Modern Style Icons
If I were to say what makes one a style icon, I’d say it’s an attitude.
Let’s look back on the style icons of all time: Hepburn, Bardot, Monroe, Birkin, Sedgwick, Kelly, Kennedy, and Dietrich to name a few. It wasn’t only their impeccable style for which they are celebrated ever since. Rather, the way they wore clothes, their independence and class, inner courage and self-confidence, made a difference. Not being afraid of innovations, these women were thinking ahead of their times when it comes to fashion. Their signature styles are as fashionable as they are timeless. No wonder that they’re still inspiring girls all over the world.
Yet, with regard to present-day scenario, the label ‘style icon’ is oftentimes overused. As a consequence, most of (merely) well-dressed people are right away pronounced as iconic. Wrongfully – as again, the inherent sophistication belongs to a person, not his or her clothes. Below, you’ll find a subjective list of 21st century (contemporary) style icons that are famous for their impeccable style as well as accomplishments, merits and magnetic personalities. These five women are more than a pretty face and fancy clothes. I bet they will inspire future generations and symbolize the turn of 21st century.
1. Victoria Beckham, designer
What makes her special: When a woman that can’t concentrate in flat shoes decides to give up high heels, we know that she’s ready to take (the rest of) the world by storm. Victoria Beckham is a successful entrepreneur, a philanthropist, advocate of animal rights and gender equality. Besides, she’s a mother of four and David Beckham’s partner. She has established an international fashion empire that is wildly successful. In 2014, she topped a list of Britain’s top 100 entrepreneurs.
What makes her style special: VB’s key for success is her coherence in adhering to certain pattern: no more than three colours at once but monochrome preferably; always high-rise (skinny jeans or pencil skirt) or black bandeau mini-dress; oversize sunglasses; perfectly tailored coat; a rectangular bag. Nothing more, nothing less.
Yes, VB repeats just a few looks in different combinations. Thanks to sticking to consistency, she always looks très chic and classy. While being super-feminine and sexy, she still has the air of independence and power.
Her super-power: Keep it as simple s possible. Stick to your routine. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses.
2. Jenna Lyons, creative director and president for J. Crew
What makes her special: Jenna is known as a woman who dresses America. Since having assumed the position of the creative director and soon later of the president, Jenna has transformed J. Crew into a cult brand. Among her enthusiasts are Michelle Obama, Keira Knightley, and Katie Holmes. Nowadays, she is one of the most influential women in the US. What Jenna wears is immediately wanted.
What makes her style special: Being aware of what suits her she keeps exploring fashion seeking joy and playfulness. By combining contrasting styles, Jenna’s looks are always sensational and unexpected. Mixing smart with casual, feminine with masculine, highbrow with high end may sound like getting out of your comfort zone but it’s totally worth it! Besides, you don’t have to carry out bloody revolution in you closet as for the most part you already have all that you need. The new objective is to change the way you wear clothes you have and give new strength to the old favourites. You can try wearing head-to-toe colour or by accessorizing the outfit with a bold, statement jewellery. When breaking the rules of fashion, you expect the unexpected. Wearing double denim is fine as long as you have your own way. The same applies to mixing patterns and colours. Need an instant boost of chic? Add a masculine edge. Moreover, Jenna recommends investing in cashmere and good-tailoring – as they make every outfit look smarter – and cultivating your signature look.
Her super power: Go all out. Try anything. But always do it your way.
3. Amal Clooney, lawyer
What makes her special: through her marriage to Hollywood actor, an internationally celebrated human rights lawyer, activist, author and philanthropist was brought into spotlight. And most probably, she will stay there for a long time. Except from her brilliant professional career, Amal embodies all that public eye admires: she is drop dead gorgeous. Every. Single. Time. All her appearances have been sensational and excellent. Moreoer, her outstanding intelligence, activism, globalism and firm belief in her self captivate people’s attention.
What makes her style special: versatility! Amal doesn’t confine herself to one particular style. Instead, she frequently adopts new fashions. It’s just incredible how completely different styles suit her. As a sophisticated working woman she looks absolutely marvellous – the same applies to the chic afterhours carefree look. Whether she rocks the edgy street style, the 70s inspired boho trend or the sexy date night goddess, I’m left speechless. Except for being always perfectly polished, she just seems to feel so good with herself and with her body that she glows from the inside out. That’s absolutely mesmerizing.
Yet, there’s another important aspect with regard to Amal’s exquisite urbanity. She has been preserving what is long forgotten: getting dressed for the particular occasion. Along with democratization of fashion, its glamour has been fading away and the most casual assumed the position of the universal. Nevertheless, Amal is always chic and put together; classic and very precise. Each moment of her life, she crafts into a fashion opportunity. And nails it! Some influential fashion critics have already labelled Amal as a modern icon.
Her magic power: you’re what you have underneath. This is not only clothes that make a man (actually, it doesn’t disturb either…)
4. Kate Moss, model
What makes her special: as she’s my ultimate favourite, I believe that 21st century fashion wouldn’t be the same without Kate Moss. She’s a living legend. Despite her infamous lifestyle abundant with booze and drugs, she gave rise to legions of fans who copy her eccentric, iconic style. So-called “heroin chic,” a short-lived fad of the 90s started by well-known Calvin Klein advertising campaign starring young Moss was a counter to healthy looking “supermodels,” such as Cindy Crawford. Although the trend for celebration of drug culture quickly faded, the impracticably skinny body, no curves and androgynous look won out. As Kate famously said: “Nothing tastes as good as skinny tastes.” One may argue with this statement, yet never undermine her faultless style.
What makes her style special: It’s effortlessly chic, laid-back, yet glamorous, with a rock twist and classic finish. She’s the queen of nonchalance, able to make something special out of nothing. Skinny jeans, leather jacket and white t-shirt make for her wardrobe essentials and never look tedious. On the contrary, she slays the most intricate costumes easily. When Kate steps out in a real feather cape in pale pink, she may be the only human who doesn’t look like a giant bird. She’s one of those girls that many is jealous of – with her style so diverse, her wardrobe seems bottomless. Surprisingly, as little as 15 essential pieces make her style so iconic. Based on Vogue enquiry Moss couldn’t do without a sparkly dress, ankle boots, a leather jacket, the leopard coat and cat eye sunglasses. You can check the rest here and start buying Moss-inspired wardrobe.
Her magic power: A rock chick at heart doesn’t have to grow out of her rock sensibility. She rather reinvents her wardrobe.
5. Carine Roitfeld, former Editor-in-chief of Vogue Paris, Global Fashion Director for Harper’s Bazaar, Editor-in-chief of CR Fashion Book
What makes her special: The French do it better… when it comes to dressing up, no one would argue with that. That Fashion and France start with the same letter isn’t by accident. Carine Roitfeld, regardless of her nationality, is famous for slaying both red carpet and streets with her style. She admits it because of the French attitude of wearing and being very picky. Believe or not, Carine regards herself as a woman with certain style that is quite boring, “always the same.” Surprising, isn’t it? The fashion guru has more in store. Being a muse of such big names as Tisci, Ford and Lagerfeld himself, she also became the face of M.A.C and a grandmother – certainly, she does it better than yours.
What makes her style special: With messy hair and smudged eyeliner she is the incarnation of the vintage haute-punk chic – plus super-feminine and sexy. When it comes to ‘staying the same,’ it’s all about the proportions. “Even if elements are different, it’s always the same silhouette,” as she suggests. Also, the Parisian breaks down the boundaries between man and woman’s wardrobe. Borrowing from men actually contributes to polishing your style. Alike Kate Moss, Carine regards a leopard coat as the closet staple. Showing some skin doesn’t have to look cheap: settle on collarbones, neck and pushing the sleeves on your jumper up. Minor improvements are highly significant. And last but not least – black is the new black. There’s only one occasion black isn’t a great idea – wedding.
Her magic power: Drawing inspiration from Parisian is always a good idea.