Five minutes before my interview with Maye Musk, I run a comb through my tangled hair. It doesn't matter that we're speaking over the phone, no Zoom meeting required. When I think of interacting with Musk, I want to put my best foot forward — that's just the effect she has on people.
Her surname might conjure images of hybrid cars and rocket launches, and though Elon Musk is her son, the 73-year-old is more than the mother of a business magnate. She's also an accomplished dietitian and boundary-breaking model: In 2017, she became CoverGirl's oldest spokesperson. Two years later, she published a memoir. Now, she stars in Ugg's first-ever apparel campaign alongside supermodel Duckie Thot and musician Kim Petras. The collection's prices start at $18 for a pair of graphic crew-length socks.
"Ugg has such a great reputation," Musk tells InStyle. "It's such a great campaign with wonderful clothes, and I think it's going to be great when people see that women of all ages can wear Ugg."
Turns out, women of all ages can wear the hell out of Ugg. In the campaign photos, Musk smolders in patterned faux fur, textured jackets, and even a plush gray tracksuit, complete with the brand's classic boots. As for her favorite piece from the collection? "I love the Gertrude coat. When you feel the material, you can just wrap yourself in it," she says. "I enjoyed wearing every outfit, and that just makes you feel really great as a model. They're cozy — and stylish! I like that because I don't want to be frumpy. I'm way too young to be frumpy [laughs]."
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Inevitably, some viewers will be surprised to see a woman of Musk's age wearing such youthful garments. To her, that's exactly the point. She hopes Ugg's campaign will encourage women over 60 to take more style risks. "You really have to get out there and see what you're most comfortable in, but really push yourself. Don't hold back," she advises. "If you wear something, people will say, 'Wow, you look fabulous,' or they won't say anything. If they don't say anything, you know you haven't pushed hard enough."
One can't interview the oldest CoverGirl of all time without asking for beauty advice, and Musk is happy to share her tips for a glowing complexion. "First of all, you have to eat well. Fruits and vegetables, high-fiber foods, the basics of good eating habits," she explains, adding that I should "stay out of the sun" if I want to stay 23 forever. She and I both know that's not always possible, but her words did compel me to reapply my SPF after our call.
I have to indulge in one cliché icebreaker before I send Musk on her way: Does she get any style inspiration from her high-profile children? "I would say I'm the style inspiration," she says with a laugh. I imagine how she must look right now — perched on some painfully cool piece of furniture, silver hair draped into an effortless side part — and realize she's right.