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Clearly age is nothing but a number for Ernestine Stollberg, the 95-year-old woman who has gone viral as an Instagram model for an Austrian fashion boutique. Over the last months, she has gone viral and become an Instagram sensation, thanks to her regular appearances on @park_wien for Vienna concept shop Park not only because she is, in fact, 95 years old, but thanks to her chameleonic skill in front of the camera. The owners of a Vienna-based store called Park got to know her over several years, but it wasn’t until June of 2016 that they discovered her potential as a model. She lives around the corner of the shop.
Before WW2, Ernestine was part of a Jewish dance company that specialized in “revue,” a popular theatrical entertainment that combines music, dance, and sketches relatively sexy routine for that time period. Though not born Jewish herself, she eventually married the company’s Jewish manager and returned to Vienna after the war ended. Strasser credits Stollberg’s unique enthusiasm to that period of absence. “She missed this very horrible part of the war and that gives her a very special energy,” says Strasser. Her past as a dancer also allowed her to easily transition into modeling; it was, Strasser adds, something she jumped at immediately. “It’s not something for her that is so out of her mind because she was used to that when she was young,” says Strasser “It wasn’t the first time she had been photographed.”
Now, after picking up a sizable Instagram following, Strasser says he and Erni are just enjoying the ride. This shop is proving that the beauty of using her as a model shows fashion can look good on anyone, regardless of age.