Lauren Hutton already, back in 2017, became the oldest woman ever to land a Vogue cover — though it will not surprise you, perhaps, that this honor came not from Anna Wintour’s publication, but Vogue Italia. That moment was awesome. That cover… regrettably, not so much. She looked like an angry deportment teacher. Fortunately, Harper’s Bazaar did it better here, handing Hutton the U.S. cover at age 78 and giving her one that is beautifully lit and joyful and with the saucy edge of her being moderately topless. As I noted earlier, it’s a good week for the AARP set, as 76-year old Helen Mirren is the newest cover model for People’s Most Beautiful issue. But actors tend to land more covers and coverage at an older age than models do, in part because models are more aggressively phased out of their industry much earlier, and often with a lot more finality. That’s why Hutton’s appearance here, and her specific physicality, is extra noteworthy. It shouldn’t still feel like a revolution to see any 78-year old face — or body — owning all its contours on the cover of a magazine, much less one belonging to a famous model of yore, but it does; as with everything, the progress we want is not the progress we have made. But things are moving in a good direction.
Hutton is one of four covers — the others are Imaan Hammam, Sora Choi, and Jill Kortleve — for the Harper’s beauty issue. The associated pieces, written in first-person — they are “as told to” various people — are quite brief, and I’m sure they were condensed into usable bits, so they feel choppy at times. I like the nugget in Hutton’s that talked about when she saw other models being phased out, and realized that a contract gig would protect her financially by guaranteeing her work and visibility, hence her seeking out and signing with Revlon. That’s quite savvy, considering how many years ago she had to come to that conclusion.
Harper’s was very generous with the photos; I winnowed down the selections, but there are still a lot up there in the slideshow, though you can see even more at each profile link.