Fashion & Beauty

Older Models Make Smart Business Sense

Alexis Bittar designs beautiful jewelry. His ads are beautiful too, but more impotantly, they make good use of beautiful women who are contemporaries of this customers. For a 2010 ad campaign, he featured the actress Joan Collins from the 1980s television drama “Dynasty.” Ms. Collins, nearly 80, is not the only mature woman Mr. Bittar has featured. Last year, Jack Pierson shot a campaign with Lauren Hutton, nearly 70. Iris Apfel, 90, is a collaborator, a familiar presence in his blog photos and a close friend.

This month, he has a new campaign with the campy stars of “Absolutely Fabulous”: Joanna Lumley, 65, and Jennifer Saunders, 53.

Mr. Bittar prefers older women for both practical and political reasons. “Every ad features models age 16 to 22 with a blank stare, when the real consumer in luxury fashion stores is more like 35 to 65,” he said. “I hate when a woman says she’s 45 as if it’s a bad thing.”

Aiming for an older, perhaps richer, woman seems to have paid off. Mr. Bittar now owns three stores in Manhattan and others in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago. His jewelry also hits different price points. While the Lucite bangles are around $250, other pieces he is planning will sell for more than $13,000.

Dianne Morris

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She’s Over 60 – Model, Entrepreneur and Bride
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