Recently, I attended a large family affair and celebration, a Bar Mitzvah party. On the dance floor, of course all the 13-year-olds were dancing the night away. But I actually found myself in awe of another enthusiastic dancer, a 70-year-old woman who I soon found out had just undergone a knee replacement. She was up shaking what her momma gave her to all the top 40 hits and refused to sit down. I felt incredibly inspired.
In recent years, there has been a similar unexpected enthusiasm toward chic, confident older women from the fashion industry. It seems the buzz really started with the popularity of Ari Seth Cohen’s blog Advanced Style, which highlights street style like that of the famed Sartorialist or Tommy Ton, but focused on the stylish over-60 set that had been largely ignored by the fashion system beforehand. He has now also released a book and documentary of the same name. In 2012, fashion brands started taking notice of this appeal, with American Apparel casting a 61-year-old in their ads, and Lanvin’s fall 2012 campaign featuring two ladies over the age 60. And with 93-year-old fashion eccentric Iris Apfel starring in ad campaigns for Kate Spade and Alexis Bittar for Spring 2015 as the much anticipated documentary about her is soon to be released, we have seen a new attitude in fashion that embraces beautiful women with immense energy and their own personal style that shines just as bright as any 22 year old working model.
But to me, what really celebrates this new attitude is the latest collaboration and campaign between edgy, snarky streetwear brand Dimepiece LA and 86-year-old social media sensation @BaddieWinkle in the “State of Mind” Campaign. A great grandmother from Kentucky, Baddie Winkle, with the mantra “Stealing your man since 1928”, gained social media buzz by posting selfies wearing clothing from brands of the same like covered in current pop culture icons and sassy slogans like “Bye Basic”, “Twerk”, and “Been Trill”. Fitting outside the typical grandmother image, the social media mogul has proven just as saavy as any other teenage blogger to gain brand endorsement, and has earned 900,000 followers on Instagram, including the likes of Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, and Drake. In the “State of Mind” campaign photographed by Nikko La Mere, Baddie Winkle wears Dimepiece’s signature streetwear, including slogan tees, mesh tunics, sexy swimsuits, and cat-eye sunglasses. She models poolside and poses with pineapples with that same ‘tude she’s become known for, proving you’re “never too old to be the baddest bish in the room.”
Although the brand’s primary target market is females in their teens and twenties, BaddieWinkle captures the same fashionable but sassy attitude in a new and captivating way that is creating buzz everywhere, and proves once again that age is just a number.