independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Silver lining for Olivia Treacy as age no barrier to career

Olivia Treacy at the Shelbourne Hotel. Photo: El Keegan
Olivia Treacy at the Shelbourne Hotel. Photo: El Keegan

THE blonde may be gone, but the sleek, silver hair has come to be a niche selling point. It's close to 30 years since Olivia Treacy was crowned Miss Ireland and the Los Angeles-based 53-year-old is as busy as ever.

Olivia has been turning heads since she first took to the catwalk at the eager age of 22, wearing nothing but a swimsuit in the plush window of Switzers on Dublin's Grafton Street.

Decades later, the former beauty queen is now savouring a largely untapped market -- the 'baby boomers' generation.

"When I let my hair go the natural 'silver platinum' colour, I discovered there was a whole new level there for me," she says.

"I joined Ford modelling agency in my mid-40s and from then I just fitted into a new category for them. It makes life exciting again, a shift into another arena."

She has several agents all over the US and is also eying up representation in Spain and Germany in 2014.

Before setting her sights on the runway, Olivia -- who grew up in Terenure, Co Dublin -- completed a higher diploma in education.

It was not until she finished college that she signed with Geraldine Brand's model agency, and less than a week later was earning a living as a model.

But winning Miss Ireland sent everything soaring.

"I won it when I was 24 and I was catapulted into the spotlight, it was very exciting and fabulous for my career," she says.

Then, in search of greener pastures, Olivia moved to LA in 1997 and has steadily carved out an impressive acting career in Hollywood, working alongside the legendary Angelica Huston and Robert Duvall on screen.

She lives off the side of the Hollywood Hills and can see the town's famous sign from her garden. She also works out five times a week in the sunshine. "Los Angeles definitely promotes a healthy lifestyle," she says.

Irish Independent

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