • Have good skin, don’t worry wrinkles and age spots are rarely a problem.
  • Embrace your grey hair.


What Kind of Work Is Available?

If successful you can expect to be booked for a wide variety of work including fashion, catalogue, advertising, medical/health, editorial, character and much more. Top designers are embracing the trend and the need for the older generation to be represented. Models over 70 are no longer silenced as their silver locks and smile lines grace the cover of Harper’s Bazaar alongside younger models. There is a very relevant place in the industry for ageing beauty that inspires. Many older female models take to Instagram to showcase their talent, gaining followers in there thousands. Successful mature women demonstrate how stylish and fashion forward older models can be via the platform. Many skip the casting process due to their chic posts on Instagram. Also, modelling agencies are responding to the demand signing beautiful models in their 70s.

How to Approach an Agent?

  1. UK Models will be able to advise you on reputable a older model agency in and around your local area that represent models in your particular niche. If you show the potential required to be successful they will advise you on how to contact them to see if they are accepting new models.
  2. In addition to making introductions to agencies, UK Models can help you create a collection of professional images that best showcase your look to agencies and casting directors. They understand what agencies will be looking for and, along with fashion images, can help you create naturally beautiful pictures that highlight your body shape and facial features.
  3. Be confident in your look and make the most of your attributes. If you have good skin and hair make sure it is evident in your pictures. Similarly, if your body is your best asset then dress and pose in a way that flatters it rather than detracts from it.


Remember that there is beauty and interest to be found in a face or body that has experienced the ups and downs of life. What’s more, you will no doubt find that your age makes you more resilient to the inevitable knock backs that come with the work.

Whether you are looking to revive a previous modelling career or are hoping to make your commercial modelling debut now is the time to prove that you can look great no matter how old you are. So what are you waiting for?

Where Are All the 50 Year Olds?

Although, the silver-haired rebellion is inspirational where mature models are making ground in a previously young persons world, the 50 year olds are stuck in the middle. Many are told they are in fact not old enough to become a mature model as their hair is not grey enough and their face is not aged enough. This creates an age gap that leaves the female models over 50 years old with no place to go. The mid-lifers are being missed completely as they are ‘too young’ to be classed as a mature model but ‘too old’ to be a young model.

Also, the older models who are successful are tall and slim, which many mature women cannot identify with as we all come in different shapes and sizes. The mature model revolution has certainly made a start yet there remains a far way to go to avoid tokenism. The last thing we want is for these sassy, confident older models to be a flash in the pan. Hopefully, the concept will evolve further including more models 35 and over gracing the pages of elite magazines.

Share this Post