The modeling world is not one typically known for its progressive stances on age. But, bit by bit, models who are well into their mature years are getting their start in the fashion industry. São Paulo-based Setsuko Saito, aka Rosa Saito, is one of those people. At age 68, she was approached to be a model. It took a year of convincing—twice by a modeling agency and once by a photographer—but Saito finally decided to give it a shot. She hasn’t looked back and is thriving as a model years later, now at 71 years old.
Prior to modeling, Saito had long been taking care of others. At age 22, she was a caregiver for her mother, and in the year 2000, her husband died and she became the sole parent to their three children. Part of what spurred her to try modeling was the fact that had been “dedicating herself to someone else” for so long. She didn’t want to live with regrets. “If I don’t try,” Saito thought, “I’ll never know.”
Donning her long, silver hair and striking elegant poses, Saito is a natural. She’s a versatile model and appears in editorial, marketing, and even high-fashion photo shoots. Saito is also no stranger to the runway and has walked in São Paulo fashion week. She takes on new projects based on her spirit of adventure, which has nothing to do with age. “I keep learning and I feel that the more I learn, the less I know. Surely time passes, but what is time, my God in heaven? If I were to give my soul an age, I would give it 22.”
At age 68, Rosa Saito became a fashion model.
She is thriving in her role and showing that age doesn't define beauty.
At first, Saito was apprehensive about being a model. It took a year of convincing—twice by a modeling agency and once by a photographer—before she finally decided to give it a shot.
She didn’t want to live with regrets. “If I don’t try,” Saito thought, “I’ll never know.”
Saito is a versatile model and appears in editorial, marketing, and even high-fashion photo shoots.
Rosa Saito: Website