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Dressed in an electric blue designer outfit and strappy shoes, with a punk-inspired chignon and bold lipstick, the glamorous senior citizen was mobbed by photographers as her famous son was relegated to the role of bemused bystander.Maye met Elon’s father, Errol, her childhood sweetheart, in Pretoria, South Africa.
In the Eighties, when she was in her 30s, she was two-and-a-half stone overweight and worked as a plus-size model.As if all that was not enough, she’s also found time to be a brand ambassador for the crystal jewellery company Atelier Swarovski and to model at New York and Paris Fashion Weeks, which means she will also go to all the parties and no doubt be photographed dashing from show to show.She won’t reveal which designers she’ll model for during the two bi-annual fashion extravaganzas — negotiations are ongoing — but does disclose that she will take to the catwalk for the American Heart Association’s Red Dress event, which raises money to end heart disease and strokes in women.Last year, she accompanied her tech billionaire son Elon to the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala, the glitzy New York fashion event choreographed down to the last detail by Vogue editor Anna Wintour and covered by the world’s Press.Significantly, it was mother and not son who stole the show.I also signed with agencies in Europe and travelled to many different cities, which I loved.
People would stop me in the street and say they loved my hair.’Of course, a glossy head of white hair alone wouldn’t cut it in the fashion industry.
But Maye is eager to show she can strut her stuff with the best of them.‘I want to work and have fun on those runways,’ she says.
In her seventh decade, the snowy-haired mother and grandmother feels that her career is taking off.
But Maye’s success story has made her one of the leading lights of a far wider trend in fashion and beauty, one where being older is suddenly viewed as desirable.
Dubbed the Greynaissance, this movement has been backed by numerous studies and surveys showing that not only are older women customers propping up the fashion and beauty industries, but that they want to see more products advertised by women their own age. She is the first to admit her popularity soared when, aged 60, she gave up trying to hide her age, ditching the hair dye to show off her white hair.‘When I was younger, I was mousey brown and started putting in highlights with each child,’ she says.
If her surname sounds familiar, it is because of her famous son Elon Musk, the fabulously rich entrepreneur behind Paypal, Tesla electric cars and the Space X exploration programme, which plans to colonise Mars.