Baldock model Daphne Selfe awarded BEM in New Year’s Honours list

Daphne Selfe has been awarded a BEM for her services to women and fashion. Picture: Daphne Selfe

Daphne Selfe has been awarded a BEM for her services to women and fashion. Picture: Daphne Selfe - Credit: Archant

Baldock’s 90-year-old model Daphne Selfe has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s Honours list 2019, which has been revealed tonight.

Daphne – who is the world’s oldest professional model – has been given the BEM award for her services to women and fashion after being given ‘super model’ status by the industry and the media.

In the honours list, the Cabinet Office said she had continued to challenge and change views on age in the beauty industry.

Speaking to the Comet about her BEM award, Daphne said: “It’s extraordinary.

“They told me a few weeks ago and I still can’t believe it. I can’t imagine who suggested it.”

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Daphne has been a model for the last 70 years and was featured in this year’s Primark Christmas campaign.

Having modelled for the likes of Dolce and Gabbana, she also featured in Vogue and was part of London Fashion Week at the age of 70.

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“I’ve been modelling since I was 20 – it started just after I left riding school,” she said.

“I was between jobs so I went home. My mother said ‘you can’t just sit at home doing nothing’, so I went to work in John Lewis.

“They were looking for someone to do a shoot for their magazine and they chose me.

“We did a fashion show at the store, I met the other models and I went to London.

“I thought it was better than being kicked by a horse so I kept doing it.

“It’s great because you get to travel all over the place and see so many things and meet so many people. I love it.”

As well as her modelling career, the 90-year-old set up the Daphne Selfe Academy in 2015.

Designed to give women of all ages the benefit of her industry experience, the academy teaches the values of professionalism, positive thinking and about healthy living.

It also offers scholarships to students without funds, with a percentage of the profits going to the Daphne Selfe Foundation – a charity which aims to support the wider causes of women in need.

“My daughter and I started the academy because models do not get proper training these days, so we thought it was a good idea,” she said.

“We teach them how to behave when shooting, what to do, how to be confident.

“I hope it continues.”

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