This lingerie model's photoshoot is changing ideas about aging and beauty

“We are in a moment in time where older women's beauty has been a startling revelation," said the 56-year-old.
(Credit: Harry Were/Lonely Lingerie)

The fashion industry has found its newest It Girl. And, no, it's not a third Hadid sister.  

56-year-old Mercy Brewer, a former supermodel who hails from Scotland, is making big waves as the star of the New Zealand intimates label Lonely Lingerie's Fall 2017 campaign. And it's easy to see why. Her photos, shot by Harry Were, are absolutely stunning, highlighting the line's delicately laced edges and strappy detailing in a way that feels more suited to the walls an art exhibit than the pages of Maxim.

(Credit: Harry Were/Lonely Lingerie)

That's no coincidence, of course. Lonely is known for its artful, inclusive campaigns that work to both expand and disrupt our narrow conceptions of what's considered 'beautiful'. The brand has featured Girls leading ladies Lena Dunham and Jemima Kirke, worked with transgender model Aurel Haize Odogbo and consistently showcases women of all different body types, races and presentations of femininity, making their campaigns a breath of cool, fresh air in an industry that, while making great strides, still relies on shiny-haired, doe-eyed 15-year-olds to sell their clothing.  

(Credit: Lonely Lingerie)
(Credit: June Canedo/Lonely Lingerie)
(Credit: Lonely Lingerie)

By featuring Brewer as part of Lonely's fall campaign, co-founder and designer Helene Morris wanted to confront our preconceived notions about aging gracefully head on, while helping to "grow people's visual vocabulary."

"The beauty and fashion industries are so obsessed with youth, but the reality is we are all ageing, and there are so many wonderful things about growing older," Morris said. "So often the primary message around age is intervention, which is a frustrating response to such a natural, inevitable process."

(Credit: Harry Were/Lonely Lingerie)

This made the collaboration a natural fit for Brewer, who believes "we are in a moment in time where older women's beauty has been a startling revelation."

"Perceptions of beauty have and always will change, therefore I think we can conclude its standard is not set in stone, and new beauty is always waiting to be discovered," she said.

(Credit: Harry Were/Lonely Lingerie)

And though Brewer's thin physique is not dissimilar to the bodies we see in the pages of every fashion magazine, her grey locks and makeup-free face bring a sense of authenticity to the shoot. The result is a series of breathtaking portraits that are meditative, sultry and reflect a quiet strength all at once.

(Credit: Harry Were/Lonely Lingerie )

When asked what she hopes her presence in Lonely's campaign represents to audiences and those within the fashion industry, Brewer replied, simply: "Recognition that older women can kick ass when the opportunity arises."

Consider that mission accomplished, Mercy. Keep kicking ass.