Our kind of beauty icon: Linda Rodin

1 IMG 1065 Nadia Sarwar

Forget Cara Delevigne and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, when it comes to being the face of a brand, there is a new breed of model that everyone wants - an ageless beauty. And its pin-up is 66-year-old Linda Rodin.

The list of lofty labels choosing to align themselves with her is growing - The Row, J Crew, Karen Walker, Coach and Matches have all celebrated her - while her skincare, hair and beauty line, Rodin Olio Lusso, has become a cult label (Estee Lauder beauty empire certainly think so as they have just acquired it).

As a stylist for the last 35 years she has worked with everyone from Madonna to Cindy Crawford, and has lived in the same apartment building in Chelsea, New York, with her silver poodle Winky, for just as long.

We caught up with her at home to discover what it means to be an ageless beauty and, more importantly, how we can all be one.

1. On growing old gracefully…

I don’t really know what this means, but I suppose it means acceptance. Taking [ageing] in your stride, not trying to fight it. Grace comes in doing the best you can, looking the best you can.

I don’t think I would look any better with a face lift or blonde hair. You can be wistful about an old picture but I only feel old when my back hurts. I feel just the same as I always have. Wrinkles are just gravity.

Linda keeping it simple

2. On style…

I’ve always worn clothes I thought suited me. I’ve never been really trendy. I never had a lot of money or spent a lot of money. I’m more a dressed-down person. I have a uniform - vintage, baggy Levis 501’s that I’ve worn since I was 11. If I see them in a thrift store I think: “I probably owned them the first time around!”.

If I buy new jeans I would choose Acne, they make wonderful denim. I love vintage tops and sweaters all winter - I like Zara or MM6 Maison Martin Margiela - the simpler the better. I don’t like gimmicks. I’m conservative, I cover my arms and legs and never show cleavage. I love shoes but I can’t wear heels - I can't balance any more.

Ballet flats, flat boots, sneakers - anything comfortable. I have a beautiful pair of Celine pull-on sneakers and Zara boots - they’re like Rick Owens but better. They had three buckles but I had them taken off - I love to customise things. I’m not girly-girly but I am feminine. If the silhouette is good, it could be anything.

Rodin by Racine Hair Oil

3. On silver hair…

I started going grey when I was 35. I’ve never dyed my hair in my life - I embraced it. I wear my hair up now as it’s easiest and looks best. Aveda makes a wonderful silver shampoo that I use, as well as my hair oil, after I wash it. And I like Clairol Shimmer Lights as it makes my hair silky.

Linda Rodin

4.On surgery…

I did try filler five years ago. After a while it looked like I was morphing - it was very subtle - I didn't look better I just looked weird. I wouldn't do that again. I’ve looked at myself for 66 years - I know what I look like.


Rodin Jasmine and Neroli bath bar

5. On beauty regimes…

I’ve tried everything over the years. For the last eight years I’ve been using my own products. I would always try this and that and eventually I couldn't find what I wanted so I decided I’m going to make my own.

I sleep a lot and when I’m feeling rested I look my best. I need a minimum eight-and-a-half hours sleep. I take good care of myself, and eat well. I don’t burn the candle at both ends. It’s never been my style. I’m not a party type.

Linda and her silver poodle, Winky

6. On exercise…

I joined a gym once but now I don’t do anything. I go out with my dog and walk as much as I can. I have no patience, I can't even do yoga.

Rodin luxury body oil

7. On Kim Kardashian’s bum…

I’m sure she’ll miss looking like that when she’s my age but I don't really understand the whole thing, it’s not really so interesting to me. I will look wistfully at a picture of my younger self but I’ve never been naked on the cover of a magazine so I don’t really get it.

Linda photographed in the 1970s

8. On what sells fashion…

We have a youth-obsessed culture. Everyone is so young and everyone is looking younger. I’m not sure I understand why one person is relatable to many but I feel very fortunate I’m at this place at this time. I think it's because I am an interesting psychographic - 20-year-old women and 90-year-old women think I look cool.

On a wider scale, it’s a good time for older women, there’s a lot of baby boomers, a lot of women my age who feel left out. I am the face of my products. People see I’m alive and well and behind this project. The support has been very surprising to me. I didn't expect it.

Rodin lip balm ring

9. On make-up...

I like to wear a bright orange and hot pink lipstick rather than red. I am now developing two lipsticks in these shades with Estee Lauder. I think they’re better than red. Red can get too blue, and unless you have got the most beautiful tan and white teeth, I think orange is kinder. And as my hair is white I like to have colour on my lips. I love women who can wear red, I wore it when I was about 30.

Linda Rodin in her signature sunglasses

10. On women her age…

There a lot of women my age who look fantastic. And there are a lot of women my age and younger who look older. They feel 'I’m too old', 'Those days are over'. I would say: 'You are not old'. You don’t have to embrace a certain decade. I have a friend who is 80 and looks amazing. You can’t speak of older women in one clump, it’s how you feel. Some women don't care about fashion and that’s fine too.

By Claire Brayford