Fashion modelling at 80

She never believed that she would be fashion modelling at 80. Marion Finlayson is turning heads, after being snapped up by a modelling agency at the grand old age of 80. Her last catwalk appearance may have been over 60 years ago, but Marion Finlayson looked as though she’d never been away as she made a triumphant return to the runway at 80 years of age.

The sprightly, keep-fit grandmother first took to the catwalk as a teenager in the 1940’s , but then decided to concentrate on her teaching career at Albyn School.

She was tempted back to fashion modelling at 80 when asked to take part in a charity event at the Marcliffe Hotel, Aberdeen, as she recovered from the death of her husband Bruce after 54 years of marriage.

The charity event launched the local council’s 50 Plus Plan Festival in August 2012 and, at the event, Marion caught the eye of talent spotters. The following month she appeared with Eamomn Holmes in front of millions of viewers on ITV’s This Morning show. 

Now ages 82, talking about returning to fashion modelling at 80 Marion said "I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hadn't done it since I was a student in the late 40s. Luckily I don't have nerves anymore so I just got up there and had lots of fun. I couldn't believe the crowd. There were about 300 or 400 people watching and they were great. I don't want to take all the credit, as there were three or four other people up there with me, but they were all applauding us, which was lovely.” 

She said “I got offers from two modelling agencies in Glasgow. One was Model Team and the other was Colours. I went with Colours because a friend of mine does a lot of clothes-related projects with them. I’m turning 81 in March, so I think I’m doing all right!”

Marion says that doing the catwalk modelling has really helped her and allows her to meet lots of new, younger people. She even had a muscly personal trainer, dressed in tartan, to walk her down the catwalk. 

‘I used to go on holiday to Italy a lot with my husband, and I wasn't sure about going away on my own,’ she says.

But I've gained a lot of confidence recently and I thought to myself, “no I'm not going to stay at home, I'm going to go”. After going to Italy I even went to Mauritius.’

Marion now clocks up hundreds of miles a week travelling from her home in Aberdeen to Glasgow, so she can model for Colours. “Although I do some modelling in Aberdeen, I’m mostly in Glasgow and, while it’s a lot of travelling, it doesn’t bother me as I’ve got a bus pass so I can go down whenever I like. It’s really been an amazing time. 

'When I meet some ladies my age, I sometimes feel like I’m with a completely different generation of people. They’re often talking about their pills and their blood pressure, but I am very lucky that I don’t have any of that yet. I’m as well as I’ve ever been. I’m really happy with what I’m doing and I hope to carry on for a long time.”

If you found fashion modelling at 80 inspiring return to try something new for some more ideas.