One department store is looking to change that by saying step off, youngsters -- senior models are fierce, fashionable, and can sell clothes, too.
Britian's Debenhams is using middle-aged models in a new campaign aimed at "forgotten" older shoppers. The Style List (no relation) is being run with the help of fashion commentator Caryn Franklin, 51, who calls the chain's move "business savvy."
"It's been really fulfilling to create shots that celebrate the wonder of getting older," she says. "It's important to challenge what we see in our media with a broader reflection of beauty."
Three looks are included in the campaign launch -- power dressing, casual, and party dresses (above) -- and Franklin will offer tips on how to make the styles work for women of all ages.
The featured models are Valerie Pain, 66, Caroline Josling, 52, and Maxine Smith, 41, and a nationwide search will take place to find a fourth face to add to the team later this fall.
"Enjoy the magic of these women, their confidence, their attitudes, and their allure," Franklin says. "These wonderful faces express the joy of getting older -- not something we see enough of."
Debenhams deputy chief executive Michael Sharp says the store wanted to be a leader in using women of a certain age as models.
"The days are long gone when hitting 50 meant you were relegated to dowdy cardigans and baggy knits," he says. "This group of women [isn't] communicated to by the fashion press and retailers with models of their own age. We wanted to be the first to put this right."
This is Debenhams's latest move toward appealing to "real woman." Other efforts this year have also included campaigns featuring disabled model Shannon Murray, unairbrushed swimwear models, size 16 mannequins, and plus-size and petite models.
Appealing to older women is becoming a trend in Europe. Earlier this week, British designer Giles Deacon sent 71-year-old German model Veruschka down his runway. And Spanish designer Juan Duyos cast four models in their 60s for his Madrid Fashion Week show.
There may be good financial thinking behind appealing to older women: A new study shows women over 50 are more obsessed with their looks than ever before.