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How to be a 68-year-old supermodel

The 68 year old will be sashaying down the catwalk at New York Fashion Week. PICTURE: Instagram

The 68 year old will be sashaying down the catwalk at New York Fashion Week. PICTURE: Instagram

Published Jan 25, 2017

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With less than three weeks to go until New York Fashion Week, Maye Musk might be expected to be showing a few nerves.

After all, the 68-year-old will be sashaying down the catwalk with models far, far younger than she is. But Maye is eager to show she can strut her stuff with the best of them. ‘I want to work and have fun on those runways,’ she says.

A photo posted by Maye Musk (@mayemusk) on Dec 28, 2016 at 5:10am PST

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In her seventh decade, the snowy-haired mother and grandmother feels that her career is taking off. Though she has been in the fashion business for 50 years, she is more in demand as a late-life model than she ever was as a fresh-faced teenager. Glossy magazines, beauty brands and fashion designers are falling over themselves to have Maye’s image attached to their product.

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She’s been signed to one of the world’s top model agencies — IMG, home to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen and Victoria’s Secret beauties Miranda Kerr and Candice Swanepoel.

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A photo posted by Maye Musk (@mayemusk) on Dec 27, 2016 at 7:56am PST

Maye was in Miami recently doing a photo shoot for Italian Vogue. She’s already done a cover for Elle, worked for Revlon and Clinique and has appeared in an advertising campaign for Virgin Atlantic Airways, following in the footsteps of Helen Mirren. She has dominated New York’s Times Square on a giant billboard for Target, America’s wildly popular discount retailer, and has appeared in a Beyoncé video.

As if all that was not enough, she’s also found time to be a brand ambassador for the crystal jewellery company Atelier Swarovski and to model at New York and Paris Fashion Weeks, which means she will also go to all the parties and no doubt be photographed dashing from show to show.

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A photo posted by Maye Musk (@mayemusk) on Nov 27, 2016 at 7:22am PST

Maye admits to being a little surprised by this late-life career surge in an industry that has been traditionally obsessed with extreme youth.

After all, she’s been considered over-the-hill in fashion terms ever since her late 20s. At 28, she was modelling mother-of-the-bride looks and by 42 had done her first advert in the role of a grandmother.

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A photo posted by Maye Musk (@mayemusk) on Nov 9, 2016 at 7:41am PST

 But Maye’s success story has made her one of the leading lights of a far wider trend in fashion and beauty, one where being older is suddenly viewed as desirable. Dubbed the Greynaissance, this movement has been backed by numerous studies and surveys showing that not only are older women customers propping up the fashion and beauty industries, but that they want to see more products advertised by women their own age.

9 Helpful tips from Maye Musk on living a prosperous life:

1. Eat small meals three times a day. And I do mean small. Save half your dinner for lunch the next day if need be.

2. Don’t have sweet things such as biscuits and chocolate in the house otherwise you’ll eat them. Willpower is crucial if you want to maintain your figure as exercise gives diminishing returns.

3. Plan food in advance. My go-to recipe is 12-bean soup — there are various recipes on the internet — which I freeze in one-pint portions so it’s always on hand.

4. Only drink socially and never on an empty stomach.

5. If you have to go out in the sun, wear a hat, long sleeves and sun protection.

6. Wash your face morning and night with soap or a face cleanser and then put on eye cream, a moisturiser and a lip balm to stay hydrated.

7. Stay active. I don’t believe in putting myself through pain at my age. Do gentle stretches at home.

8. Keep pushing your brain. Learn a new skill or even a language. That way you’ll stay sharp and it will show in your face.

9. Look at the world through rose-coloured glasses. Anyone my age has been through hard times, but that’s not an excuse to be bitter or angry.

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