A modeling agency that only represents women aged 45 and over? In an industry that historically puts models on the pasture after 30 years (with very few exceptions), this is a revolutionary concept. But that’s exactly what former street style photographer Igor Gavar did when he founded Moscow-based Oldushka a year ago that flouts the rules of traditional fashion. As the name suggests, Oldushka is committed to finding work for “older” models and expanding their career opportunities. The agency currently represents 18 models, aged 45 to 85, based in cities across Russia.
“Beauty – it is a quality that increases in value over the years”, said Gavar vogue. “I met some really interesting faces and wanted to do a separate project with them. A modeling agency became that kind of project.
Gavar couldn’t have picked a better time to pursue his passion. The fashion industry’s narrow definition of beauty — one that uplifts those who are young, white, tall, thin, and cisgender — has begun to grow. Women in their 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond are more present this fashion month than in any season in recent memory. Fall 2017 runway shows by Dries Van Noten, Dolce & Gabbana, Simone Rocha, Guo Pei, Gareth Pugh, Tome and more celebrated the beauty of older women. Lonely Clothing recently chose Mercy Brewer, 56, for their spring 2017 lingerie presentation. Sports Illustrated turned industry vet Christie Brinkley for her latest swimsuit issue.
Russian brands are also interested in silver-haired beauties like those on Gavar’s list. Oldushka’s signatories appeared in Russian department store TSUM’s fall 2017 lookbook, in local magazines like Afisha and in a Saint Laurent Russia campaign. It seems that labels around the world have realized that their models should reflect the women who, for the most part, financially enable their existence.
Oldushka is just one of many fringe agencies (other notables include JAG Models, Trans Models and Slay Model management) helping to diversify the talent pool. By defending their charges, representing these models as themselves, presenting them to the world, these agencies help to combat stereotypes and dispel the outdated idea that beauty is linked to age, the color of skin, size or gender identity. While Gavar’s board certainly represents certain cultural standards of beauty (whiteness, leanness), we respect its concept and hope to see similar agencies pop up in the US – soon.[ via Vogue ]