By Nathan Duke
A 43-year-old Bayside mother of three was one of five women chosen among thousands nationwide by Harper’s Bazaar magazine as being the most chic for her age group.
Kariza Chan, who was born in Hong Kong but has lived in Bayside for years, was picked by the fashion magazine as the most stylish woman in her 40s after her three teenage daughters entered her name into the Fabulous at Every Age contest.
“This came as a total surprise,” Chan said. “If I hadn’t won, I’d have never even known about the contest. It’s a great honor.”
Chan previously worked as an agency model in fashion shows for hair, shoes and clothing, but she now works independently.
As part of the Harper’s contest, she won $5,000 and will be featured in a February issue of the magazine alongside the other four winners: Nicole Otero of Manhattan, Trinette Faint of Massachusetts, Valerie Duva of Michigan and Mary Lou Stockwell of California.
The contest, sponsored by Estee Lauder, kicked off in August with a nationwide search for America’s most chic women in five age categories: 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s.
On Oct. 29, the winners attended a party at the Hearst Tower in Manhattan hosted by actress Elizabeth Hurley, who is also the face of Estee Lauder, where they were able to choose a variety of outfits to wear. Chan wore a red Christian Dior suit.
“It was unbelievable and fun,” she said. “It was regular people, real people, winning the contest.”
She said she liked the fact that the contest focused on women of varying age groups and that it promoted regular, not celebrity, lifestyles.
“It’s a great way to give women a voice,” she said. “If I can win, anybody can win. It’s about the personality, not the beauty. But being tall helped me, too.”
Chan is 5-foot-9.
Harper’s Bazaar published a book this month titled “Fabulous at Every Age: Your Quick and Easy Guide to Fashion” that correlates with the contest. The book shows women how to wear current styles of clothing in the most-flattering, age-appropriate manner as well as reveals shopping tips.
“The finalists are living proof that great style has nothing to do with the date on your driver’s license,” Harper’s Editor-in-Chief Glenda Bailey said. “Women who look fabulous at every age know the secret is dressing with confidence and having fun with fashion.”
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.