Too Many Fashionistas, Not Enough Style Icons
The list of fashionable terms and savvy nicknames we give ourselves are endless with a host of hashtags to match, but these terms don't equate to the work and legacy of a style icon nor does it determine who will still be around to hold the torch.
Pointing the finger at social media anytime something deviates from its traditional norms has become a habit; whether for the greater good of mankind or assisting in demise. Celebrities being able to interact with fans and supporters. Social media. Shorter attention spans and seeking instant gratification. Social media. The term celebrity being used for anyone with a following of over a few thousand and a flooding of likes, shares, retweet, pins—I think I got everything. Social media.
Social media. Advocate for the greater good and ambassador of havoc. We are constantly left to decide whether or not the sides of good and evil produce equal outcomes when in actuality both sides take turns being the victor and the foe. Debating whether social media is good or bad is the topic of another discussion. When it comes to the fashion world, how has social media transcended, or the lack thereof, the reach of fashion and members of the fashion community?
The world of Fashion has been placed, literally, within our grasp being at our fingertips at any given moment, but has it become too accessible? A hashtag here and a hashtag there and voila, a fashion icon is born. With adding the word #fashion, #fashionista, or #style to any photo or post, had made us all members of the Fashion community, but has this actually helped the fashion world pick the new leaders to carry on the legacy?
While I am guilty and don't excuse myself when referring to the small fish in a big pond trying to make a name for themselves, I do have to pose the question of, "Where are our real style icons?" I thought social media would help me, and every other fashion enthusiast like myself, find the style icons, tastemakers, and trendsetters of the world. Instead, I've stumbled upon various profiles, which are often quite interesting and entertaining, but aren’t always as fashionable as their hashtags and captions might suggest. Fashion bloggers. Stylists. Make-up artists. Fashionistas/nistos. But, where are the icons?
Supermodel Stephanie Seymour referred to models of today as "bitches of the moment" opposed to supermodels. While fans of the new generations of models and cover girls were quick to chalk Seymour’s comments to her older age or being jealous, her statement shouldn't be ignored. While some who love and idolize the new IT girls will try to diminish Seymour to nothing more than a hater—though their parents and family elders at some point wanted to be the supermodel—others see the point Seymour is trying to make. With a career that flourished during a time when having a title wasn't as easy as typing it into your Instagram bio. A time when magazines were trying to break away from tradition to be noted as innovators and game changers. A time when fashion began to beat to the sound of multiple drums opposed to a single, silo bass. Fashion was glamour, and life was fashion. Now, the floodgates have opened with a sea of Internet fashion aficionados pouring in waving the flag of imitation rather than imagination.
Type in the word "fashion" or "fashionista" on Instagram and tell me what you see. Duplicated style efforts? Most likely. Selfies—you may see a few of mine up there as well. Absolutely. Something that doesn't even pertain to fashion and the art of dressing? Pretty sure they'll be a few. With the newly found mentality of calling and naming yourself whatever you want, we have countless fashionistas telling us what we already know about the season, photos of other people's pictures stolen from across the Internet, and showing the world the perfect combination of natural light and lighting to get that perfect highlight sure to make anyone jealous. But where are the people that show us what we should actually be doing? Who are the ones that are defying traditional norms and shaking up the fashion world? Where are the ones to show us a new way to wear pants that makes us feel silly for not realizing it sooner? They're also on social media, they just don't use the hashtags and self-proclaimed titles.
Rather, they are focusing on the art, the craft, and the meticulous attention to detail and not necessarily the attention to what time of the day will garner the most likes. They are finding ways to really make the clothes speak and tell a story opposed to telling us how great they are. While they might not have as many followers as users that use a plethora of hashtags to get them in front of the crowd, the true style icons and influencers know who they are and know not to let the pressure of social media deter them from their calling. Another win for quality over quantity.
While some continue to play the numbers game and the hashtag amalgamation to create the perfect "fashionista profile cocktail," be ready to one day hear about the IT people deemed as "overnight celebrities" that have been right in front of you the whole time.