Can the adage ‘there’s no good pilots, only old pilots’ apply to men?... Obviously not, as the concepts of greatness or being good looking has nothing to do with age. However, the idea around what is it to be an older man has evolved quite a bit in the last 40 years. Why would you want to take care of yourself a couple of decades ago when money and social status was enough to get by. Style, grooming, attention to design was even considered as too feminine to be consider something a real man should do!
Fortunately, thanks to many innovators and boundary pushers we can think more openly, have conversations about style and fashion. An interesting shift is the coming of age of the silver man concept. Remember our grandfathers, grey haired, often not in the best shape, they looked and behaved like old persons. And being old had nothing to do with being useless, finished or any negative concept. Many of our grandfathers were kind, wise, loving, and powerful figures. But these general characteristics were often associated with a sense of something which will soon end and the energy that emanated was a sort of winding down.
When looking at these silver men, yes they do look amazingly beautiful, but more than that, they have great style and carry so much energy. They have continued to look for new clothes, shoes, exploring colour matching of hip accessories, enchanting fragrances. I guess, part of it, is to keep feeling alive, to be a part of our society, and doing it with style for the satisfaction to reach the concept of a job well done.
I guess with age, comes a better understanding of what’s involved in amazing craftsmanship, the time required to master a skill, specific gestures, and accumulated experiences. With age, everything associated with the concept of time is taken to another level. Yes Chronos is slowly and regularly doing his work, but we appreciate how a good wine ages, how a leather bag acquires character, a wooden boat demands respectability.
The contemporary silver men are the former babies of the sixties and they grew up with parents who had witnessed the civil rights movement, the rise of feminism and of equal rights for LGBTQ+ people. The direct consequences are an openness to new ways to live, to embrace new cultures, to value both feminine and masculine sides, but what does it even means?
Our tastes are not defined by our gender, race or age.
Let’s keep exploring, coming up with new ideas, built on accumulated experiences and more importantly render age as a non existent concept.
Editor-in-chief and founder of the Frenchman Mag.