Sydney’s catwalks were filled with tall young things strutting their stuff at Australian Fashion Week this week, but it was 71-year-old Sarah Grant who was the talk of the town. The veteran model turned heads when she paraded down the runway in a black scoop-neck one-piece swimsuit, proving there’s no age limit on style or sex appeal.
Sarah was part of the Aqua Blu Swimwear show at Carriageworks in Sydney, and was featured alongside some of the country’s most in-demand models. While it’s no surprise to us that people don’t fall off a cliff into frumpy oblivion once they turn 60, Sarah’s presence on the catwalk has garnered national media attention for the simple fact that Aussies aren’t used to seeing older women put on a fashion pedestal in this way.
Asked about her experience in the fashion industry as an older model, Sarah told The Guardian that getting older isn’t what it used to be.
“It’s great for older women to see a more mature person wearing an outfit because then they can relate to it, and it’s good for business because baby boomers are one of the largest demographics when it comes to buying fashion,” she said.
“Wearing a swimsuit wasn’t a problem for me because 70 is the new 50. We are all healthier and living longer now, and you’ve only got one body so you may as well be proud of it. It’s about empowering yourself and others, whatever shape, size or age you are.”
Sarah also commented on how beauty standards have changed since her first turn on the catwalk, saying they’re more unrealistic these days.
“We were all just regular sizes — a size 10 or size 12 – so there wasn’t that pressure to be slim. When the super skinny look came in it was really tragic for the business and a lot of girls ended up with issues because of it.”
Sarah got her start in modelling when she was just 16 years old walking the runway for Italian-French designer Pierre Cardin in New Zealand. After that she modelled all over the world, including in Paris, Italy and London.
Sarah isn’t the only over-50 making waves in the beauty world. Supermodel and widow to The Cars rocker Ric Ocasek, Paulina Porizkova, made headlines in April this year after she hit out at critics who suggested she was too old to publicly show her naked body. To make a point, the Czech-born Swedish model, who turned 56 on April 9, shared a full frontal nude snap from her latest shoot with Vogue Czechoslovakia.
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The model shared the picture on her Instagram, which shows her looking seductively into the distance wearing nothing but an entirely sheer black bodysuit, censored for Instagram with two swans covering her nipples. In the caption, she thanked the “brave folks at Vogue CZ” and joked, “for you peeps who have a problem with the lack of cover-up — you can peruse the pages fully dressed.” She concluded the post with the hashtag #sexyhasnoexpirationdate.