Nayna McIntosh, entrepreneur, retail expert and founder of Hope Fashion

New Research Reveals 69% of Women Between 53-72 Feel Ignored by Fashion Retailers & Advertisers

A report by J. Walter Thompson London has identified that older women feel poorly represented by high street and online fashion retailers.

A new research report released yesterday, by J. Walter Thompson London’s Innovation Group, has revealed that 69 per cent of UK women over 53 feel ignored by the fashion industry. Despite campaigns and protests in recent years calling for authentic female representation in the fashion industry, just over two thirds (67 per cent) of women still believe nothing has changed, and advertisers are still only interested in targeting younger people.

The macro-trend research report* focused on women aged between 53-72, and has highlighted a misconception amongst many retailers that once women arrive at 50, and particularly when their bodies change as they go through the menopause, they give up on their image.

However, this outdated idea is not reflective of how these women really feel. Instead, 82 per cent of women in their 50s, 60s and early 70s describe clothes aimed at their age group as ‘too old-fashioned’ and 86 per cent believe that style should not be defined by age.

Nayna McIntosh entrepreneur, retail expert and founder of Hope Fashion, comments: “Retailers are letting women down. This research is proof the fashion industry and advertisers need to make a change.

“I can empathise with this generation of women, when I hit my 50’s; in my head I still felt like I was 30 but my body didn’t. I knew I had to adapt my style to suit my changing body shape, I still wanted to look stylish and feel confident and why not!

“Women over 50 typically have more money and more time than they perhaps have done ever before, but when they go out on the high street or online, they struggle to find a brand that speaks to them.”

The report also highlights research by Hitachi Capital UK and CEBR that the over 50s now account for more than half of consumer spending in the UK, shelling out £376 billion on discretionary items in 2015. This reveals an enormous engagement potential for retailers, yet women aged between 53 to 72 feel more invisible than ever.

Nayna continues: “This gap in the market spurred me on to launch Hope Fashion in 2015 – a label embracing women of all shapes, sizes and ages by providing them with elegant and easy-to-wear pieces in great quality fabrics and yarns.

“It is important to me that all women feel included and catered for at Hope, so I ensure that all our women in our marketing and advertising campaigns are of different ages and sizes and are a mix of real women and models.

“When you have imagery of real women quite often the fashion industry is not interested because that’s not really what they see as ‘fashion’. And yet my customers love it.”

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