Older models wanted for New Zealand Fashion Week

New Zealand Fashion Week will have a more mature look about it this year.

It kicks off later this month, and as final changes are made to the frocks, the search has begun for the models who will be wearing them.

Auditions were held on Saturday, and there were a number of seniors strutting their stuff.

If you were expecting a room full of ambitious teenagers, think again.

"We're twice the age of most of these models, but I don't think we stand out that much," said one prospective model.

"I think we look good for 46."

The talent spotters are on the lookout for models older than 40 years, and they're attracting first-timers.

"I do I feel a quite nervous. I think we all of us are feeling quite nervous before we go in," said Brenda Ngatai.

There are also those with a bit more experience. Mercy Brewer has modelled before and has even shared a catwalk with the likes of Naomi Campbell.

New Zealand Fashion Week will have a more mature look about it this year.
New Zealand Fashion Week will have a more mature look about it this year. Photo credit: Unique Models

"It makes me feel like I have got some serious competition here. It's very cool, very cool," she said.

Jude Alvos is 65 and just one of the dozens auditioning for the first time. She has a message for advertisers obsessed with the youth market.

"It's an ageing population and we spend a lot of money on clothes and shoes and bags and hats and glasses and make-up and all the rest of it - probably more than younger people," she said.

Jenny Burgess has only been modelling for a month. For her it's also about sending a message.

"Growing old gracefully is hugely empowering. We're getting to a point where it's probably the next burning of the bra, you know, that's how I look at it," she said.

"Women are standing up and saying it's ok to grow old, and we're still going to look sexy and all the things women worry about, so I think we're doing a good job."

A modelling agency that specialises in older women says older is the new black.

"At Silverfox we believe that style is ageless, and that old is the new black!" says Brigitte Warne, co-founder and director of Silver Fox MGMT.

"The designers at Fashion Week that do well are the ones that adapt a generational approach."

Whoever is chosen, the journey down the catwalk begins soon, and these models won't mind the fact they will be 16 days older when Fashion Week begins later this month.