Mercedes Yoshioka Portfolio Shoot ©Polskey H&M Julia Bowden 16/09/2016

Mercedes Von Thun has the kind of sunny side up energy that can blow clouds away…”I began my career in modelling at the age of 56 years old and I haven’t looked back since!” she says, adding that age doesn’t stop her and – her words – “as I get older. the more adventurous I get and the more beautiful I feel. As a vivacious and charismatic person, I adore what I do. Getting to work with talented creative people of all ages and shine and play in front of the camera is the best job in the world.”

Simply having the best job in the world isn’t necessarily an express ticket to happiness, though – beauty is an inside job, while attitude is your best ally. So it was incredibly inspiring to catch up with Mercedes von Thun at Grey Model Agency (London), who, according to her Instagram page, speaks 4 languages and loves ballet, dance and laughter. We didn’t just talk about rocking your age – Mercedes isrock your age“.


Photo credits: Polskey

Mercedes, thanks so much for being part of our 2017 ROCK YOUR AGE CAMPAIGN, we’ve been looking forward to catching up with you! So first off, do you think we get better as we get older? And what would be the best thing you love about ageing?

I would say that when you age, it’s not that you become a better person so to speak, it is more that you have the opportunity to claim more of what was already wonderful from the day you were born. I love the fact that I can still turn heads at my age – I refuse to be invisible like some older women view themselves as! Also what ageing brings, along with life experience, is a responsibility to reflect your wisdom and loving choices to younger generations.


A lot of people might say that many women in the spotlight – celebrities like Tina Turner, Oprah, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, Sharon Stone and Susan Sarandon (the list goes on!) – have an almost extra-strong sense of who they are, a more defined radiance, about them. What is it, do you think, that gives them their luminosity (aside from great makeup and “extra help”)

2) First of all I want to say that I don’t always agree that the celebrities mentioned here necessarily have a particularly inspiring luminosity. They may look ‘luminous’ on the surface, because it’s true that great makeup can transform your face but what truly gives a person luminosity comes from inside and from living a harmonious life! I also don’t agree that they have ‘an almost extra strong sense of who they are’ as celebrities in particular have such a pressure to present a ‘perfect’ image to the public and it is easier to hide your insecurities behind fake confidence and great clothes and makeup. Luminosity and confidence shines through any and every woman if they let it out, regardless of whether they are a celebrity or not.

“I don’t believe in age, I believe in energy

…don’t let age dictate what you can or cannot do”

– Tao Porchon-Lynch, world’s oldest old yoga teacher, 97

What beauty and wellbeing rituals or products do you totally swear by?

3) The beauty and wellbeing rituals I swear by are gentle exercise, nothing too strenuous, like resistance training with light weights, morning stretches and some barre workouts. I also love walking and swimming and this combination keeps me fit and toned. Equally, if not more important, is nutrition, and for me that is eating a gluten & dairy free diet! Eating this way has made my transition into menopause much easier and cured my bloating and constipation, both of which I used to suffer terribly from until my diet changes.

The products I really swear by are:

1) Eve Lom’s cleanser (I can’t do without that)

2) P50V Lotion by Biologique Recherche

3) Dr Frances Prenna Jones Formula 2006

4) Advanced C radiance cream by Dr Lancer

5) Chantecaille’s tinted moisturiser in ‘Glow’

…and last but not least

6) The Ambient trio lighting palette by Hourglass!

I could go on and on as I’m a real product junkie, but I would say right now, these are my everyday favourites for glowing skin!

In 2015, Ad Week ran a feature called “Why Older Women are the It-Girls of Fashion” but it wasn’t “Are…older women the it-girls of fashion?”…it “why” – it was a statement!

The feature also talked about Iris Apfel, in her 90s, becoming the face of Kate Spade, Catherine Deneuve for Luis Vuitton, and so on, all our new modern icons of the ageless revolution who are well into their sixties and upwards . Do you think it’ll pick up speed this year and that we will we see more older fashion models too as brands look at cashing in on the silver economy?

4) I think it’s great that they are using us older models more and more, but they tend to use mostly the famous faces and it would also be nice to see more unknown older models in big fashion adverts and magazines such as Dolce & Gabbana, Vogue, Lancome etc. I think that would be a big change and I hope that 2017 will bring us older models more into the forefront as we do need to reflect back to our generation that we are fabulous regardless of age, race and walk of life!

“Well, I think I could probably do this kind of show for another 5 years”

– Mick Jagger (interview – 1981)

Rock ‘n roll, the youth-centric “soundtrack to growing pains” (which many predicted would just be a passing music phase) has not only grown up with us, it’s pushing “old age” further and further away. With ageing now something we’re embracing rather than resisting, what does Rock Your Age mean to you?

5) Rock my age to me means going out into the world without any form of judgement about yourself or others and having the courage to learn new things, even if it’s difficult at first, because it is worth it to persevere. Also it’s about getting to know yourself and finding out who you truly are, doing what you’re good at in your truest form because we’re here to shine our light and reflect that back to others.

Most of all be open, fragile and less critical of yourself and learn to love yourself: you’re perfect as you are and your heart knows where to guide you. And one more thing, ladies, wear whatever makes you happy and feel comfortable. Be adventurous and don’t be afraid to experiment on yourself, only through trial & error will you find what really suits you.

And finally, any closing advice, perhaps, for a woman reading this who has a big 50-60-70, etc. landmark birthday coming up in a few weeks’ time?

Have fun with your age, after all if you embrace life, who knows where it will take you!!



  1. Stephanie Stevenson says:

    Mercedes, what a gorgeous role-model for women, young and ‘more mature’ alike!
    You are stunningly beautiful from the inside out.
    Any room for other models -my age group – mid 60’s?!

  2. Peta Lehane says:

    Mercedes, your words ring true and clear. True beauty is emanated from the connection to the love and light you are….but women fall for outer appearances rather than that living energetic quality that you so obviously bring to you everyday. It’s beautiful to know that you’re there in an industry that has perpetuated the outer image ideology at the expense of the inner….your light shines and inspires on many levels.