The New Silver Generation: A Glimpse into a New Golden Era?

Freelance artist and designer, Fernene Amour attended the Soho x Talks: New Silver Generation event last month… here’s her takeaway!

Kai Lutterodt aka The Soho Girl giving an introduction to New Silver Generation

The scene was Canwood55, the newly arrived bar and gallery in the heart of Soho. In a room full room of guests, the tone was set by the host, multi-faceted Editor in Chief of My Soho Times Kai Lutterodt aka The Soho Girl. The discussion addressing ageism and diversity in the fashion industry was lead by New Silver Generation founder, Antony Fitzgerald; a mature model of colour who saw the lack of representation of mature models of colour as a call to action!

View the Autumn ’21 issue of My Soho Times online
l-r: Suzanne Noble, Hassan Reese, Antony Fitzgerald, Yolanda Liu, Ariana Waiata Sheehan, and Kai Lutterodt

In this post-covid environment, if there’s one thing that we’ve collectively learned it is that we are not alone. If you are going through something, chances are there are numerous others in a similar situation. Establishing his modelling career at the age of 50, Antony soon realised the challenges that mature models of colour face: an overall lack of opportunity. Thus, ‘New Silver Generation’, was born; a platform that celebrates, promotes and aims to cultivate an appreciation and space for mature models of colour.

Antony Fitzgerald, professional model and founder of New Silver Generation

Also on the panel was; Suzanne Noble, director of Advantages of Age. A wellness space that is actively creating social connections and offering business courses, start up and overall career shifting opportunities to over 50s. Hassan Reese, model and owner of modelling agency Dam Models. Yolanda Liu, photographer and moving image maker and Ariana Waiata Sheehan, director of Aro Archive; an archival fashion company specialising in vintage Japanese, French and British garments. What a merging of minds! Each panellist recalled their experiences in the industry and how they have put action to their sentiments of feeling marginalised. Type casted, into a well preserved
box – and for many 50+ silver-haired models the category is ‘Granny’ “We are more than grandparents! Some of us aren’t even grandparents!” a member of the audience shared.

Other members of the audience recalled things they’ve observed in the beauty and fashion industries, and how they can continue to be agents in broadening the scope of possibilities for mature models and talent in creative spaces.

l-r Flash Gordon, Kai Lutterodt, Soho George, Rebecca Taylor

It was a pleasure to be given insight into the efforts that are being made by brilliant minds bringing this discussion to the forefront. An invitation to breathe new life into those that have never sidelined themselves though have experienced it involuntarily… It is refreshing to clear our minds from this illusion.

How often do you find yourselves surprised at how the older generations in your family are? How many times have you thought to yourselves, “this isn’t what I had expected of them as the years have progressed”. Ever find yourselves pondering on what you’ll be like as you mature.. right? …

Our elders are cool, they are the original trend setters… you can’t put an expiry date on that! What right do any of us have to write their narratives other than them and why would we want to?

There is no doubt that the ambition, drive and passion is there and will certainly spark a cultural shift! So thank you to My Soho Times for a wonderful evening – I will be advocating for change and propose all of you to do the same, in whatever way you can. Encourage your elders to arrive as their best selves and when they do, ensure they bask in it because like fine wine we only get better with time.

Written by Fernene Amour | | @FerneneAmour

Photography by Streetlife77a and DiamondClassPhotography.

Soho x(times) Talks is a monthly event series organised by My Soho Times. The next Soho x Talks event is on the 7th December. Join editor-in-chief, The Soho Girl, in conversation with Leah Dior. CLICK HERE to book or sign up to their newsletter to 2022 events.

View the Mail+ coverage on mature models featuring New Silver Generation.

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