Fashion discovers the New Old 55+ generation

Lanvin.pngSlowly, consumer companies are waking up to the fact that youth markets have gone ex-growth in the developed world. Instead, the New Old 55+ generation are the main potential source of growth.

As fashion editor Vanessa Friedman notes, a new film ‘About Face’ typifies the new approach. It interviews supermodels – but these supermodels are aged between 43 (Christy Turlington) and 81 (China Machado).

This follows Hollywood’s ‘discovery’ that female stars don’t have to be under 30 years. Last year, after all, 63 year-old Meryl Streep won an Oscar for ‘The Iron Lady’. And from a box office viewpoint, this new direction makes great sense:

• 45m over-50s went to the cinema in the US in 2010
• This was 21% of all tickets sold
• But they are actually 32% of the population

Now, Lanvin have done the unthinkable. As the photo shows, 82 year-old Jacquie ‘Tajah’ Murdock features in their autumn/winter campaign. This is a complete reversal. Until now, the beauty industry has usually favoured young models, often to sell products that claim ‘anti-ageing’ properties.

Encouragingly, companies are beginning to remember that demographics drive demand. Continuing to focus on youth markets risks bankruptcy. Far better, as we discuss in ‘Boom, Gloom and the New Normal’, to refocus on the fast-growing New Old 55+ generation.

The blog, and co-author John Richardson, will be delighted to advise any CEO or business manager who needs to know more about the challenges and opportunities that spring from the ageing of the Boomers.

About Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges is Chairman of International eChem, trusted commercial advisers to the global chemical industry. The aim of this blog is to share ideas about the influences that may shape the chemical industry over the next 12 – 18 months. It will try to look behind today’s headlines, to understand what may happen next in important issues such oil prices, economic growth and the environment. We may also have some fun, investigating a few of the more offbeat events that take place from time to time. Please do join me and share your thoughts. Between us, we will hopefully develop useful insights into the key factors that will drive the industry's future performance.

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