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Fashionistas Over 50 – Gervel Jones-Sampson

Fashionistas Over 50 – Gervel Jones-Sampson
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By Naakai Addy

Our Fashionistas over Fifty series shines a spotlight on women in their second act involved in the fashion and beauty industries. In part II of our series, glamorous blogger and photographer Gervel Jones-Sampson tells us how she came to both professions, and what the journey has been like thus far.

  1. What prompted you to start Gigi’s Meanderings, and how did PS Couture come about?

I started Gigi’s Meanderings because I wanted a platform that I could blog about topics that related to women my age. I love reading blogs, but at the time I started GGM, I found a lot of them were geared toward younger women and some of the other ones were geared toward retirement topics, etc. I wanted to blog about simple things like should women our age get waxed or observations about being a 50+ year-old in our society.

(In regards to) PC Couture, I have always loved photography and was the person always armed with my point and shoot way before cell phones.  A few years ago at the age of 52, I decided to go to photography school.  I knew going in that I did not want to do weddings or events but I also knew that I did not want to do traditional family portraits.  I wanted to photograph my contemporaries in a beauty editorial style.  I wanted to do tasteful boudoir and fantasy sessions in a comfortable environment where my mature clients could be supported and transformed with no judgment.

  1. What has the response to those ventures been like?

GGM has a small following and my readers have been very supportive and love that I am candid and that I share my own life experiences. I get a lot of private messages from women sharing with me that they felt the same way on a particular posts…but were too shy to respond in the comment section.

PS Couture is doing well. My “grown and sexy” clients like that they can do a edgy session and that I am sensitive to the needs of “mature” women. I know how to pose and capture women in a flattering light, especially women my age. I know that aging is a fact of life, but we are still beautiful.

  1. How, if at all, has your own perspective towards fashion changed over the years?

I have always loved fashion! Over the years I have gotten more comfortable in my own style. I wear what makes me feel good, I don’t really follow any rules about what I should wear at my age. I know what works on my body and what doesn’t. I only buy things that I love.

Gervel 2

  1. What would be your advice to designers, photographers, industry experts and editors regarding the representation or inclusion of women in their 40’s and up?

Women 50+ are alive and well and we have lots of money to spend on ourselves. We are in the gym, we are traveling, we are doing it all and we want to look good. I love magazines, and it would be nice if there were more women my age featured on occasion in fashion spreads. In the last few years I do see more mature women in ad campaigns, which is nice. My advice would be don’t forget us…we are vibrant, experienced women with lots to offer.

  1. Since you have so much experience styling clients and looking fabulous yourself, who are a few of the designers or retailers that offer great options for mature women?

I like a variety of designers and retailers, from little boutiques to department stores. I think it depends on a woman’s lifestyle, and then she can figure out her own personal options. Personally I love beautiful fabrics, nice details, garments that flatter my body. and I am a shoe aficionado. I’m a good shopper and will strategize for my “investment” purchases ie. Christian Louboutin’s, Valentino’s, Prada, Gucci etc. At the same time, I can go to T.J. Maxx and find interesting pieces at a deep discount as well.

Gervel 3

As far as options for mature women, it depends on their own comfort level with “self”. I think if a woman is open she can find something anywhere by any designer at any price. Of course all the department stores will have a large variety, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales etc. Calypso St. Barth has a lot of resort-inspired items that fit my California lifestyle. Antropologie is a fun store, as are All Saints, Nicole Miller, Madewell–the list goes on and on. The key for mature women is to freshen up your look, don’t get stuck in a time zone.

  1. Anything else you’d like to add?

The bottom line, I have observed with mature women, [is that] many of them get into a rut, wearing the same look for the past 20 years, but once they take a chance and try something different, a whole new world opens up.

Many thanks to Gervel Jones-Sampson for the interview and photos.

 

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