Looking For Over 40 Bloggers That Have Modelled For Brands: An Upcoming Feature

Catherine Summers of Not Dressed As Lamb modelling for Fantasie & JD Williams

Something a bit different today: have you – or do you know anyone who has – modelled for a brand (at the age of 40 or over)?

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A few years ago I wrote a blog post about why brands should be using over 40 bloggers as models after seeing the amazing photo shoot that Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret did for designer Claire Cormeau.

It was the first time I’d seen an older fashion blogger modelling for a fashion brand. I soon realised it was a trick that brands were missing out on, not least the ones whose target market was over 40 women… weren’t (aren’t) we all fed up of seeing clothes aimed at older women modelled by 22 year olds?

My reasoning for brands using fashion bloggers was fourfold:

1. Fashion bloggers are naturals in front of the camera and used to having their picture taken.
2. The reach and influence they have is invaluable to a brand (and instant PR).
3. Fashion bloggers are relatable and “regular women” compared to models.
4. They come in all shapes, sizes, colours and personalities.

(Main image: campaigns I’ve been featured in for, L-R, JD Williams, Fantasie and JD Williams.)

 

When things started to happen

Fast forward a year or two after I wrote that post and my wish, to some extent, started to come true.

Swedish brand Åhléns used Instagram star Sarah Jane Adams for their SS16 campaign and Mango used 60-something NYC blogger Lyn Slater in SS17.

In the UK, JD Williams hired Anna Parkes – a 60-year-old fashion blogger I’ve known since she started blogging back in 2015 – for their “I Am” campaign in 2018.

I couldn’t have been happier for all these wonderful women.

Over 40 Fashion Bloggers Modelling for Fashion Brands | Not Dressed As Lamb

Above, L-R: Alison Gary for Cabi, Lyn Slater for Mango, Mel Kobayashi for Nordstrom, Sarah Jane Adams for Åhléns, Anna Parkes for JD Williams. I’ll feature these images in full in the upcoming post.

None of these women are your typical ‘model types’. All are stunning in their different ways, all embrace their age in a powerful way that’s not apologetic or trying to be anything other than the age they are.

The news about Lyn modelling for Mango even made it onto the pages of The Telegraph and Business of Fashion. Her photos looked incredible. (Moody and mysterious, but incredible.)

I thought things had gone quiet on the bloggers-as-models front until last year when there seemed to be a mini-explosion of older bloggers modelling for brands. Mel modelled again (this time for Nordstrom) and just the other week I rejoiced when I saw midsize blogger Alison Gary had modelled for Cabi Clothing. It gave me the idea to feature them, plus any others in a future post.

And to find more I need your help!

 

Who I’m looking to feature…

I want to feature bloggers over 40 who have modelled in campaigns for (fashion) brands, or appeared in any sort of TV advert/commercial, anywhere in the world. I’m looking for women who are not models as a profession (most models these days have a strong social media presence) – I want bloggers (or Instagrammers) who have been given the opportunity to model, where the brand would normally have hired a professional model but instead chose to go the regular women route.

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The more interesting their look (i.e. not typically “model-like”), the better. I know that a lot of high profile fashion bloggers have modelled for brands, and although I wouldn’t dream of downplaying the fact that bloggers like Victoria Magrath of Inthefrow, Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad and Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper Girl have won major modelling gigs and even appeared on the covers of magazines (good for them!), they do essentially have “model looks”.

I’m someone who was lucky enough to have been featured in a British TV advert for L’Oréal hair colourant. I most definitely do NOT have typical model looks, but the team at L’Oréal were most likely after regular women and wanted a mixture of hair colours and ages. Being over 40 and an (albeit faux) redhead has fared me well in my career.

I’ve also been in a few other campaigns, all of which I’ll include in the feature.

So please leave details in the comments about those you know of (links are most helpful), or drop me an email directly notdressedaslamb[at]gmail[dot]com with high-res images in the attachments if you were the model yourself. The more details, the better.

I’ll of course give full credit to all concerned, and although I can’t promise to feature everyone (I don’t know how much of a response I’ll get), I’ll feature as many as I can, or at least give links.

Once the post is written and all the images are included, I’ll make sure it gets seen by all the contacts on my PR and brands mailing list. They need to know that this is something they should be doing, and if not – WHY are they wasting this golden opportunity… just LOOK at these incredible women!

(Timescale: I’m looking to publish the post in April, so send me images and links by the end of March!)

 

Have you been part of a major campaign for a fashion brand? Do you know someone who has? Give me all the details in the comments!

 

XOXO

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33 Comments

  1. 4 April 2020 / 7:29 pm

    I’ve modeled on & off again since I was in my 30s (as a “petite” model then) and also extra work in movies. I’m 71 now and still doing very occasional modeling (we moved to the Dallas area in 2007, from Southern California, so not as many opportunities). I’m 5’4″ and weigh 105 ~ can forward photos if you want them.

    • Catherine
      Author
      4 April 2020 / 8:03 pm

      Hi Cindy, that’s so wonderful that you’ve been modelling right up until your 70s! As much as I’d love to feature you, it’s only bloggers I’m looking for – those who have never modelled before and who aren’t normally considered “model material”. If you’ve been modelling since your 30s then you’re more of a model than a blogger who’s been asked to do some modelling as a result of their blogging profile… I hope you don’t mind, but thank you for getting in touch! x

  2. 29 February 2020 / 12:45 pm

    What a wonderful idea! Haha, finally I can show off a bit 🙂
    I was modeling for Biotherm a few years ago and the feature was in Elle, Grazia and almost every german magazine (except Vogue damn pfffft :)).
    They shot some pictures with me again in December and they’re using them for their social media.
    Paula´s Choice is also using some of my images on their German site, Shiseido filmed a feature with me and 2 other bloggers and featured us in SisterMAG, it’s an online magazine.
    I think it’s fun and I wish I could do this more often. But when I see retouched pictures of myself – with no wrinkles or pores – I don’t like them. Biotherm does this big time, they’re mentally still in 2010. Sending a wrong message.

    xx Doro

    • Catherine
      Author
      29 February 2020 / 1:39 pm

      Doro that’s brilliant… I assume you’re going to send me all the images and/or links??

    • Catherine
      Author
      2 March 2020 / 9:58 am

      Got your email, Doro – thank you!!!!!!!!!!! xx

  3. 28 February 2020 / 7:54 pm

    I modelled for a sustainable fashion business, Thrift VIP, and loved it.

    • Catherine
      Author
      29 February 2020 / 11:37 am

      Tanya that’s amazing – were they professional shots that the brand used for a campaign? If they were, send them over! x

  4. 28 February 2020 / 3:15 pm

    Such a fabulous idea. It’s good that some brands are beginning to use older women. Hopefully,
    putting the spotlight on our age demographic, hopefully it may improve our visibility.
    Alison xx

    • Catherine
      Author
      29 February 2020 / 11:38 am

      Let’s hope so, Alison – it’s definitely been improving all the time since I wrote that first blog post, so let’s hope the trend continues…!

  5. 28 February 2020 / 9:50 am

    I don’t think I follow anyone who’s been in a TV ad or modelled for a major company but I’ll keep my eyes open and let you know if I can think of someone.
    I really enjoy your blog even though I am far from being a fashion blogger 🙂 But I do think these types of blogs are helping me define my style, which is a mix of Rock C hic and Audrey Hepburn/ Jackie Kennedy (!) – I guess it depends on the situation – a bit more 🙂
    One thing I really find hard to determine is which colours look good on me. I seem to think I am OK in most colours as long as they’re not dull and too earthy.

    • Catherine
      Author
      29 February 2020 / 11:42 am

      A mixture of rock chic, Audrey Hepburn and Jackie K sounds amazing, Lorna…!!!!! As far as colours go, you could have your colours “done” by an expert, or do what I do: wear the colours you love. If you take photos of yourself (always upload them and look at them on a monitor or laptop screen, don’t just look at them on a phone or camera screen) then it’s easier to be objective about what looks good. But heck, if you bloody well love hot pink and it’s not “one of your colours” then just wear it anyway if it makes you feel good! How you feel is SO much more important than how you look to others…!

      And thank you, so glad you enjoy the blog xo

  6. 28 February 2020 / 9:23 am

    What a great opportunity 🙂 I have only once and loved it. It was for Marisota. I would love to know how to get into it more. I will link up a few links from my photoshoot and I have plenty of professional photos if I am lucky to be picked by you 🙂 Many thanks Claire

    • Catherine
      Author
      29 February 2020 / 11:45 am

      Claire these were exactly what I was after!! The images from your blog post are high res enough (W800 is the minimum size I need): do you have a link for where they were used by Marisota at all?

      Congrats, you look amazing in them 😀

  7. 28 February 2020 / 8:57 am

    A great action that you are launching there.

    Yes, I was a model for a fitness group as a Best Ager customer last year. Do you count that? Then I can send you a few pictures. I’m curious to see what the great fashion bloggers all look like and which labels are finally discovering the right women for themselves.

    XO Martina from Munich

    • Catherine
      Author
      29 February 2020 / 11:47 am

      As long as they were used in a newsletter/on their website/for advertorial purposes then that’s what I’m after, Martina… send me the images and a link to where they were used! xx

  8. 27 February 2020 / 10:59 pm

    I’ve done a couple of shoots for Look Fabulous Forever and some filming? Would this count Catherine? I think this is a fantastic idea btw xx

    • Catherine
      Author
      28 February 2020 / 12:45 am

      I seem to remember you doing this Laurie so do send them to me, as long as they’re high-res images and they were used by the brand in some social/advertorial/promotional capacity then that’s what I’m after!

      Anything where they could have hired a pro model but went for bloggers instead is what we want to see xoxo

  9. 27 February 2020 / 10:06 pm

    You definitely have your finger on the pulse of this Catherine. It’s absolutely brilliant to see brands using “real” women in their campaigns. I’d love to be asked by one of my favourite sustainable brands . I had hoped Rixo would use me after I met the cofounder Henrietta Rix but they went with the more obvious grey haired “real” of my age group. I think brands are still looking for women who stand out, make a statement as it were?
    That’s not to reduce the great leaps forward for the cause although it does make me wonder about the true intentions behind their particular choices.

    • Catherine
      Author
      28 February 2020 / 12:49 am

      OMG YES to a sustainable brand asking you MT…! Who better than a 50+ eco fashion warrior to model for them??

      I do agree with you on the use of silver-haired models… the grey pound is important but that doesn’t mean we LITERALLY have to see grey hair every single time. My fear is that the silver hair thing will become as much of a cliche as the characteristics of younger models. We want variety!!

  10. 27 February 2020 / 8:58 pm

    It’s great news that brands are using real people at last. Not enough yet but efforts like yours help to keep the spotlight on progress Catherine. Great work!

    • Catherine
      Author
      28 February 2020 / 12:51 am

      Definitely not enough yet, Sarah – but I have seen more and more regular women being used lately. Onwards and upwards as they say, let’s shine a light on them (and hopefully it’ll encourage MORE older women and bloggers to go for these sort of opportunities)!

  11. 27 February 2020 / 7:38 pm

    This is great. I did a small thing for Bon Marche when i was 56 and 5ft 1 inch so had 2 things against me. I wouldn’t calk it major so that rules me out but it was an interesting experience to feel so many people and studio and equipment and food was there for me!

    Anna Muttonstyle

    • Catherine
      Author
      27 February 2020 / 8:00 pm

      Anna as long as you’ve got professional shots you can send me – and they were actually used by the brand somewhere – then send them over! I may have given the wrong impression by saying major campaign… I was trying to eliminate shots that bloggers produce themselves, “modelling clothes”. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (it’s all brilliant!) but I wanted to differentiate between that and times when they could have hired professional models but went with bloggers instead.

      Send me links (to their website or any blog posts you did with BTS) and attachments! xx

  12. 27 February 2020 / 7:27 pm

    Hi my darling girl!
    Fabulous and generous post as ever!
    As you know we both did the JDW re brand and I was 54 back then!
    Since then my most recent as a brand ambassador featuring on their videos and website etc has been for Femal a new menopause supplement just launched in the uk!
    We are launching phase 2 in March !
    I am always amazed to be picked for this type of work especially as I am now 56!!

    Love and hugs
    Ashley

    • Catherine
      Author
      27 February 2020 / 8:01 pm

      We did, we did!! Do send me jpegs Ashley if you have them?!!

  13. 27 February 2020 / 7:17 pm

    Isn’t it amazing that brands want,, older,, wonen more often! Yeah, we are gonna rule the world! Ha ha, good read!

    • Catherine
      Author
      27 February 2020 / 8:03 pm

      It IS amazing, Nancy – just the way it should be!

  14. 27 February 2020 / 5:44 pm

    I just love how you support everyone, Catherine! I do not know of anyone right now, but if I do stumble upon someone who fits what you are seeking, I will for sure pass it on to you!

    Shelbee

    • Catherine
      Author
      27 February 2020 / 8:04 pm

      That would be lovely, Shelbee – thank you! xx

  15. 27 February 2020 / 5:41 pm

    What a wonderful idea, and we want to see more over’s modelling for the big brands. Sadly I haven’t done any jobs like this, but would have loved to! You never know in the future though! Good luck and I look forward to reading your post – thank you for promoting the older bloggers. x Jacqui

    • Catherine
      Author
      27 February 2020 / 8:07 pm

      You never know, Jacqui, as you say… the more they use us the more they’ll need so fingers crossed! let me know if you see anyone x

  16. jodie filogomo
    27 February 2020 / 5:37 pm

    I love how more and more companies are featuring real women like this!! I know Walking Cradles does this regularly for their LookBooks and my friend and I will be in the next lookbook. But it’s not a major company or tv ad like you’re looking for.
    OXOX
    Jodie

    • Catherine
      Author
      27 February 2020 / 8:12 pm

      I love it too, Jodie – well done for being in the Lookbook!! x

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