“With age comes grace” is a well-exercised verse. If you need an example, simply look at stylist and beauty entrepreneur Linda Rodin. She is that striking, that beautiful and yes, aging. All of that is just fine with her because she knows no other way to move forward. “I think the alternative to ‘aging gracefully’ is not for me,” she explains.
Rodin has long been in the public eye. First in the beauty world as a model in the ’60s and then opening, Linda Hopp, one of the first clothing boutiques in SoHo on West Broadway in 1979. She served as a fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar and worked at Henri Bendel in the ’80s before becoming an independent stylist for A-list stars. While for many, that may be a satisfying career, Rodin’s portfolio continues to triumph. Toying around in her bathroom with essential oils eventually led to the 2007 launch of RODIN olio lusso, which translates to ‘luxury oil’ and honors the easygoing Italian beauty aesthetic that has inspired Rodin. In late 2014 Estée Lauder acquired the line of top-shelf sensorial products, geared for all ages and skin types. Still serving as the face and creative director of the company, Rodin, with the help of her new Lauder team, is now working on the next RODIN project — signature lipstick colors in hot pink and hot orange.
Along with her business success, Rodin is still modeling and was cast in the 2014 ad campaign for The Row. There have also been gigs with J.Crew and Karen Walker. She is part of a trend where brands are opting for older models such as literary legend Joan Didion, 80, for Céline, and musician Joni Mitchell, 71, for Yves Saint Lauren. “I think the world realizes that there are a lot of baby boomers out there with a lot of economic power, so why not embrace and speak to them,” says Rodin. “I’m not sure the high-end fashion brands will make older women ‘the face’ of their brands going forward but it is a nice respite for all I think to see talented and beautiful women who are over 20!”
The Ins & Outs of Linda
What does beauty mean to you? Beauty is so many things. Beauty is not perfection. Beauty is perception. I may find something or someone beautiful and another might disagree. I think for me beauty is intelligence, grace, simplicity and humor.
What are three life lessons you would like to share with your younger self? Accept yourself. Stay smart and wise and don’t get lost in others’ ideas. This too shall pass.
Whose style are you envious of? [Fashion photographer] Gosta and [wife] Patricia Peterson. My mentors.
We live in a culture that seems to perpetuate ‘perfection.’ What is your advice to young girls—tweens, teens and twenties—who are navigating these waters? As I said before: Perfection is just perception! Nothing is perfect except maybe a warm newborn baby or a puppy or kitten. I think most young people today are drowning in images—the good, the bad and the ugly. I find so much stuff out there that I think is vulgar and desperate and a bit sad. But this is just my perspective on it. Everyone will always see the world finally through their own lens and see what they want to see.
Today you are project confidence, but were your years as a teen difficult? I think it’s always hard finding one’s way as a teenager under all that peer pressure. But after those years, for me it was pretty smooth sailing. I haven’t changed my style really in decades. I am always quite simple with a few quirky bits involved.
Who is your support system or who do seek out for advice when life gets tough? I am a loner really. I have wonderful and close friends and family members and know they are always there for me if I call.
What is your skincare routine? My skincare regime is simple and quick. I use only my own products. I cleanse my face at night with my RODIN powder cleanser (coming out soon). Pat dry my face and apply RODIN face oil. Take a long bath with RODIN soap and then apply RODIN body oil and hand crema.
What product do you wish you’d created? A perfect sunblock.
What is your guilty pleasure? I adore TV! I am a huge fan of TCM, Netflix. Staying home all day with no plans at all makes me so happy. To know I have the entire day and evening to myself is heaven for me.
Main image credit: Into the Gloss; second portrait: Anne Menke