When a female model still bags modeling gigs after 22, she has made it through the “make or break” phase. That age is just very crucial. A young model usually starts out as early as 14. At 20, she would already become a familiar face of print and runway shows. By that time, it’s either she has gotten tired of the routine, or the industry has gotten tired of her.
Few models who have continued to make ample money after the early 20s usually become household names – the top models and the supermodels. They will remain posing for the cameras but slowly move on to pursue other careers. In their late 30s onwards, they will decide to retire from the industry – chasing Hollywood or leaving popularity behind as they opt to settle down in marriage.
But there are rare models who manage to make a comeback at quiet an old age. They might have stopped doing runway shows and editorial shoots some 10 or 20 years ago, but they return to modeling with an impact. These are the timeless models.
Karen Bjornson, 58, is one of the most beautiful classic models today. She is represented by Ford Models and she has recently appeared in the September issue of Allure magazine, modeling high-fashion couture from Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham.
Karen Bjornson has become the house muse of Halston in the 1970s. She has walked the runway for Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Perry Ellis, and Ralph Lauren. She has been on the cover of Newsweek and Cosmopolitan. By 1989, she has retired from modeling to become a full-time mother. Like a fairy tale, she has been asked by Ralph Rucci in 2002 to walk in his show. Later on, she has worked with J. Crew and joined Ford Models.
A timeless beauty with an active modeling career, Karen Bjornson’s observations on the changes in modeling is no doubt credible:
“There used to be a strict division between runway models and editorial models. That didn’t change until the 1980s. When we did runway shows, they used far fewer models and you would go out in a dozen different looks. And you did your own hair and makeup. I would talk to Halston about how to do my hair but then I would do it myself. And the shows were very intimate. There was never a bank of photographers at the end of the runway. I would walk out and see the people I knew and smile at them.”