I created Playful Promises when I was 28 years old; I’m now 41 and starting to understand the power of lingerie for older women, and wanted to express and explore this in a photoshoot. I am very much a feminist, and do not create lingerie with the male gaze in mind.
However, on a personal level I very much use lingerie as part of my sexuality. The reason Playful Promises came into being was that in my youth I was very interested in expressing my sexuality, and understood from around the age of 20 what an aphrodisiac youth was. Without realizing, this became intertwined with my identity and the lingerie I created.
At 41 this has started to waver. I don’t have the power of youth that I once had. At 28 I couldn’t really imagine a 41 year old woman having sex or being interested in lingerie, but alas I have arrived at 41 and don’t feel that differently sexually than I did at 28. I have slowed down a bit, which is only natural as my hormones are changing. This has led me to reconsider how I relate to my own brand. I suddenly realized how much I had been participating in our culture’s obsession with youth as the ideal.
I realized that it was something we needed to challenge. This campaign is about re-creating my own bond with my brand, but also connecting it with the wider world. We have already been working hard to make women of all shapes and sizes feel that they can wear lingerie to express themselves, and be comfortable with this, but I realized we were excluding another whole group of people. A group I’ve become part of. The no-longer-youthful-but-still-bloody-awesome ;)
I am sorry that I didn’t realize this sooner, and that it is only my own experience that has widened my horizons. I really hope that you like these photos as much I do. I have been admiring Pam Lucas from afar for some time, so it was great to get to work with her. She only found modelling in her 50s, when she called up Ugly Models to ask them if they needed a grey haired Morticia on their books. She hasn’t lived an easy life but was still deeply passionate about her life.
Lina is a great grandmother, and we asked her to model for us as she appeared so playful, which perfectly encompasses our brand. I love this. Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean you don’t have a playful side! She still works full time at the front of house in a City bank, despite being 68. She was initially quite shy, but when she posed she really got into role and modeled just how girls a fraction of her age do - The beauty shone through.
I really was inspired by both women. Beauty is as much attitude as the way you look and it is ageless.
Director of Playful Promises