Fashion: Bond girl grows up

At 54, Maryam d’Abo has become the new face of mature fashion champion JD Williams. Stephanie Smith reports.

Maryam D'Abo models ivory blouse, £39.
Maryam D'Abo models ivory blouse, £39.

Who’d be a Bond girl? One of a long line of actresses and models forming the franchise’s beauty pageant of picturesque and plucky sidekicks, each granted the dubious honour of being 007’s latest favourite (although sadly often rather unfortunate) spy-handy accessory.

But there is life after Bond. Maryam D’Abo, who starred in 1987’s The Living Daylights as Kara Milovy, Czechoslovakian cellist, sniper and love interest for Timothy Dalton’s Bond, has grown up beautifully and become the new face of UK fashion retailer JD Williams, at the age of 54

“Maryam really captures the spirit of the modern 50-plus woman with her natural beauty and chic sense of style,” says Linda Quinn, design director at JD Williams, adding: “She proves that the over 50s are the role models for the modern age.”

Maryam joins a stable that includes TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, 55, as the Manchester based online retailer seeks to appeal by showing designs worn by women who are within its own customers’ age groups, rather than on younger models with whom they cannot identify.

JD Williams says it aims to champion the “forgotten fifties”, pointing out that the 50-plus market is emerging as the UK’s most powerful consumer group, currently the UK’s fastest growing fashion sector, worth £6.7bn. A YouGov survey commissioned by the company found that 94 per cent of 50-plus women feel younger than their age, 66 per cent want to see more choice from fashion retailers suited to their age, and 61 per cent believe they are forgotten by the High Street.

The retailer fits to specialist mannequins and models that factor in body changes, lifting necklines, altering waistlines, realigning the bust, lowering hemlines and adding design features such as in-built sculpting technology.

The AW15 collection of wearable, flattering shapes in a colour palette of deep reds and soft blues with leopard prints, geo prints, folksy florals and sequins is available online now at in sizes 10-32.