Orange County, California Designer Loralee, CEO of Stiletto Clothing, has selected model Jacqueline Depaul as the signature model for the Stiletto line.
“My customers are sophisticated women, ages 35-60, who want chic, feminine, and wearable clothing. Jacqueline has the statuesque lines of a runway model combined with the elegance of a confident, experienced woman. Jacqueline represents my customer perfectly and is a precise match to my brand,” says Loralee.
Jacqueline Depaul is delighted to be the named the Stiletto signature model. “Stiletto is unique, high quality, and flatters all body types. My 5’1” and 6’1” sisters both enjoy wearing Stiletto. The line is remarkably comfortable- it’s hard to believe you can look so tailored but feel like you are wearing your pajamas. Stiletto is perfect for the modern woman on the go.”
The 5-foot-11-inch beauty just landed a contract with Wilhelmina, the world-renowned modeling agency, after winning the 2011 Wilhelmina 40+ Model Search Contest. Depaul competed against 5,000 women for the title. The contest was co-sponsored by Miraclesuit, Estee Lauder, and Macy’s, brands who are keenly aware that there is a powerful need in the marketplace to cater to women over the age of 35.
Loralee caters exclusively to this age demographic, and is adamant about using models like Depaul for her marketing. She prefers not to show her designs on younger models, bucking the fashion industry convention that craves youth. “Those young girls are not my customers, nor are they really the customer of any high-end brand. Women 35-60 years old are the only ones who have the money to buy expensive clothing. Why aren’t we marketing directly to them using models they can relate to?”
Marti Barletta, CEO and founder of the TrendSight Group, agrees with Loralee and states that marketing to women over 35 is not only smart, but also critical for designers and retailers.
“The fashion industry might want to take note that consumers 35-to-64-years-old are spending more on women's apparel than consumers under 35,” states Barletta. “Not just a little more. Older women are spending 88% more than younger women on women's apparel. Boomer women, those 46-64 years old, are spending 62% of that total.”
If women over 35 are spending top dollar to look great, designers like Loralee who cater directly to them are likely to cash in handsomely.
Various couture designers are also calling upon the fashion industry to include the older female demographic in their marketing. Spanish designer Juan Duyos cast four models in their 60s to strut his styles down his Madrid Fashion Week catwalk in his 2010 fall show. "I am fed up with seeing 20-year-old models advertise anti-wrinkle creams for women aged 60," states Duyos. "Beauty does not end at 40 or 50." Duyos also describes elderly women as being "just as beautiful as 20-year-olds.”
Depaul asserts that not only should designers cater to women over 35 using age appropriate models, but they should also keep the aging female body in mind when tailoring their designs. “Women today are taking great care of themselves and they are more fashionable than ever, even into their 60s,” says Depaul. “But we still have older bodies. We have cellulite, belly fat, bigger hips and thighs, but that doesn’t mean we want to dress like old ladies. We want designers to give us modern, beautiful clothing choices that work.”
Loralee designs specifically with these considerations in mind. “I make feminine, figure-flattering clothing that my customers can feel comfortable wearing while playing with their kids, shopping, attending a luncheon, or for a casual night out. They are visually interesting and attract attention. All of the pieces are mix-and-match, you can dress down with flats or up with heels and jewelry.”
Depaul agrees and states that she receives many unsolicited compliments when she wears the Stiletto line. “I am proud to represent such a beautiful brand.”
The Stiletto Spring 2012 catalog will feature Jacqueline Depaul exclusively as the signature model. The line can be viewed on the Stiletto website and local area fashion shows. Stiletto is available in boutiques around the country.