In May 2019, British Vogue released a special edition in partnership with L’Oréal Paris. On the cover: Jane Fonda, 81. The name: “The Non-Issue”. The aim: to question older women representation in media.
In the fashion and beauty industry, only 15% of women represented in the media are over 50 — although they are 40% of all women in real life. In fact, over half of the world’s population is over 50 years old and is still active socially and in the business landscape. So why does media keep feeding age-restricting stereotypes?
With “The Non-Issue”, L’Oréal Paris and Vogue decided to stop making age an issue in fashion. The edition questioned older women representation in media and opposed to the industry’s standard.
The issue featured celebrities such as Helen Mirren, Jane Fonda, Christiane Amanpour and Jennifer Saunders. And also on the production crew (MUA, stylist, photographers…), all women were over 50.
As a result, the magazine gained 40,000 new readers in two weeks and achieved more media coverage than the most successful September issue.
What has happened since then?
Although from 2019, the issue remains a hot-topic and age is still a tabu for many.
Brands have been trying to include older models in their runway shows and campaigns, but it is still risky to say it has become an industry standard.
Nevertheless, examples can be found in recent campaigns including models from the 80’s — such as Cindy Crawford, 54; Naomi Campbell, 50; or Kate Moss, 46. Or even in the rising of projects that aim for more diversity on media — like AndBloom from the photographer Denise Boomkens, who photographs and interviews women over 40.
Where does your brand stand?
If you are looking to maintain your brand relevancy, it is increasingly important to have an eye on diversity and representation. Include individuals of all ethnicities but also all age ranges in your campaigns.
Here are some Cherrydeck members who have been working with older models:
If you are looking for more insights about older women in the fashion industry, read Jan de Villeneuve’s interview about her 50 years career as a model.
Do you have a project you would like to discuss? Or want to know how to make your content more representative? Get in touch! ?