Fashion is embarking on an Old Year’s Resolution, encouraging older models to strut our shopfronts and runway shows. Selfridges launched Bright Old Things, a take on their yearly Bright Young Things initiative. This year, work from older creatives such as Sue Kreitzman and Nick Wooster are on show. Some of the participants are now in their second or third profession, showing us it’s never too late to embark on a passion. Also this week, Joan Didion, 80 year old author and journalist, was revealed as the glamorous face of of Celine and musician Joni Mitchell was named the face of Saint Laurent.
These stories have led to discussions on whether these show a true shift in the fashion industry, which is institutionally youth orientated. The trend for the grey has been building over the last few years, especially thanks to the Advanced Style blog and film. There is also concern that this is a brief fashionable fling with the generation, and soon we will be back to wrinkle free faces selling us wares. But the ‘Silver spend’ is becoming increasingly important to retailers. By the end of the decade, the spend of consumers over 60 (the world’s fastest growing consumer demographic) is said to reach $15 trillion worldwide. This demographic is often also the richest, able to afford the high-end goods advertised, especially in the lucrative areas of cosmetics and accessories.
Retailers need to take note and adapt their experiences to cater to this growing and ageing audience, both in-store and online, as older audiences may be more comfortable shopping from the comfort of their Eames (rather than rocking) chairs.