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While it’s not uncommon for modeling agencies to discover potential clients before they’ve turned 16, a Moscow-based company is breaking the convention of only young people applying by representing in a major way. exclusively models over 45 years old. name, Oldushka boasts of a list whose age range goes up to 85 and has a lot of gray hair. The year-long agency was born from the passion project of founder Igor Gavar, photographing the street style of pensioners on his blog (also called Oldushka). “Beauty is a quality that increases in value over the years,” he wrote in an email. “I met some very interesting faces and wanted to do a separate project with them. A model agency became such a project. Currently, Oldushka represents 18 models in cities in Russia, including Moscow , St. Petersburg, and even Gavar’s faraway Siberian hometown of Omsk. And apart from a male model, Sergey, who is 45 (“I signed him because he’s older than he looks air,” says Gavar), the youngest face in the agency is 60.

Oldushka’s launch is perfectly timed, as age diversity has increased dramatically on the slopes for a few seasons now. For Fall 2017, Dries Van Noten launched 50s throwback designs; Carmen Dell’Orefice, 85, closed the Guo Pei show, and multi-age models for Simone Rocha included Jan de Villeneuve, 72, and Benedetta Barzini, 73. Oldushka’s board of stylish older faces is also hard at work: silver-haired models have become relatively common in Russia, gracing the lookbooks of local designers and brands, including the highly anticipated fall lookbook. 2017 from the TSUM department store, local magazines such as Afisha, and a Saint Laurent Russia campaign.

As well as generating work, the agency gives older models the chance to try new things, according to one of its faces, 62-year-old Valentina Yassen, whose shoulder-length white hair and towering cheekbones were first spotted by Gavar in a photograph. “I was a professional actress and worked for many years in theater, but now I’m not on stage,” Yassen explains. “I was nervous about getting into modeling. But my son convinced me, saying, ‘Mom, you’re not so popular that you’d ruin your reputation as an actress by being photographed in a commercial. “. You won’t lose anything, but it is possible to open something new for yourself.’” Yassen has since modeled for the St. Petersburg magazine. sobaka and the 8-Store store.

It’s not the first time that Russia has been at the forefront of marketing new moves in the modeling world: it’s also home to agency Lumpen, whose roster caters to the ultra-suburban Slavic look. thin popularized by designer Gosha Rubchinskiy. Like that other fringe agency, Oldushka is changing the look of fashion, as well as broader perceptions of what beauty can be. “Appearing as themselves is an instrument to combat stereotypes,” Gavar says of his role models. “They are an inspiring example to show that it is possible to be beautiful and to be your age.”