This College Professor Became A Fashion Icon And Model - In Her 60s


At 63, professor and social worker Lyn Slater is finding a new career - as a fashion model.

Three years ago, Slater, who lives in New York City, suddenly found herself surrounded by paparazzi when meeting a friend during New York Fashion Week. Because Slater was dressed so fashionably - wearing a suit by Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto and carrying a Chanel bag - the paparazzi mistook her for a celebrity.


As Slater describes it on her blog: "Young photographers approach and ask to take my picture. Before I knew what was happening one of those knots surrounds me, so many shutters going off collectively it’s a loud noise in my ear. They ask for close ups of my watch, my bag or my ring and keep saying, 'love your style.'  Hands take my card and push cards at me. I’m interviewed for a magazine article to be published in Japan, my photo appears in Downtown Magazine and I’m Instagramed like crazy."

slaternyfwSlater at New York Fashion Week

Slater had always been interested in fashion, but after this, she decided to start a blog and an Instagram account, both called “Accidental Icon.” Both document Slater’s outfits, and the blog also offers essays, beauty recommendations, and designer spotlights.

Both Slater’s blog and Instagram have become mega-popular - her Instagram has over 200,000 followers - and have earned her even more attention from the fashion industry.

After signing to modeling agency Elite London earlier this year, Slater now stars in an ad campaign for Spanish fashion brand Mango.

mangocampaignslaterSlater's Mango campaign

In an interview with TODAY earlier this year, Slater said that most of her followers are between 25 and 35. "I never talk about age on my blog; I never put myself out there as an older person," she said.

"We are the generation, people my age, who were burning their bras, wanting free love, demonstrating against the war," she added. "So to think we wouldn't challenge the status quo of aging? It might be more of an explanation of why women like me are becoming more accepted in the fashion world...It's time for a new outlook on what it means to be an older woman.”

Check out more from Slater on her blog Accidental Icon and Instagram.












Photos via Accidental Icon except where noted

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Erika W. Smith is BUST's digital editorial director. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @erikawynn and email her at erikawsmith@bust.com.

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