When we first came across her pictures on Instagram, the feeling was like a cup of hot chocolate on a gloomy, rainy day. This little stylish lady made us grin from ear to ear and provoked us to dream about becoming old in a beautiful and refined way, bold just like her. She is Ernestine Stollberg. A model at the age of 95, a woman, a muse and a fashion icon for thousands of followers of her extravagant styling reincarnations on one of the most popular social networking sites.
Her home in Vienna is located in close proximity to Park Concept Store. Her habitual meetings and routine greeting in the street with its owners Markus Strasser and Helmut Ruthner little by little grow into her daily visits at the store, when the two of them get a dog. Erni stops by to pet the little puppy and her talks with Markus and Helmut become longer and longer. She tells them about her youth and her performances in a dance formation which is rather eccentric for its time. In 1939, just a little before the start of World War II, her group flies away to Buenos Aires and returns to Vienna only after the end of the war.
The fact that she skips the terror of these years is to a huge extent the precondition for her vitality and strong spirit. And her experience as a dancer and her performances under the spotlight provoke the owners of Park to embark on their experiment. They trust Erni with the role of their main model who would present the boutique’s aesthetics in front of its audience on Instagram. And they cannot seem to stop boasting about the lightness that she poses with and how she changes the atmosphere when sitting in front of the camera. She stands with elegance when they dress her in more formal combinations and changes immediately when they put something more extravagant on her.
Just for a year the followers of the Viennese store increase by nearly 20 000. We are not surprised by the fact that Erni already has her fans in Vogue and is within their sight and in their headlines. It was a pleasure for us to present her to you. Isn’t she helluva inspirational?
Text: Alexandra Tosheva