Model Gillean McLeod on why she loves ageing
Stylist Gillean McLeod started modelling in her fifties – and it changed her life.
Gillean McLeod was on set one day, working as a stylist, and the client wasn’t happy with how the shoot was going.
”And when the model left, someone said ‘Why don’t we try the stylist instead?’”. Gillean McLeod laughs. She was 53 when she started modelling and now she works both as a model and a stylist. She currently stars in our latest swimwear editorial, where she slays in a strappy one-piece swimsuit.
”Modelling was nerve-wrecking at first. I had terrible acne growing up, and I was always really shy. But I gained more and more confidence, and the last year I’ve had a couple of really great campaigns.”
HAS MODELLING CHANGED YOUR VIEW ON AGEING?
”I can’t tell you how much modelling changed my life – I am just so much more confident in myself. I’ve always been in a pretty good shape, but I make more of an effort now. I sort of take pride in not doing botox or any of that face stuff. That look just seems so forced and strange to me. I am happy with the way I am. And I am here, you know? Doing a swimwear shoot today!”
”I think modelling has been a different path for me, starting so late in life. The best decade I had was actually my fifties. I went through all these changes – I got divorced, went through some terrible things, but I got out on the other side. Those changes made everything better.”
HOW DO YOU WANT TO FEEL WHEN YOU GO TO THE BEACH, WEARING A SWIMSUIT?
”I want to feel good. I want something that fits well. And sometime I want to feel a bit glamorous, wearing sunglasses – the 50s swimwear styling comes to mind. I usually wear a workout bikini since I actually swim for a bit. But if you’re comfortable in it, it doesn’t really matter what it looks like.”
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SUMMER MEMORY?
”Growing up, I went to boarding school in Scotland while my family lived in Malaysia. In the summer, my dad would rent a beach house about 50 miles from Kuala Lumpur. It was incredible – we went water skiing in the sea and I had this batik bikini that I just loved.”
Click here to see the full swimwear editorial – our cutest swimwear for summer and how to style it on and off the beach.