Talk about a glow up!
Lyn Slater is 64 and dresses better than you or me. At some point in your life you do indeed learn that with age comes with wisdom, but aging doesn’t usually come with turning heads while you walk down the street For Lyn, it does. All ages and genders can’t help notice the older woman whose clothes fit and flatter her shape and attitude.
Slater is being called the “Accidental Icon” because she wasn’t discovered by an artist or a fashion designer as a young model or muse, but by being herself and doing her own thing. Read about the new “It” woman in fashion who is encouraging others to join her and share their “pleasures and passions of everyday life and living.”
“Fashion as a tool of rebellion, that’s sort of really my story.”
Slater says that she’s had a “very performative relationship” with clothing ever since she was a little girl. She attended a Catholic school where the students were required to wear uniforms, but they were allowed to accessorize with religious items as they saw fit. Slater started accessorizing her uniform to express herself. From there, things just stuck.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Slater says that as women age, they tend to become invisible, but that she’s never felt so visible in her entire life than right now.
It started during one fashion week in New York, when Slater was dressed “head-to-toe” in Yohji Yamamato with a rare Chanel handbag in tow. She was just standing around, waiting for a friend to join her. People starting photographing Slater, assuming she must have been in the fashion industry. Her friend arrived, saw Slater surrounded by people and exclaimed that she was an accidental icon.
On her blog, Accidental Icon, Slater explains she started it because she thought it was a niche that wasn’t being filled for an all-important market. She writes:
“I was having trouble finding a fashion blog or magazine that offered an urban, modern, intellectual aesthetic but also spoke to women who live what I call ‘interesting but ordinary lives’ in cities. Women (like me) who are not famous or celebrities but are smart, creative, fashion forward, fit, thoughtful, engaged, related and most importantly clear and comfortable with who they are…”
At the time, she Slater was taking design and technology courses at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, where she intrigued both students and professors with her style and opinions on clothing.
Just a Number
Slater believes that her blog “gives people a different way to think about aging,” and says that age is “irrelevant” when talking about fashion. She uses the hashtag #AgeIsNotAVariable on her Instagram photos because, as she tells Cosmo she believes “fashion is for all women, all men, all people because it brings [them] pleasure.”
Her advice to her fans? To spend time getting to know who you really are and then using your clothes to express that.
For Slater, that includes being “The Woman Who…,” a sort-of fill-in-the-blank-style means of defining yourself and your place in the world. Lyn’s “Woman who” is followed but things like:
“Is somber, seductive, and romantic.”
“Has the ability to express uncertainties, fears, and contradiction.”
“Has integrity in that she can embrace opposing tension.”
“Is becoming increasingly experimental.”
“Has unfinished business.”
Her list — which is much longer than what we’ve included here — really shows that a great self-awareness and recognition of strengths and faults comes with living and aging. Her website encourages other women to try this exercise in the hopes that they, too, will find who they really are!
Slater has been a staunch feminist, professor for almost 20 years, and recently signed on to Elite Models London. Check out her Instagram @iconaccidental, which has over 350k followers.
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