Tuesday, March 17, 2009

80 year old Daphne Selfe is Britain's oldest model

I always speak about how Models are all ages. I recently discovered a model who defines this. In commercial print ads and in commercials you see models of all ages, even grandmothers- modeling everything from pain killers to jewerly, to cooking tools, to insurance but a particular 80 year old model is getting hype these days. Her name is Daphne Selfe, and she is using her old age to get ahead as a model. Her career as a model blossomed with age. In a world where many women want to stay young forever Daphne has found success in being who she is, aging gracefully and using it to get ahead. She calls it "niche all of my own." In a recent feature in the Telegraph in the UK the article shares her story:

"The grandmother of four's career began nearly 60 years ago but as she starts her ninth decade, she sees little reason for retiring from the runway.

Miss Selfe, who has never had any cosmetic surgery, still earns up to £1,000 a day in campaigns for designer brands such as Dolce & Gabbana.

When she started modelling in 1950, she weighed 10 stone and boasted the statistics 36-24-37. She now is a stone and a half lighter with figures that have barely altered - 36-26-36.

The octogenarian is currently on the books of top agency Models 1, has appeared in Vogue and Marie Claire and been photographed by the likes of Mario Testino, Nick Knight, and David Bailey.

Miss Selfe's modelling career blossomed in older age as she promoted the benefits of going grey.

"My hair is my fortune, it made me more striking," she said.

"Other younger models admire me but they're not jealous as I'm not a threat. I have a niche all of my own.

"I don't feel a day over 60. It's fantastic. I'll continue modelling until they stop asking. It love it. It's fun and keeps me young. I was never one for wild parties and I've never had any need to get drunk."

Miss Selfe, who celebrated her 80th birthday in July last year, was discovered in 1950 while working in the fashion department of John Lewis in Reading.

She was persuaded to enter a local modelling competition which she won and she was then photographed by the established photographer Gilbert Adams.

When a London agency held a fashion show at the Reading store - then known as Heelas - they needed a last minute model to fill in.

Miss Selfe, from Baldock in Hertfordshire, proved a success and she was duely signed by the agency and sent on a three week training course in London. For her first job she was paid 15 guineas - the equivalent to £15.75.

She then married and had three children but continued her modelling career.

In 1998, she made her comeback during a show for Red or Dead where she was spotted by an agent for Models 1.

She quickly went on to appear in major campaigns for Dolce and Gabbana, Gap, Nivea, Olay and has featured in Vogue and Marie Claire.

Miss Selfe has maintained her looks by doing yoga and keep fit - she can still do the splits - eating large amounts of fruit, vegetables and fish and drinking plenty of water.

She said models were under pressure to be too thin: "Some girls are naturally slim, like Lily Cole, but others take it too far and just look ill and gaunt.

"There should be a far wider spread of body shapes but at the end of day, the clothes must look good too. It's tricky.""


Here are other features on this model that believes you are never to old to do what you love:




Here she talks about knocking on doors, rejection of her early years, and not being afraid of trying:

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