Instagran: 95-year-old stylista is a social media sensation

Meet Ernestine Stollberg, the nonagenarian model who is taking Instagram by storm

25 June 2017 - 00:00 By Bethan Holt

There cannot be many  95-year-olds who spend their days dressing up in avant-garde designer clothes and posing in them wittily for Instagram posts that go on to be liked by thousands. But this is exactly how Austrian nonagenarian Ernestine Stollberg is passing her 10th decade - having a wonderful time while she's at it.
"We really have fun doing this together," she says of her friendship and creative collaboration with Markus Strasser, co-owner and stylist at the Park boutique in Vienna, where Stollberg, fondly known as Erni, has become the much adored in-house model.
Legions of fans
Over the past year, Stollberg has become something of an online fashion sensation, picking up legions of fans who love the spirit she brings to every look that Strasser puts together for her, whether it's a madcap Junya Watanabe coat or a ladylike chiffon dress by Ann Demeulemeester.
The pair struck up a friendship a few years ago. "We met on the street and sometimes chatted a bit. Erni lives around the corner from the shop," says Strasser.
"When we got a dog three years ago, she came to the shop more often, she just loves dogs."
However, it wasn't until last June that he asked if he could take her picture."She said yes. I immediately saw how photogenic she was, but on top of that, she has the natural talent to really understand what the look is about and to perform accordingly," he says.
"Erni is also quite a character, not what you would expect of a 95-year-old. This collaboration is only possible because we really like and trust each other. That makes us dare to do things that are usually not in people's mind when they think about someone that age."
My generation
Stollberg says carefully: "I didn't plan this, it just happened to me, because I met Markus and I don't really know what to say to other people of my generation. Maybe that things are possible, if you let them happen."
"I think that especially women are moved by the fact that age must not be necessarily understood as a limit," says Strasser. "Younger women identify with her as a role model and wish to be like her at that age.
I am really moved by these reactions, because we actually live in a world where the beauty industry makes us want to believe that only looking young is beautiful. I think that there is something going on in society, more and more people have the vision to redefine these paradigms of beauty and age today." - The Daily Telegraph..

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