Isabella Rossellini had been the face of Lancôme for 14 years when, at the age of 42, she was pushed out for being too old. Now, having just turned 66, she's modeling for Lancôme once again. And she's not the only model of a certain age who's suddenly in demand. Click though for more on Rossellini and other women over 50 who represent this growing trend.
Isabella Rossellini, 66
"When you're an old lady like me," she recently told New York magazine, "you just do what you want." For Isabella Rossellini, that meant raising chickens on her Long Island farm—in fact, she just published a book on the subject, "My Chickens and I." But then a call came from Lancôme, which led to Rossellini's return as the face of the beauty brand nearly a quarter-century after she retired from modeling. Her reaction to this turn of events? "I feel energized, delighted and surprised."
Courtesy of Lancôme
Maye Musk, 70
Tesla founder Elon Musk's mom, who was born in Canada and grew up in South Africa, started modeling at 15. But, she told Vanity Fair, "I've never worked so much as I do now." Maye Musk appeared in a Beyoncé video when she was 65, did a more recent shoot for the jeans brand DL1961, and became a CoverGirl model just before turning 70. And she's the star of a fall 2018 campaign for Sachin & Babi evening wear. Musk took offense when an Instagram comment referred to her as a GOAT—until someone explained to her that it's an acronym for Greatest Of All Time.
Lauren Hutton, 74
Supermodel Lauren Hutton appeared on the cover of Vogue a record-setting 28 times, and even though Revlon declined to renew her contract after she turned 40, she has never stopped working. She posed nude for the cover of Big magazine when she was 61 and more recently modeled for J. Crew. Like many of the older models currently in demand, Hutton eschews Botox and cosmetic surgery. "Our wrinkles are our medals of the passage of life," she once said. "They are what we have been through and who we want to be."
Pia Gronning, 65
Another J. Crew model, Pia Gronning started out in films. The Danish actress had a part in "The Two Jakes," Jack Nicholson's 1990 follow-up to "Chinatown." Now signed with the Brussels-based Dominique agency, she recently modeled for the fashion brand Masai.
Accepting a lifetime achievement award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2010, Iman publicly thanked her parents for bestowing on her "a neck longer than any other girl on any go-see anywhere in the world." Iman, who was married to David Bowie from 1992 until his death in 2016, has been modeling for more than four decades. She made her debut in Vogue in 1976 and appeared with 21-year-old Dutch model Imaan Hammam on the cover of Vogue Arabia earlier this year.
Gillean McLeod, 62
Scottish stylist Gillean McLeod, who started modeling when she was 53, became a swimwear model for H&M after she turned 60. It helps that she has "always been comfortable in a bathing suit." McLeod said. "I swim 2,500 meters, four times a week, and it's something I've always done and it does keep you in fabulous shape."
Yasmin Le Bon, 53
Yasmin Le Bon doesn't look like she belongs on a list of models over 50. But looks can be deceiving. The English beauty, who has been married to Duran Duran frontman Simon Le Bon since 1985, was featured in a recent Sisley ad campaign with her daughter Amber, who's now 29.
Yazemeenah Rossi, 62
"My hair started turning gray when I was 12 and was salt-and-pepper by the time I hit 20. I never colored it, because I knew it was my best asset," said photographer turned model Yazemeenah Rossi, who was born in Corsica and now lives in Malibu, California. Rossi already had two grandchildren when she appeared in a 2012 campaign for London-based retailer Marks & Spencer. More recently, she has showed up in ads for Mercedes Benz.
Photo: Metro Models
Inès de La Fressange, 60
Ines de la Fressange—seen here with her youngest daughter, Violette Marie d'Urso—famously walked the runway for Jean Paul Gaultier when she was 51. The former muse to Karl Lagerfeld has recently modeled for L'Oreal and for her own fashion collection, which she designs for Uniqlo. Her advice on the subject of aging: "Don't try to look young; only old ladies are obsessed by that."
Jacky O'Shaughnessy, 66
Jacky O'Shaughnessy was 60 when the creative director of American Apparel approached her in a restaurant and recruited her as an underwear model. It was her first modeling gig. Since then, O'Shaughnessy has walked the runway for the fashion brand TOME and appeared in ads for such labels as Diesel and Cotton on Body. One key to her success, as she sees it, is simply happiness. "Happy people exude a healthier look," she told the website Senior Planet. "They get up and they are ready to go, and it reverberates."
Jane Birkin, 71
Singer-actress-model Jane Birkin is such a style icon that Hermès named a bag after her. These days she tends to leave the modeling to her teenage granddaughter Alice Attal, who made her debut in a campaign for the French label Comptoir des Cottoniers. But that doesn't mean Birkin isn't still sought-after, as evidenced by this 2016 ad for Yves Saint Laurent.
Photo by Hedi Slimane/Yves Saint Laurent
Lyn Slater, 64
A Fordam University professor with a Ph.D. in social welfare, Lyn Slater divides her time between academia and her popular fashion blog, Accidental Icon. That led Elite Model Management to track her down, and although Slater sees herself as "a personality" more than a model, she has posed for such magazines as Vogue, Elle and Harper's Bazaar.
Photo by Calvin Lom/Accidenal Icon
Elle Macpherson, 54
The Australian supermodel nicknamed "The Body" appeared on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue a record five times. Now a successful entrepreneur, she models mainly for her own brand of lingerie, Elle Macpherson Body. while products associated with her most recent business venture—WelleCo, which markets dietary supplements—help keep her in shape to do so.
Farida Khelfa, 58
A muse to a number of Paris-based designers, Farida Khelfa first walked the runway for Jean Paul Gaultier when she was in her late 40s. Since then, the French-Algerian model has served as a brand ambassador for Schiaperelli and, in 2017, showed up on the cover of Vogue Arabia.
Eveline Hall, 72
Eveline Hall was a professional ballerina in her native Germany and then a Las Vegas showgirl before she began her modeling career—in her mid-'60s. Signed with agencies in Paris, London, Hamburg and Copenhagen, she has posed for such prominent fashion photographers as Patrick Demarchelier and Peter Lindbergh.
Photo: Mega Model Agency
Maryam d'Abo, 57
A Bond girl in the 1980s, Maryam d'Abo suffered a brain aneurysm when she was in her early 50s. After her recovery, she found a second career as a model, appearing in ads for the 50-plus fashion retailer JW Williams.
Veruschka von Lehndorff, 79
In the 1960s, she graced the covers of four major editions of Vogue—American, British, French and Italian—and, like Twiggy, was known by a single name. But Veruschka quit the fashion world in 1975, only to make her comeback on a London catwalk 35 years later, at the age of 71. In 2017, she modeled for the Swedish fashion brand Acne Studios. Asked about aging, she said, "No, it has not been hard to grow older, because I believe if you have something you believe in, that will keep you alive far more than plastic surgery or Botox
Photo courtesy of Acne Studios
Daphne Selfe, 89
Daphne Selfe, who became a model in 1949, took a long break from the profession before she was rediscovered at the age of 70. Since then, she has been featured in Vogue and ads for Dolce & Gabbana, and this year she's doing a campaign for Eyeko mascara. As she sees it, modeling is a lot easier than it was back in the day. "With the internet, we do not have to carry a heavy portfolio around with us for photographers to see as it is there on a laptop, iPhone or iPad," Selfe told Glamour magazine. "Less worn out shoe leather!"
Photo: Martine's Women Agency
Carmen Dell'Orefice, 87
Born in 1931, Carmen Dell'Orefice first showed up on the cover of Vogue when she was just 15 and has been posing for fashion photographers ever since. She's in the Guinness Book of World Records, for having the longest-ever career as a catwalk model. At 85, Dell'Orefice summed up her philosophy for Harper's Bazaar: "It is the balance of remembering the past but not living in it, to know where you are in the moment, to project a little in the future and be ready to change."
China Machado (1929-2016)
China Machado broke new ground in 1959, when she became the first non-white model (her mother was Chinese) to make the cover of a leading American fashion magazine, Harper's Bazaar. The Richard Avedon muse died of cardiac arrest just before turning 87, but a few years earlier she made another big splash when she appeared in a campaign for Cole Haan at the age of 83.
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