Korean Senior Models Bring Fashion Show to US Runways

Senior models are performing at the fashion show event held at Leisure World

“We can’t agree more with the saying that ‘age is just a number.’”

On July 29, hundreds of audiences gathered at the clubhouse of Leisure World in Seal Beach, CA, agreed, seeing fashion models on the runway. About 30 models, all of whom are members of Korean social enterprise New Senior Life, were Korean seniors in their 60s to 80s.

About 400 audiences gathered to see the senior fashion show presented by New Senior Life. Some of them even looked shocked. “I was afraid of the seniorhood, but seeing them on the runway gave me a new hope,” said one of the audiences.

New Senior Life is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Its main project is to train elderly people for fashion modeling and to aid them to make runway debuts. The president Goo Ha-ju, a 71-year-old retired fashion designer, launched the project to help rejuvenate senior life. According to Goo, about 1,800 people went through the training and 150 fashion shows were held all over the world including Europe and North America.

New Senior Life was also invited to perform at IAGG last month. Held every four years, IAGG is one of the greatest academic events in the gerontology field, informally known as “Gerontology Olympics.”

Choi Sung-jae, an honorary professor at Seoul National University who has served as the vice president at IAGG, helped New Senior Life to bring its shows to the U.S.

“Korean American society, too, is aging at a rapid pace,” said Choi. “I think New Senior Life can become a great role model for the senior society here.”

Choi also added that ageism is growing as a more serious social issue than racism or sexism, emphasizing the need to change the way people think of aging to encourage more active and enthusiastic senior life.


Original article by The Korea Daily Los Angeles
Translated by Heewon Kim