Greynaissance in Fashion: Elderlies becoming Instagram Icons


‘Hip’ no longer only represents youth. Rather, it can be seen as a ‘Greynaissance’ (Grey + Renaissance) sweeping through the world of fashion. Elderlies with wrinkles all over the face and greyish hair were being ignored in the fashion industry before, but the equation that the fashion of younger models equals the trend is now broken. Dolce&Gabbana, Celine, Lanvin, Vetements… various brands are asking for more elderlies to become their model for the brands. But why?

The consumer market for over-60s generation keeps increasing, leading to the luxury brands to think once again about their image for this high rate of elderly consumers. One of the ways was to use elderly models. Fresh and new. Think about your grandparents wearing your clothes. Looks cool, right? It is fresh content that the fashion industry should follow: it is no longer meaningful to divide the fashion through the age. Let’s find out some of them.

1. Carmen Dell’Orefice

(photo; MoDa's Touch)

Look alike real-version of Cruella from 101 Dalmatians, Carmen Dell’Orefice is the world’s oldest working model. Born in New York City, she started first modeling at the age of 15 and her career as a model is still continuing. She worked with the most famous fashion photographers such as Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, and Norman Parkinson, adding a new page to the history of the fashion industry including being a muse for Salvador Dali. We can easily find the years of experience within her face, which makes her look more elegant and luxurious. Her self-management and a passion for her job are just amazing that no one can believe her age as 88.

2. Iris Apfel


Another fashion icon: Iris Apfel, the oldest teenager in the world. She was just a businesswoman working for Women’s Wear Daily and as an interior designer. At the age of 97, she contracted with the model agency. With her big-bold-circular glasses, her unique style as a mixture of ‘Passion, Energy, and Confidence.’

“When you don’t dress like everyone else, you don’t have to think like everyone else.” – Iris Apfel

3. Lyn Slater

(photo; Uniqlo)

An ‘Accidental Icon’, Lyn Slater calls herself a ‘fashion influencer’. 2014 New York fashion week was her turning point. Due to her fashion sense, photographers mistook her as a model and took photos (actually, she was just there to have lunch with her friend!), leading her to be famous. Over 662,000 followers are evidence that she is a fashion icon. Her popularity is not only because of her age. As a professor of social work and law at Fordham University, she does not think fashion as ‘clothes’ only, but the ‘society’ and as a ‘woman’. 

You can find more about her vision and views toward fashion here: Accidental Icon

4. Kim Chil Du

(photo; Instagram @childugim)

Well, do you think the only female can be an old model? No way. Kim Chil Du, a 65-year-old Korean male is catching everyone’s attention. He was always interested in fashion since young but due to his poor financial statement, he could not achieve his dream. The long dream of him being a model finally could be made in 2018 thanks to his daughter. Walking the catwalk at various fashion shows… he really is a SUPER rookie!

Not only real models, but there are some Instagram fashionistas reflecting a trend of Greynaissance!

5. Bon and Pon

(photo; Instagram @bonpon511) 

Bon (Tsuyoshi Seki) and Pon (Tomi Seki), Japanese who are in their 60s, are the cutest couple on Instagram. How they match their couple clothing is just amazing, assimilating similar styles and colors. Their style is very simple: wear plain-colored clothing or with only a few patterns. The fashion sense they have is born to be, and their marriage also seems born to be considering their taste of fashion. With almost 800,000 followers, they really are a #Couplegoals

6. Tetsuya Kudo

(photo; Instagram @slvr.tty)

There is another Japanese Grandpa who is a super rookie on Instagram. Naoya Kudo dressed his granddad Tetsuya, aged 84, and posted the picture of his fashionable outfits. He was just a retired chemistry teacher but now on Instagram, he teaches how to be such a ‘hot’ elderly. The clothes are Naoya’s but when they shoot, Tetsuya gives a lot of suggestions for better quality photos. For example, the background in the photo above is the middle school where he worked as a principal. It has been only a month after he made an account, but he has over 72,000 followers!

Yes, they might gain interest in public due to their age at first. However, it is not just because they are fashionable or looking good even they are aged. How much they love and think about fashion makes them shine brighter. The passion and confidence. Those are what youth admires and wants to follow. Age is just a number, so love your age.

In this Story: #style / fashion