What you have to do is 1) grow a beard and 2) use social media. At least this is what Philippe Dumas, 60, (Paris) did and became a star in designer ad campaigns just six months later. Interview with the 61 year old hipster model.
Was the process of your model career a lonely job? Did anyone help you, advise you in any way in it, friends, family?
When I started to participate in feature films as an extra a year ago, I took this decision without asking anyone, knowing no-one would had taken it seriously. I went my way and I was quite surprised I was not doing so bad. When I started mentioning this new job to my friends , they started taking it more seriously regarding the results I had. To make it short I did not ask advise to anybody. The thing is I have been working for 25 years in the movie business so I knew where I was going.
You worked int he film industry before, have ever received any job offers from modelling agencies there?
Yes, it happened that working on movies the director asked me to participate in the movie for a very small part with 2 or 3 words; Another time working on a commercial with Sarah Moon the client came to me and said I wish you were the model for my product ;) . And once the model was late and the producer came to me and said if the model does not show up you will take his place. But nothing to do with an offer from a modeling agency.
Could you have been as popular as you are now at the age of 20–30?
My popularity is due to my age and my white beard. I surely would not be as popular at the age of 20 or 30. What moved people is the fact that I started modeling at the age of 60 which is not a very common age to start in this profession. They were surprised and impressed.
Did you suprise or shock your family or friends, former workmates with your quick popularity?
I was the first to be surprised or schoked. That was so unexpected.That was a tremendous surprise, I get up like everyday to start my workday and a friend I have not seen for years, living in america,sends me a message saying check the website Reddy you are making a huge buzz.
I check and see all this posts about me (without having done nothing for that). Somebody had stolen my photos and put the following post: “I am 60, I am retired and my life dream is to be a model. Do I have the ability?” It took some days to my friend to understand what was happening. But when they did they were amazed and happy for me.
Have you recieve any malicious feedback, critism?
Surprisingly I have got no malicious feedback. People are very nice to me and push me to go further in this career. Nevertheless I noticed some jealousy from some of my friends who completely ignored what happened to me. To tell you the truth that made me feel bad. I understand that people around me can be tired of seeing photos of me that i post on my Face Book or my Instagram (me myself and I) But it is a part of the game.
How do you create your instagram photos? How do you find the concept, what inspire you?
When I look at other people’s instagram I rather browse than check carefully the photos. To me instagram is a succession of various feelings or little schoks if you prefer. When I see a photo I need to be emotionally touched right away either by the subject, the colors or the staging. I don’t stop browsing and I quickly push the like button if anything of the photo touches me and pass to the next one. Some of my instagram photos are photos from a job or are selfies that I take when i am in the mood. Depending on my mood it will be either something elegant and professional, or something more private such as selfies with a family member or friend, or a funny photo. There is not really hard work about it but it takes some thoughts. It is certainly not spontaneous. Instagram is for our profession a kind of a business card so it is a serious thing.
I have browsed through your instagram pictures and I couldn’t find any in which you are smiling (correct me if I’m wrong). Why is it so? Is it a trend to look serious in the pics?
It is right that the trend is not to smile. But the beard is not really convenient for a smile since you don’t see the mouth. The solution is to smile with the eyes and it is what I try to do.
Has your style changed at all after turning 60?
My style changed a lot when I started modeling. The fact is that when you are a model or work on commercials you work with stylist who introduce you to trendy clothes or clothes that really suit your style. So along with these shootings I picked things that I have been wearing for work that I buy from the production or from the store where the stylist borrowed them. Anyway I think I always had this in me. I very often get compliments from the persons I work with about what I wear. I try to be original but I stay at a classical level.
Do you believe in dressing ‘age appropriately’ and what does it mean to you?
When you like clothes it is difficult no to want to be dressed trendy. One must be careful to dress with clothes that correspond to your age but with style. The danger is greater for women than men. Sometime it is a game to dress with clothes that does not fit my age but I am aware of it and I am very critical with my look. I know when it is too much.
Do you have any other style tips for men over 60 that you like to share?
Keep a young mind. This is really important : stay young in your head and heart whatever the age number. Cherish your memories but stay turned to the future and accept novelty of any sort: fashion , music and technologies
You said in an interview that fashion is a cycle and one doesn’t need to get rid of out dated clothes. Does it mean that your wardrobe is full of clothes from decades?
Yes, my wardrobe is full of old clothes but because I always buy good quality they are like new; I don’t know how to part with my old clothes but sometimes i take a deep breath and give them away to charity organization.
Let’s talk a bit about your personal style as well. How would you describe your style?
I love the combination between dandy and hipster style. I want to be elegant but not overdressed. I will Wear a very elegant piece that I combine with something very simple. I love the contrast. My preference goes to waistcoats that I really like to wear and match my beard very well.
There has been a cult of youth since the sixties, do you think that this tendency will change?
This year the tendency is changing from cult of youth to third age. In many campaigns or commercial you see aged persons like Iris Apster who is great when she says sh’s got style. And it’s true she is a real stylish character. And what about this beautiful woman: Carmen del Orificce aged 84 and so beautiful.
This is my first post here on Medium. I hope there will be more to come. I am a youth and generation expert. For more information, visit my website: http://generationdilemmas.com