How This 60-Something Model Is Changing Up The Industry

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Sarah-Willey-55-embedPhoto: Courtesy of Close Models.
Model Sarah Wiley was scouted in a typically innocent fashion: A professional recruiter saw her posing for a snapshot and approached her immediately. What wasn't usual? Wiley was with her grandchildren. At the time, the willowy, finely featured 5'8" beauty was 57 years old — over three times the age of today's average burgeoning model.

Wiley herself thought the idea was a lark. "I thought it was a wind-up," she told The Telegraph while sharing her unconventional career opportunity. "But I was assured that it wasn't. I had a great time, and I was packing up, thinking, well, that was a wonderful experience, when he said, "'Do you realize you're quite good at this?'" So it began.

Now 66 years of age and proud, the swan-like Wiley continues to rack up assignments. Represented by Close Models, she'a a regular on GMTV and has been in Gok Wan's How to Look Good Naked and advertisements for British retailer John Lewis. She is thriving, but she's not the only one. There is a "whole gang of us roaming around," she jokes, referring to other older models.

But, Wiley is well-aware that she's the exception to the rule, and that the image-making industries need to broaden their scope in general. "I have a granddaughter who's 10," she says. "It's so sad that when she looks in magazines and thinks [to be seen as a successful woman] she must be very thin." As for her own soignée figure, Wiley says she will occasionally "wander along to the gym" but credits a lifetime of ballet with imbuing her with a natural grace and ease of movement. "Ballet makes you aware of how your body moves — and what you look like from behind." (The Telegraph)