Friday, October 12, 2012

What Makes A Style Icon?

Hello. This post was inspired by a conversation I had with a friend a few days ago. We were discussing some of my blog posts and she mentioned the fact that she doesn't think Nike Oshinowo is a style icon, ANYMORE. I was a little surprised by that. So it got me thinking about what I think qualifies someone as a style icon.

So what makes someone a style icon? I think the main ingredients are an eye for color, understanding proportion and then the ability to use fashion to tell a story, ie the ability to pull a look together in a way that looks fresh. A look has got to say something. For example, my ultimate fashion icon is Jackie Onassis (not Jackie Kennedy). Even though her style was simple and looked effortless, she just had this way of working with clothing and accessories to tell you a story that said 'I'm rich but not flashy'. The sunglasses, the handbags, the simple but statement jewelry. Her look said ''luxury' and 'leisure'.

I classify someone as a style icon who loves fashion and invests the time and effort it takes to build up a cohesive wardrobe that he/ she can use to create looks that are interesting and pleasing to the eye. And then they take it even further. To them fashion is fun, an idea to play and experiment with. But then it's also serious business, so they make sure that their look is on point 99.9% of the time. A style icon never has an off day. That I think is what separates them from ordinary 'fashionable' people. They are always on. They make the effort even when they are just running errands. Every item in the ensemble is well thought out, even when it looks like they just threw it on.

One thing I must touch on is the idea that real fashionistas shouldn't wear an item more than once or at best, a couple of times. I remember the first time I heard that idea. I was compiling a list of 'most stylish women' with the fashion editor of a magazine and when I mentioned someone to her (I can't remember who), she said that the person didn't qualify because she had worn a particular skirt several times. I was shocked by that way of thinking, to say the least. As far as I am concerned, a real fashionista knows how to work an item into several, sometimes unrelated, looks. If you can take one skirt and work it into ten different looks, then you are a fashionista. If you need to always be wearing something new, it doesn't say you have style, it just says you can afford ( or rather, MAY afford) a large wardrobe.

So, back to my conversation with my friend. Her reason for saying that Nike is no longer a fashion icon is because she doesn't feel Nike dresses 'age appropriately'. I don't agree. I feel that even when she is wearing something short, she does it tastefully. Besides, she has the body to pull it off. What do you think? I must also say that I see a lot of up and coming style icons that INCLUDE Funke Fowler, Ifeoma Williams, Lisa Folawiyo, Dolapo Oni among others. Up and coming because they are on their way, but haven't quite gotten there yet. (In my opinion.) Please note that there are a lot of other people I feel are note worthy and may have to do a post to cover the list.

I hope this post helps you in your quest to put your best foot forward. Take care of yourself and remain fabulous.

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