In the last few days we have seen the launch of the new Spring 2015 collection by the jewellery firm, Alexis Bittar. The really surprising thing about this campaign is its choice of fashion guru, Iris Apfel at 93 years old alongside Tavi Gevinson at the tender age of 19, as the new faces for the brand. Alexis Bittar himself claims that the campaign is homage to strong and non-conformist women.
However, Iris Apfel has not been the only mature muse to be chosen for this season. Joan Didion appears as the octogenarian muse for Céline and is a living example of the combination of beauty and intelligence that perfectly represents the values of Phoebe Philo’s fashion house.
The crowning jewel of this trinity of mature muses is the legendary folk singer, Joni Mitchell, who was photographed at her home in Bel Air, California for the latest campaign of Yves Saint Laurent. Three examples of what we have been predicting here for months and what seems to be the trend for 2015, which will be full of change and innovation in the models that the most prestigious firms are choosing to convey their brand image.
In this case, we are seeing brands breaking the rules more and more, adopting new values that go far beyond just pretty faces. In order to achieve this they are now opting for icons who carry with them an aura of wisdom and experience. These values are crucial ingredients for elegance, the most desirable of virtues.
This phenomenon is ever more present in the haut-couture fashion houses, but we should not forget that these new muses are stars who have triumphed in their own right, either as actresses or singers. The question is whether there is a formula that includes mature models as a way to achieving success. Choosing a person to embody the values of a brand is not something that can be simply left to chance, but is rather a fundamental reflection that has a huge effect on the brand’s impact when it hits the street and can actually make or break a brand.
As far as male models are concerned, we can find examples, such as the former porn star Aiden Shaw, who started his modelling career in his 40s when he was discovered by GQ magazine in 2012. Shaw went on to become one of the most talked about models, appearing in magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar China, Figaro Hommes and GQ. His silvery beard and hair are the characteristic traits of a professional who has been able to reinvent himself to be featured on the front pages of fashion magazines across the globe.
The German magazine Schön has also succumbed to the charms of another older model, showing that aging gracefully can be hugely attractive. Paul Mason stars in the editorial that celebrates the timelessness of the Hermès brand, with black and white photos that bring out Mason’s signature pearly-white hair and beard.
We are absolutely convinced that the experience gained over the years is a key factor to embody the values, such as poise and elegance, that we all aspire to. These are the values that all these new muses convey, the knowledge gained from the passing of time and the elegance learnt through their years of experience, values which we should all learn to appreciate more in the world of fashion, both as professionals and spectators.