Each month, The Fine Line features a special guest — a woman who thoroughly embraces her age and lives her life to the fullest. Up first: Yazemeenah Rossi, a model, actress, yogi, whole foods enthusiast, beach lover, and inspiration to us all. This is the second part of a four-part series with Rossi. Read part one here.
Yazemeenah Rossi got her modeling start in her late 20s, working as a fit model for Yves Saint Laurent, Hermes and Jil Sander. But she was well into her 50s before she reached any level of fame.
In 2012, London-based clothier M&S featured Rossi in its holiday campaign, and earlier this year, at 60 years old, the gray-haired beauty nearly broke the Internet when her photos for The Dreslyn’s swimsuit collaboration with Land of Women hit dot-coms everywhere.
Rossi’s personal style is unconventional, comfortable, and versatile. What she calls “gypsy chic” when she’s on the West Coast becomes “urban nomad” when she’s in NYC. Additionally, she says, she tries to bring in a little bit of a superhero feel — channeling the characters of the movies in which she wishes to act.
Here she shares her thoughts on fashion and a few favorite photos.
In my 20s I was more sophisticated with my clothing. I have gradually moved toward simplicity and comfort.
I have always had my own style, and I wear today clothes that I made 30, even 40, years ago. I dress in basics and combine them in inspiring new ways.
I like fabric, but I don’t like to cut it. So I create ample kaftans or tunics in materials such as linen (my favorite), raw silk , raw cotton, and bamboo; or I might use the material as wraps, to create different outfits with the same piece of fabric.
I don’t feel like you have to wear certain styles if you are older than 50. It is up to the person, her spirit. Like not wearing shorts after a certain age, for example. I wear more shorts now than 10 and even 20 years ago, because I am more at ease in my body now than then. Someone can be outstanding in shorts at 60 because they feel free and exude elegance.
I avoid details in the clothes than certain pieces of clothing. For example I’ve never liked buttons or zippers or visible pockets. I don’t like patterns. The few patterned items I have are handmade collectibles. I have a collection of handmade clothing from around the world — some as old as from the 18th century.
I avoid of-the-moment accessories. I wear vintage accessories I’ve collected over 40 years. I like to reinvent fashion. I like to customize and recycle pieces. I have fun in the process of making something new with old things.
I have a passion for kimonos. They are timeless, noble, elegant pieces.
To see many more looks, follow Rossi on Instagram, where she posts self-portraits in her own lovely designs as well as those of other designers.