A 63-year-old university professor has been signed as a professional model after being mistaken for a fashion star.
Glamorous Lyn Slater was waiting for a lunchdate when her stylish Yohji Yamamoto suit paired with a Chanel handbag caught the eye of lurking paparazzi.
As a result, her modelling career was launched and her “Accidental Icon” blog has attracted thousands of young fans across the world.
The professor of Social Sciences at Fordham University in New York was signed by Elite London in January and has now been hailed an anti-ageist icon following the chance encounter
Writing on her blog earlier this month, Ms Slater said: “My newfound status as icon is most times surreal and unbelievable to me.
“My questions became, “What is meant by cool? and “What is the relationship to getting older?
“Since returning from China where I actually realized with a shock that I am now a kind of public figure and role model for a younger generation, I have been curious about why this is so.
“The most common and repeated comment from this audience across all countries and cultures is always, ‘You are so cool, I want to be like you when I am older.'”
Lyn Slater, who holds a PhD in social welfare and has addressed child abuse and family violence, said she found a new line of work when a crowd gathered around her as the Japanese reporters started picturing and interviewing her.
Her blog documents her interest in fashion and has attracted thousands of followers across the world.
She said: “All of a sudden these photographers started to surround me and take pictures of me.
“A couple of journalists from Japan had approached me and were asking questions. Tourists started to see this and thought, ‘That must be some important person in fashion!’ so they started to take pictures of me.
“I had a huge crowd of people around me.
“I get a lot of emails from younger people saying … you’re making us feel like getting old is fun and cool, and that you can do whatever you want at whatever age,’ she told TODAY. ‘A lot of the comments on my Instagram are “life goals.” ‘
She has now posed for top fashion brands including Comme Des Garcons, Mango and Valentino and says “age is never a variable”.
She has told fashion website Refinery29: “Don’t wear mini skirts, don’t wear crop tops, don’t expose your cleavage, don’t wear low-rise jeans – I ignore them. Age is never a variable I use to make decisions about what I wear.
“There’s actual science that shows how [what you’re wearing] impacts your ability to perform and your emotions.
“It’s called enclothed cognition. And for me, the way that I’ve been embracing clothing and reinventing myself at this time in my life is making me young.”