I wrote about 88-year-old Jay Maisel yesterday. Such a badass and he’s even older than a boomer. He’s from the Silent Generation.
Today, I want to write about some of my role models from the fashion and creative worlds who are being newly discovered and celebrated for their style, creativity, and gusto for life. They inspire me.
Another thing I’ve noticed, and I don’t know why this is happening, but in certain creative fields, there is a shift away from youth towards those with more than a few years on them. It’s gotten to the point where (to me) it looks like women in their fifties or early sixties are going out of their way to look older by dying their hair gray or not wearing makeup. I would go so far as to say we are in the throes of fetishizing seventy and eighty-year olds – especially those who are artists, style makers, or in some way leading an unconventional or eccentric lifestyle.
Where I see this show up most is in the art world, e.g., Yayoi Kusama, who at age 90 is the most Instagrammed artist in the world.
In fashion, I tend to gravitate to those sporting that cool streetwear style rather than those into high-fashion. My favorites are women like Sarah Jane Adams or Mrs. Naito. They inspire me to be more creative with my wardrobe.
Credit has to go to Ari Seth Cohen’s Advanced Style blog for starting this cultural shift to older women as influencers. That said, I’m not a big fan of that vintage style with all those hats and accouterments – way too “costumey” for my liking. Nevertheless, that’s what got this movement off the ground.
Scroll down for more on all these fabulous people who influence and inspire me daily.
Sarah Jane Adams – Age 64 (Instagram 182K followers: saramaijewels)
She’s Australian!! They SAY she’s 64, but I don’t know. I think she may be older. Her style, which is decidedly “street,” is my absolute favorite. She seems to work with Adidas a lot. Even if I only take one idea and apply it to my wardrobe, it’s a win.
Michèle Lamy – Age 75 (Instagram: lalamichmich, 77K followers)
Michèle Lamy is a French culture and fashion figure of Algerian origin. She is best known as wife, muse and creative accomplice of fashion designer Rick Owens, but she has been a clothing designer, performer, film producer, and restaurateur.
She’s REALLY extreme but very inspiring because she’s not trying to be pretty or young – she just makes such a unique statement!
Naito Saori – age 70 (Instagram: naito_saori)
A new follow for me (recommended by goodbyecroptop). Love her style.
Jimmy Wright, artist, friend, and neighbor on Freeman Alley – Just turned 75
Al Sutton – Age 85 – Another neighbor and friend who I’ve known for 30 years (but none of us had any idea he was 85)
Al was recently featured in the NY Times with a story on two islands he’s bought off Manhattan – that he wants to sell – all yours if you have $13 million lying around.
Better After Fifty
I don’t know too much about this blog, but I saw this line on their Instagram, and they had me hooked: “Seventy is the new outspoken.”
Mel Kobayashi – Vancouver-based fashion blogger. She has 38K followers on her Instagram (bagandaberet)
Supposedly 56? She’s gone all-in on the gray hair, and I love her attitude and her use of patterns and color.
For me, aging has proven to be amazingly liberating. I know that’s not the way it’s supposed to be, but it’s true.
And because (unfortunately) you realize you are closer to the end than the beginning, being aware that the clock is ticking, gives you the impetus and permission to live with gusto! You don’t want to put off, or miss out on, a single thing that inspires or intrigues you. You become ravenous for life.
Aging also makes you more outspoken, more creative, and more willing to take risks.
So here’s to all the amazing men and women who are paving the way and showing us the possibilities for the future of aging!