The aging baby boomer generation is behind the increase in searching for older fashion models by modeling agents, according to  Agents go to the Canadian National Exhibition, the Calgary Stampede, and the preteen throngs at the Great Wolf Lodge in the summer in hopes of finding new models.

A modeling career at 62

Andrea Bolley was dancing at an after-party for the Bustle show last Fashion Week at Colborne Lane in downtown Toronto.  A modeling agent approached her and gave her his business card and said “I love the way you move, you have fabulous energy, you should model.”  Andrea just laughed, but this is how her exciting second career started at the age of 62.

[caption id="attachment_29071" align="alignright" width="300"]Audiences influenced by models of the same age Image by Gronvik on Stock.xchng[/caption]

Alan Thomas Smith of the Toronto-based PUSH modeling agency says that “On the one hand, you have a new lifestyle market, a big boom in pharmacy and banking and health care, the sectors that deliver directly to a mature market,” he says. And “designers are starting to pay attention to the very relevant market (of customers) in their fifties and sixties.

Maye Musk lives in New York and models for Ford.  She is seen on billboards in New York and also in Revlon ads.  She recently did a full editorial feature in Fashion magazine and a cover for Elle Quebec, all at the age of 64.

Roxanne Gould modeled in her twenties and is now 50.  After letting her hair go all grey in her forties, her career exploded.

These models all said that they aren’t under any pressure to stay young artificially either.  They do not get plastic surgery or injections.

Audiences connect with models of the same size and age

Ben Barry is an assistant professor of Equity, Inclusivity and Diversity in the School of Fashion at Ryerson University.  He completed a thesis where he had models of different ages and sizes wear the exact same DVF wrap dress.  He had 2,500 test subjects surveyed to see if they intended on purchasing the dress.  Women were more inclined to purchase the dress when the model was of the same weight or age as them.  In fact, there was a 200 percent increase on intent to purchase the dress when the person could relate to the model.  Barry is also a modeling agent and one of his most successful models is a 64 year old model named Helen Maras.  She is confident because of her age and debuted at Toronto Fashion week.

You don’t have to be young or skinny to be a model.  Some of the most successful models are older than 50 and are still making a ton of money in the industry.

Seniors and Boomers: Tell us, what are your thoughts on today's fashion modeling industry? Do you feel like models you perceive as similar to you are more likely to influence your purchasing decisions? Tell us what you think in the comments.