It is wonderful to see Lyn Slater in the latest Mango advert. Lyn is a professor of social studies at Fordham University who I’ve met a couple of times in New York (most recently when I interviewed her for my new book). The founder of the Accidental Icon blog has a cool, minimalist aesthetic, with a penchant for vintage 1980s Japanese designer clothes and show-stopping sunglasses. Balancing a full-time career in academia with an outstanding social media status, Lyn describes her style as, ‘for the real woman who operates in a professional world who has to have credibility but at the same time doesn’t want to look boring’. No surprise then, with such a striking image, that earlier this year Lyn was signed up by Elite Models. The 63-year-old has subsequently appeared in a Valentino campaign, was chosen as one of Barney’s ‘personalities’ and is an important thread in Mango’s ‘story of uniqueness’.
Empowering pictures of grown-up women are what I want to see when I browse online or open a magazine. Confident women in wearable clothes who continue to experiment and take risks, ‘I am rebellious,’ continues Lyn, ‘I want to be provocative – fortunately now that I’m older, I know how to manage that’. But as the Accidental Icon hashtag goes #ageisnotavariable, ‘Age is kind of melting away. A lot of these boundaries are softening up – genderless clothes, older women getting amazing ad jobs – it’s so positive’.
The admirable thing is that whatever the ad campaign, Lyn Slater the Accidental Icon always looks like herself.