30 is the new 20: Wilhelmina Models' 30+ Nationwide Model Search - Chitown Fashionista

17 May 2012 / By Gabriel Charles Tyler

30 is the new 20: Wilhelmina Models’ 30+ Nationwide Model Search

Society would have you believe that with age, beauty fades. However, things are starting to shift. And with the fashion industry ending its obsession with youth, the hottest models are 30-plus.

Wilhelmina Models is one of the most prominent agencies in the fashion industry worldwide, known for representing women, men, children and full-figured models. Now the modeling agency has broken into a new division and is searching the nation for real women with beauty, confidence and style to be the new faces of the fashion industry.

On May 12, the modeling agency teamed up with Macy’s and Miraclesuit swimwear to host an open casting call for women ages 30 and older at the Macy’s on State Street. Casting calls were also hosted in Miami, New York and other cities across the nation.

Ten women will be selected to travel to New York City to compete for a grand prize that includes a Wilhelmina contract; fashion spread in O, the Oprah Magazine; a $1,000 gift card from Macy’s and a $1,000 Miraclesuit swim wardrobe. The winner will be chosen at an exclusive finale runway show. Adam Glassman, creative director of O;  supermodel Roshumba Williams; Stacy Fuller, vice president of Wilhelmina Women; and Bruce Waldman, vice president of public relations for Miraclesuit, will make the final selection.

At the Chicago event, I asked real, everyday women how they felt about the opportunity to become a Wilhelmina model and what the 30-plus search meant for the fashion industry. They all answered candidly. Usually women are hesitant to share their ages, especially with members of the opposite sex.  But somehow I got them talking. Check out their responses below.

Latoya Maddox, 32

I’ve thought about modeling, but life happens, and once you go past a certain age they tell you that your career is over. So now with 30-plus, this is great!


Latoya gets beautified before striking a pose



Sylvia Moreno, 35

I’m a mother of three little girls and my husband encouraged me to come. [Wilhelmina’s 30+ Model Search] gives a chance for ordinary people to come out.


Patricia Green, 36

I think [the fashion industry] is more open. More everyday women… like the sizes, heights and ages.


Patricia gets her makeup touched up by the Bobbi Brown cosmetic specialists


Barbara Baldwin, 39

I was shopping and I heard about it downstairs. I thought I would just try out. I’m excited because I used to freelance model, but I stopped after having kids.


Anastasia Athens, 44

My friends tell me I should model, so that’s why I’m here. Finally, we’re starting to see little sparks of true representation and authenticity in the industry. So that part is very exciting.


Anastasia completes her registration as a hopeful for Wilhelmina’s 30+ Model Search



I think it’s great that Wilhelmina has chosen to step out on a limb and push the fashion industry to new limits by changing the face of what’s deemed the standard of beauty. Beyoncé, who recently turned 30, was just named People Magazine‘s Most Beautiful Woman. And like many other celebrities we have all loved for years, age has not tarnished her beauty. Wilhelmina’s 30+ Model Search is proving that women can be beautiful at any age.

If you missed the casting calls, it’s not too late. You can register to enter online or by mail, until May 23.

What do you think, is 30 the new 20?

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About The Author

Gabriel Charles Tyler

Gabriel Charles Tyler is a journalist, fashion blogger, consultant and Chicago native. A recent graduate of DePaul University, where he majored in journalism, Gabriel has developed a methodological approach to finding stories in the most obscure places. This budding journalist is looking to make his mark on the world through news writing, with a focus on cultural and social issues, race and religion. He has been published in a number of print and digital publications, including The DePaulia, CS Modern Luxury, NS Modern Luxury, CS Brides, Time Out Chicago, The Red Line Project, CY Magazine and R. Legacy. Among his many positions, this young journalist currently serves as the Editor-at-Large of R. Legacy. He is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, as well as a Fohr Card verified blogger.

Your Comments

1 comment

  1. Andrea says:


    After reading this great post…30 is definitely the new 20! Way to go Wilhelmina!!

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