We live in a constant carousel of inspiration, from magazines, Instagram, fashion blogs, retailers, and the big screen. As consumers, we have the power to decide what’s in and what’s out, simply by hitting “like” on a photo. Fashion is an opinion-based industry, but it’s still an industry, and certain high-profile women can influence the masses when it comes to trends.
History shows us that the determining factors for a “style icon” have changed tremendously since Audrey Hepburn coined the little black dress and pixie haircut in the 1950s.
Nowadays, anyone with a public profile, regardless of their personal style, can be dubbed a style icon. Notable women like Kate Middleton and Beyoncé may not be who you see as your own personal style icon, but they’re household names and considered stylish by the masses.
So what really makes a style icon, and why has this phrase turned into something that simply means ‘famous?’
A style icon is not only someone who demonstrates a real understanding of fashion and knows how to put themselves together but someone who will stand the test of time and still be talked about in 50 years.
It could be the woman you see at the coffee shop every morning or your coworker whose outfits you seem to compliment daily. It’s someone who dresses in a way that is hard to articulate or copy and projects their true sense of self in their style.
Anyone with a stylist can look good in an outfit, but a true style icon has an intangible quality that is hard to explain. They may follow trends to a T, but put their own spin on it in a way that makes you stop in your tracks.
The good news is, because of our ever-changing world and the presence of social media, you don’t need fame or fortune to be considered a style icon.
Find your one go-to article of clothing – the perfect pant, a standout shoe, or earrings that will turn heads when you walk down the street. You don’t need to wear something overly exciting; you just need to wear it in an authentic and interesting way.
You become a style icon when people stop and ask to take your picture, or you see your own personal style emulated in those around you.
Now that you know what a style icon is, you can learn how to emulate it and maybe become one yourself. The designer, Mary Beth Larkin, designs pieces that inspire your own inner icon to create a look that is distinctively your own.