Model Behavior

Modeling Agency Signs Models 45 Years And Older, Challenging Beauty Standards

“They are an inspiring example to show that it is possible to look beautiful and be your age.”

Model Behavior is an A Plus series featuring fashion models who promote body positivity, and work to create inclusivity and diversity within the industry by expanding our definition of conventional beauty.

The fashion industry has become more inclusive in recent years, and with that change comes more diverse models in shape, size, color, and age. During the spring 2018 season, an unprecedented 27 models over the age of 50 walked the runways of New York, London, Milan and Paris, according to The Fashion Spot. That may not seem like a lot, but it's six more than in fall 2017, which shows progress.

Now, one modeling agency may help to improve those numbers even more. Moscow modeling agency Oldushka exclusively signs models 45 years old and older. The oldest model signed to the agency is 85. Oldushka models are challenging traditional beauty standards by proving that both men and women can rock all kinds of looks, regardless of the date on their birth certificate. 

Founder Igor Gavar spent years photographing the street style of older men and women before starting the the senior modeling agency a year and a half ago. He hopes the agency will help to broaden the public's perception of beauty and change what we see on runways and fashion magazines. 

"I met some very interesting faces, and I wanted to do a separate project with them," he told Vogue. "Appearing as themselves is an instrument to fight stereotypes. They are an inspiring example to show that it is possible to look beautiful and be your age."

Gavar joins others who are trying to make a positive difference in the fashion world. More and more brands are starting to fight industry standards that digitally alter models to look thinner, younger, and unrealistically without flaws. Other agencies such as JAG ModelsTrans Models, MSA ModelsSlay Model Management, and more are working hard to diversify the modeling talent pool. In addition, beauty magazine Allure announced last year that it will no longer use the term "anti-aging" to stop reinforcing the idea that aging is a condition we need to fight. 

According to BBC, the agency has signed about 20 models aged between 46 and 82 years who have appeared on the pages of the TsUM catalogs, Glamour, InStyle, Numero, and more magazines. They've also walked in Moscow Fashion Week, posed for Saint Laurent Russia campaigns, and even been included in Russian music videos. 

Oldushka has given its mature models the opportunity to begin a new chapter in their lives, filled with different experiences. Sixty-three-year-old model Valentina Yassen was "nervous" about signing up with the agency. "I was a professional actress, and for many years I worked in the theater, but now I'm not onstage," Yassen told Vogue. "I was nervous about entering modeling. But my son convinced me, saying, 'Mama, you aren't so popular that you would ruin your reputation as an actress by being photographed in an advertisement. You're not going to lose anything, but it is possible to open something new for yourself.' "

While there's nothing wrong with people who prefer to combat signs of aging, it's refreshing to see models embracing their gray hair, wrinkles, and natural looks. These models are helping to shatter age biases and show that fashion has no limitations. Hopefully, the rest of the industry will catch on. 

Check out some of their models below.

Valentina Yassen, 63 years old

Sergey Arktika, 46 years old

Olga Kondrasheva, 72 years old

Victor Sosnovtsev, 74 years old

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