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Supermodel Marie Helvin, 71, returns to front lingerie campaign

Marie Helvin lingerie campaign (Bluebella)
Marie Helvin lingerie campaign (Bluebella)

Marie Helvin, one of the first "supermodels", has taken a stand against the fashion industry's lack of age diversity in a bold new lingerie campaign.

Helvin, 71, has been revealed as the new face of Bluebella lingerie's Valentine's campaign 2024.

Launching the range with an extensive photoshoot, Helvin said the fashion world is “fixated" on women aged under 30 and that women over 60 are ignored and "invisible".

The campaign is Helvin's first since she received a mastectomy in 2022 to treat breast cancer.

"I refuse to be defined and discriminated against because of my age. It makes me so angry that women are ignored and become invisible after the age of 60. Marketing execs and brands are fixated on women in the 20s and 30s and steadfastly ignore women past that age, this has got to stop," Helvin said.

Marie Helvin is the star of Bluebella's 2024 Valentine's campaign (Bluebella)
Marie Helvin is the star of Bluebella's 2024 Valentine's campaign (Bluebella)

Helvin, who stopped modelling regularly in middle age, says she has experienced fashion's age discrimination first hand despite an illustrious career.

"I actually stopped modelling around the age of 40, because there was no work and I was considered too old. And it was really, only when I turned 50 that I started working again," she said. "So this is my second career in a strange way. I don't know how much longer it's going to last but I'm going to continue for as long as it's there because I enjoy it. And also, it's my job. It's what I've done my entire life. It's what I know, what to do best of all. And I love it."

"I refused to be defined and discriminated against because of my age" (Bluebella)
"I refused to be defined and discriminated against because of my age" (Bluebella)

Helvin appeared on the cover of Vogue a number of times between in the 1970s and 1980s, shooting her last cover with the magazine in 2007. In the 1980s she helped to define the role of the "supermodel" and pioneered "detox" in the 1990s.

"My lingerie collection started when I started modelling here in London in the 70s and I saw for the first time, a negligee and I was taken to another planet," she said. "I had never seen anything so beautiful. They were like dresses. I thought, you could wear these out, and since then I've collected lingerie.”

"My lingerie collection started when I started modelling here in London in the 70s" (Bluebella)
"My lingerie collection started when I started modelling here in London in the 70s" (Bluebella)