Now, this is the kind of New Year, New You project I’m interested in. From Thursday, Selfridges Bright Old Things campaign celebrates the ‘retirement renaissance’. Thirteen creatives aged between 40 and 82 (who have all experienced some kind of artistic epiphany), will each be taking over one of the store’s window displays. As the name suggests, Selfridges annual Bright Young Things initiative usually champions youth, but this year the retailer has turned it around. Bright Old Things who’ve had a new lease of life include Sue Kreitzman, the 75-year-old who ditched her career as a successful TV cook and food writer and turned to ‘outsider art’.

 

 

Nick Wooster the 55-year-old social media star and menswear retailer-turned-designer. New York-based Wooster has worked for Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and Ralph Lauren. And Molly Parkin, the 82-year-old painter and former fashion editor at the Sunday Times who told the Independent, ‘I’m thrilled to be ancient. I could only wish that everyone has as wonderful an old age as me.’

 

A recent survey into mature fashion and lifestyle by YouGov (for the retailer JD Williams) found that the 50-plus demographic does not feel there’s enough choice on the high street or enough older people visible in advertising, magazines and on TV. Having worked in the fashion industry for decades, I do think we are seeing a massive shift in attitudes – it’s been a long time coming but retailers and advertisers are finally cottoning onto what
Business of Fashion
calls the Silver Spend. With brands like L’Oreal, Nars and Dolce & Gabbana using older models and wonderful campaigns like Bright Old Things, we are definitely moving in the right direction.

So, look out for the Bright Old Things schedule of events and specially designed products, like this fabulous Sue Kreitzman necklace by Tatty Devine:

Image: Stella magazine

17 thoughts on “Bright Old Things at Selfridges

  1. I've been hearing good things about this show. I find people over 70 usually far more interesting than the rest of us and demonstrate how just being comfortable being yourself is more interesting and fun…a lesson that shouldn't take so long to learn.

  2. When I lived in Britain, I found it difficult to find clothes that weren't young-and-slutty or old-and-boring – there was little for middle-aged women who wanted to be different from their mothers' generation (mind you, I lived in boring northern towns). I'm glad to see this demographic getting more attention because if I move back to Britain I want better choices. And we are not like our mothers!

  3. I saw that term, "Silver Spend," just the other day for the first time. And I thought, "Aha. That's it. Now we've got a catchy moniker, it's going to happen."

  4. I know if I go to buy clothes, the choice is limited to a fit that is very young (by where the seams sit, cut too tight, cheap fabric, no seam allowance or hem) to just plain dowdy which is probably why I have started making my own clothes again. I think most women get to a certain age where they are not dictated to by the whims of fashion but by whims of their own, wanting something that lasts, wanting something fabulous, wanting a specific shade of red….. silver spend may not be a quick buck to make!

  5. The O word isn't in my vocabulary unless we're talking about a lovely O house or piece of furniture.
    I find the idea of donning a massive coat of many colours , adding huge coloured specs and having a weird hair cut because one has seen a few Summers neither clever nor artistic.

  6. @Estrella it's not particularly my taste or what I'd see myself wearing at that age either… however, given that we live in societies that general seem to think a woman over 40 should fade into the woodwork unless she some how manages to maintain a facade of still being 20-something, I can admire the gumption of choosing to stand out boldly. Most importantly, SHE seems to love her look and isn't that the point of style at the end of the day?

  7. Extremes at either end of the 'style' spectrum are to be avoided (in my opinion)!!!' Who wants to look boring beige or slightly bonkers over the top. Elegance lies between the two….in my opinion; again!

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