Meet Lyn Slater a 63 years old, full-time professor at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service, who just happened to accidentally fall into the world of fashion. It all started when she was outside of New York City Fashion Week, wearing a Yohji Yamamoto suit and carrying a Chanel bag as she waited for her friend. “All of a sudden these photographers started to surround me and take pictures of me,” Slater, 63, told TODAY Style. “A couple of journalists from Japan had approached me and were asking questions. Tourists started to see this and thought, ‘That must be some important person in fashion!’ so they started to take pictures of me. I had a huge crowd of people around me.” This was the moment that her friend called her an “Accidental Icon” which is how she came up with the name for her blog now brand.
She has been named as one of the top influencers under 70 and she clearly isn’t your average millennial influencer but she is just as impactful. She’s bold, free-spirited and full of energy and we couldn’t help but connect with her and find out her thoughts on what age means to her and what has influenced her style
If you’ve been looking for inspiration on career changes, at what age to navigate them and how to live your best life then you are reading the right article.
Here we had a quick 5 minute chat with Lyn Slate, Accidental Icon founder.
Full Name: Lyn Slater
It’s exciting to see women taken control at every age of their lives and living life on their own terms, tell us how you got the inspiration to start Accidental Icon and what it means to you?
I really could not find either a fashion magazine or a blog that spoke to a woman like myself who is an urbanite and who wants to think and talk about fashion. Many fashion magazines, except for the independent ones are focused on celebrities and telling people what to wear. I wanted to put something out that was not prescriptive but rather inspire others of all ages to dress in a more personally reflective way.
Clearly “age is nothing but a number” to you, what does that phrase mean to you and what would you like other ladies to learn from it?
Actually, my hashtag is #AgeIsNotAVariable which is more accurate because I do not even think of age as a number. For me, it is a completely meaningless category when it comes to fashion and getting dressed.
If you could go back to your 20’s what would you do differently and what would you tell yourself?
I have no regrets about anything, I find that a useless exercise. My advice would be for you to understand from a very young age that the nature of life means you will always make mistakes and they are the most powerful learning experiences you will ever have of you see them as opportunities. I think regret is a useless emotion because it keeps you in the past. I am all about staying in the now because that is what you have some control over.
What influences your style and are your family supportive of it?
Everything influences my style because it reflects my identity at any given time in history so any cultural influences will subtly appear. I stay current with what is happening from creatives in our society and that keeps me relevant. I look mostly at independent fashion magazines. Living in a large city with a huge amount of diversity and fluid identities is very inspiring to me.In regard to my family, they are very supportive of me as a person but I would not consider their opinion when it comes to me getting dressed.
How has having your partner, Calvin Lom, as your photographer helped you?
I really have always been uncomfortable with having my photo taken throughout my life. Having someone I trust and who knows me I think has made it easier for me to put myself out there and I think no one else could portray me the way he does. Since I am still working as a professor the fact that we can get up on the weekend and go out and shoot and then have brunch or do something fun makes it much easier for me to manage the many things I am doing.
What are your future plans for the Lyn Slater brand? Do you intend to take this up as a full-time job?
I would like to be able to do this all the time and by this, I mean not necessarily modeling but writing, creative direction, collaboration and the many other opportunities that have come up. I never had an endgame and just entered this space in a very organic way and that has worked really well for me so I try not to have too many plans.
Would you share some words of wisdom for young ladies trying to launch something they are passionate about?
Focus on your visuals and put all of your energy time and money into producing photos and videos as that is where things are headed. The other thing is do not spend so much time thinking and planning. Just start doing it and you will learn as you go. If you truly engage with your followers they will tell you everything you need to know
We hope Lyn’s profile stands as an example that age doesn’t define your success or journey in life. Sometimes just living on your own terms and being you 100% takes you in the direction of your purpose.
To find out more about Lyn Slater visit her website