A former Larne schoolgirl is proving that age is no barrier when it comes to modelling, after kicking off her catwalk career at the age of 59.
Glamorous Kate King-Roberts, who now lives in Roscommon, was born in Ballyclare in 1955 and attended Larne’s St Comgall’s College.
After becoming concerned at the lack of older models in the media, she recently attended an open casting session for a Dublin Catwalk modelling agency.
She has since modelled on TV show Ireland AM as well as modelling for high street chains and independent boutiques.
Kate told The Times: “I have a son aged 40 and a grandson aged 19, so I am not a youngster. Last year I was with my sister in Cambridge and someone thought I was a model so when I came home I followed it up. I feel like in some places they haven’t really embraced older models:it’s all mother of the bride, old peoples’s clothes or stair lifts, but it would be nice to see older women modelling edgier things.”
Kate said she received a positive reaction when she attended the Dublin casting session. She recalled: “I walked in and there were gorgeous young girls there and then there was me. I laughed to myself but the woman said fair play for coming. She got me to walk up and down and there was a training session in Galyboly where I had to wear high heels and walk up and down for two hours at a time. She said she really liked me and I have modelled for some high end boutiques.”
The Ballyclare native said the response of her family and friends was fantastic. She revealed: “My friends’ response has been very positive and they were all so supportive. They say that I’m great, an inspiration, but I don’t take myself very seriously. My son and grandson are also very proud of me, but nothing I do surprises them. They are used to me marching to my own drum.”
As for the younger models, Kate says that they have become friends. She continued: “Everyone in the modelling world is very supportive. The younger models are brilliant, as is the agency boss, Mandy Maher. I feel she took a chance with me. She has an agency of beautiful young women and she took me on!”
Kate, who is planning a holiday to East Antrim, says she would love to get involved in fashion campaigns and help combat the stereotypical image of older women in the modelling industry. She added: “In England and France there are pictures of ordinary women, but it is slower to happen here. My message is to be yourself, don’t let any of that affect you. I’m a North of Ireland girl with my own spirit.”