“On meeting Sandy, I thought, why on earth would we use a traditional model?” says Dant. “She has such an interesting story to tell, looked incredible and stood for something very meaningful.”
Dant, who was a designer at Burberry and Rag & Bone before launching Marfa Stance, feels more empathy with models of the same age and older. “I love their sense of accomplishment, wisdom and style. They radiate beauty and confidence and are not led by a trend or insecurity. The brand I created was inspired by real women and the very individual ways they choose to wear clothes. I want to enjoy more dialogue around that.”
For Bleakley, the interest has been, if a surprise, very welcome. She’s thrilled to discover that fashion today can be functional, sustainable and can complement her lifestyle. “I’m all for inclusivity and if I can help to reframe the question of older women modelling, or be a positive role model, then that’s fantastic.”
Fashion and the older models in 2021? If not a seismic change, then things are beginning to gather momentum. This season Amanda Holden, 50, and Davina McCall, 52, front their own collections for JD Williams.
Women over 50 contributed over a third of the total spend on fashion in the UK in 2019, £12.2 Billion out of a total of £34.6 billion, according to research by the data agency Kantar. That’s a lot of women.