The fashion industry isn’t known for being particularly forgiving: it seems like models are getting younger and younger every year, and there is a distinct feeling that once you hit a certain age you’re no longer welcome.
A group of mature models in the UK are unhappy with the status quo and are protesting against it.

London Fashion Week kicked off yesterday, and five models protested against ageism on the catwalk outside the main venue, The Store Studios.

Brandishing signs reading “Fashion has no age limit” and “Too old to walk for LFW?”, the group told London Fashion Week to “grow up” as part of a protest against ageism on the catwalk.

The protesters included former page three girl Jilly Johnson, 63, and Janie Felstead, 65. Jilly said it was “fantastic” that different ethnicities and disabilities were being represented on the runway, but called for older models also to be used.

“Women don’t suddenly stop wearing or buying clothes after their 20s, so why isn’t this reflected in the models used in fashion shows?,” she said.

The protest was organised by online retailer JD Williams.

Even though it is obvious that the fashion industry has a problem with ageism, things do seem to be changing (albeit slowly). Just have a look at 85-year-old Carmen Dell’Orefice closing the show for couturier Guo Pei.


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