You might think from her poise in photos and her new gig as the face of Anna Scholz’s autumn/ winter 2015 campaign that mature, curvy model Nicola Griffin has been gracing cameras with her smile for many moons. Truth is, though, she’s fresh on the modeling scene. Griffin traded in her day job running a business that organizes English lessons and tours for French students coming to the United Kingdom to dip her toes in the cool waters of modeling after White Hot Hair company head hunted her in October of 2013.
Reasonably, 56-year-old Griffin’s Anna Scholz campaign got quite the buzz, and not just because she is absolutely spellbinding and causes our hearts to flutter. Rarely are women over the age of 25 permitted a fashion campaign, so naturally the event deserved some trumpets, crumpets, and a nonstop flow of champagne. We caught up with Griffin to find out what it’s like to be a model for not one, but two very underrepresented demographics in fashion and how she’s been welcomed in her new career path.
You’re very new to the modeling scene. How does it feel to be the face of two very underrepresented markets in the fashion industry?
I’m new to the modelling world and have been quite delighted about how pleased people are to see a mature model in the industry. I have been treated so well. I feel it’s been a long time over due that mature models are welcome, and the industry is changing and growing open minds. It feels fantastic to be the face of two very underrepresented markets, which I feel has made a big difference for the better.
Have you ever been treated differently as an older curvy model? Has anything ever happened when you thought a younger model with a different body type might have been treated differently?
I have never had anything other than good experiences as a new mature model. Other than a young man carrying my suitcase at the tube and people standing up to give me their seat on the tube, [these] are the only times I have realized that I have grey hair and must look old!
What are your thoughts on the concept of appropriateness – regarding age or size?
I do wear what I feel is age appropriate, as I would feel uncomfortable in a mini skirt or a low top. I know it would not look good as my knees aren’t good and my bust area is not that youthful anymore. So I’m happy to choose stylish, elegant outfits which I feel happy to wear and look good in. If another lady wants to wear [a] short skirt and low top, I feel that’s totally her choice.
Photo courtesy of Nicola Griffin
Aside from Anna Scholz, are there any other brands you admire for featuring a diverse range of models?
White Hot Hair shampoo company based in the Midlands. They have [a] whole range of models with grey hair. All ages and shades of silver [and] grey .
If you could give one piece of advice to a younger curvy model, what would it be?
Enjoy all your work and have fun. Things are fast changing and it’s really starting to sink in. I think we are tired of the size 0 girl and we want to see real women up to any age. I feel very much part of the change in the industry and it’s very exciting indeed.
In general, what do you think is the biggest obstacle curvier models face?
I don’t feel there are any obstacles for us plus size models. I’m quite in demand. I think it’s refreshing to see larger mannequins in shop windows. Size 16… that’s a first. Things are changing so fast. Plus size is accepted now and embraced.
Do you have any exciting future projects you’re working on that you can share?
Yes I have some exciting work coming up. One trip to the Caribbean doing a suit shoot! Can you believe it? At my age! I shall be in the new book coming out soon called Going Grey Beauty Guide. So, getting exciting work and feeling very blessed that I’m getting there.
What do you hope people take away from your awesome Anna Scholz campaign?
That strong, independent women of plus size can wear fabulous clothes and look and feel fantastic.