The rise of fashion mentors over 50

As Rockmore said, women over 50 tend to know who they are and what they want.

The modern closet was initially a private space, where items could be hidden from public view. But it has been gradually redesigned as a repository of potential and dreams, a place from which a ‘real’ self can emerge. Add enough wealth, and it can also be a museum of treasures; those of us who are unable to “shop” our closets as if they were luxury stores can do so vicariously at Rockmore’s. Her wardrobe also has the other appeal of a museum: it seems archival, historical, not amassed but organized. Combining her content in new ways involves sharing her expertise with the younger cohort on social media — the kind of fashion mentorship that was once mediated by things like magazines, for which unseen adult editors could dictate the style of teenage models.

Now, social media allows anyone to delve into their wardrobe and explain their inner self to an audience. So, there is no dearth of women and girls making jump videos of their outfits. If the Rockmore years set her apart, it’s not because she looks good “for her age,” whatever that means; it’s because at 54, she dresses a lot for fun and self-expression. This puts her in a category traditionally excluded from stories about what makes a woman fashionable – a category that has produced some of the most notable fashion influencers of recent years.

As Rockmore has said in interviews, women over 50 tend to know who they are and what they want. They are no strangers to their own lives, wandering around confused about how everything came to be as it is now, as if they had just come out of cryogenic chambers. It’s a middle-aged vision that the inexplicable new reboot of ‘Sex and the City’, ‘And Just Like That…’, leans with startling nastiness: Its characters spend the early episodes bewildered by how the world has changed. . In the original series, Carrie Bradshaw’s fictional closet and wardrobe were major motifs – symbolizing her innermost self and bold public persona. In the new series, 55-year-old Carrie sorts through these same clothes with the help of her friend Charlotte’s teenage daughter, for whom they represent possible future identities. When Carrie meets a neighbor who looks much younger than her, she is at first intimidated, desperate not to look old and square. But after the neighbor opens up to her, Carrie has an embarrassing revelation, putting on an $80,000 Atelier Versace dress, eating popcorn by her window, and realizing “some things don’t should never be stored”. One has the impression that it refers to itself.

Rockmore is not struggling towards this epiphany. Rather than laughing at her for passing her supposed best-before date, audiences online — even on teenage TikTok — love her for it. In fact, she’s one of a handful of over 50 fashion mentors on social media to attract a crowd of all ages. There are Trinny Woodall, formerly of the TV show “What Not to Wear”, which pioneered this kind of crazy style advice, broadcast live from your closet, bathroom or Zara. There is also Greece Ghanem, Lyn Slater and Nina Garcia, among others — all over the age of 50, all with social media followings well over half a million, all rejecting the culture’s insistence that women become invisible 50 years before death.