Runway star and mother of Tesla electric car billionaire Elon Musk reveals saw her career skyrocket
How to be a 68-year-old SUPERMODEL! Runway star and mother of Tesla electric car billionaire Elon Musk reveals saw her career skyrocket after she let her hair go grey
Maye Musk will be sashaying down the catwalk with models far younger
She is more in demand as a late-life model than she as a fresh-faced teenager
She’s been signed to IMG, home to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen
If her surname sounds familiar, it is because of her famous son Elon Musk
With less than three weeks to go until New York Fashion Week, Maye Musk might be expected to be showing a few nerves.
After all, the 68-year-old will be sashaying down the catwalk with models far, far younger than she is.
But Maye is eager to show she can strut her stuff with the best of them.
‘I want to work and have fun on those runways,’ she says.
In her seventh decade, the snowy-haired mother and grandmother feels that her career is taking off.
Though she has been in the fashion business for 50 years, she is more in demand as a late-life model than she ever was as a fresh-faced teenager.
Glossy magazines, beauty brands and fashion designers are falling over themselves to have Maye’s image attached to their product.
She’s been signed to one of the world’s top model agencies — IMG, home to Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen and Victoria’s Secret beauties Miranda Kerr and Candice Swanepoel.
Maye was in Miami recently doing a photoshoot for Italian Vogue. She’s already done a cover for Elle, worked for Revlon and Clinique and has appeared in an advertising campaign for Virgin Atlantic Airways, following in the footsteps of Helen Mirren.
She has dominated New York’s Times Square on a giant billboard for Target, America’s wildly popular discount retailer, and has appeared in a Beyonce video.
As if all that was not enough, she’s also found time to be a brand ambassador for the crystal jewellery company Atelier Swarovski and to model at New York and Paris Fashion Weeks, which means she will also go to all the parties and no doubt be photographed dashing from show to show.
She won’t reveal which designers she’ll model for during the two bi-annual fashion extravaganzas — negotiations are ongoing — but does disclose that she will take to the catwalk for the American Heart Association’s Red Dress event, which raises money to end heart disease and strokes in women.
If her surname sounds familiar, it is because of her famous son Elon Musk, the fabulously rich entrepreneur behind Paypal, Tesla electric cars and the SpaceX exploration programme, which plans to colonise Mars.
Hollywood gossip suggests he is the model for Tony Stark, the genius inventor played by Robert Downey Jr in the Iron Man film franchise.
The tech mogul, said to be worth £10.3 billion, is well accustomed to the spotlight, but it is his glamorous mum who is making the headlines these days.
Maye admits to being a little surprised by this late-life career surge in an industry that has been traditionally obsessed with extreme youth.
After all, she’s been considered over-the-hill in fashion terms ever since her late 20s. At 28, she was modelling mother-of-the-bride looks and by 42 had done her first advert in the role of a grandmother.
But Maye’s success story has made her one of the leading lights of a far wider trend in fashion and beauty, one where being older is suddenly viewed as desirable.
Dubbed the Greynaissance, this movement has been backed by numerous studies and surveys showing that not only are older women customers propping up the fashion and beauty industries, but that they want to see more products advertised by women their own age.
In other words, by women just like Maye.
She is the first to admit her popularity soared when, aged 60, she gave up trying to hide her age, ditching the hair dye to show off her white hair.
‘When I was younger, I was mousey brown and started putting in highlights with each child,’ she says. ‘By the time I had my third baby, I was pretty much a blonde and I stayed that way until I was in my late 50s.
‘I thought “I’m really tired of this and I’m going to see what’s underneath even if I never work again.” So I grew it out white.
‘My mother had white hair and, of course, it’s much richer and healthier this way. I wish I’d done it earlier.’
It was not a smooth transition. ‘While it was growing out, I coloured my hair a very light blonde, but still had the halo of white hair on top. It looked quite terrible,’ she says.
‘But I didn’t have any doubts and I didn’t cover up with hats.’
A stylist friend advised her to have a short and edgy haircut and, suddenly, what had been a huge risk, turned Maye into a fashion swan.
‘Looking back, letting my hair go natural was an amazing decision because I started getting major ad campaigns.
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