When we think of style icons, we think about young people. Our minds instantly conjure up images of Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Zendaya—nobody above 30. In the evolution of fashion, somewhere along the way, an unwritten rule that fashion was exclusive to the younger demographic came to be. However, things are changing and there are a few people who have broken away from this norm.
Zeenat Aman, a style icon and legend of the yesteryears made her Instagram debut earlier this year and took the Internet by storm, to say the least. Aman’s account, peppered with nostalgic throwbacks and her current adventures, is a treat to scroll through. More than her sartorial choices and blasts from the past, her style stands out. Aman belongs to a time when the industry grossly undervalued women and saw them more as mere accessories or as a support for men and less as individuals. Zeenat Aman has completely taken that power back, and her fashion choices are just one indication of it. From bold colours to flaunting her fantastic grey bob, she has proved to the world that her age or gender in no way dictate her style.
Similarly, Vera Wang, a 74-year-old fashion designer's Instagram account is as stunning and aesthetically appealing as a 20-something year-old's account. Whether it's her by-the-pool looks, holiday wear, concert looks, or anything else, she has proven to the world that anything Gen Z wears, she can wear better. Her designs have stood the test of time and so has her personal style.
While Aman and Wang were well-known icons, a not-so-popular couple, well into their 80s, who own a laundromat in Taiwan, shot to fame during the pandemic for their unique style. Encouraged by their grandson, Chang Wan-ji and Hsu Sho-er started posing with clothes left behind by customers over the years. Soon the pictures went viral and their account has over seven hundred thousand followers. In May this year, Sho-er passed away, but she left a mark with her smile, confidence, and style.
Paris, the fashion capital of the world, also has its own octogenarian fashion icons—Marie-Louise and René Glémarec, the grandparents of designer Florentin Glémarec, the creator of Egon Lab. His label works on gender-neutral fashion, even roping in actors like Joe Locke, who are trailblazers of queer representation. While designing his new line in 2021, he used his grandparents as models for trials and instantly knew they were best fitted for it. The brand's fans loved these new models just as much, and today they are known in the Parisian fashion circuit, even attending fashion week!
Companies are taking conscious and deliberate steps to combat the ingrained ageism in the fashion industry. Inditex recently announced 67-year-old Ángela Molina as the face of their new Zara campaign. The actress boasts both national and international projects under her belt and has also received an honorary Goya award in 2021. The campaign, titled Thirteen Pieces: a collection of timeless, minimalist garments in neutral tones, which exudes elegance and sophistication. The photos are black and white, with Molina looking regal and relaxed in her natural element.
Together, these people, with their confidence and style, have shown us that our ‘glory days’ are whenever we want them to be, there is no expiration date to it, and no one should tell you otherwise.