Are the days of the ‘fashion icon’ gone with the wind? Does that sound like a loaded question? Let’s stop for a moment to think about what the term fashion icon really means. Once upon a time it was equivalent to a very famous figure who embodied the term great style. It was synonymous with class, grace and historic moments in fashion that still resonate decades later with the masses. It’s safe to say that when we think of legends of style, we automatically think Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe, Twiggy among many others. These women not only revolutionized fashion but were some of the most influential figures in their time and even today. Far more times than we can count, Audrey and Marilyn’s looks have been emulated, revamped or served as artistic inspiration. The difference today is that our world and culture have changed, significantly. Of course, many of us (yours truly included) would consider our mothers our personal fashion icons. They are the first women who we see primp and prep in front of a mirror. As we grow older, we form our own opinions and find our own sense of style. We are then influenced by what is trending, lifestyle and culture and we go from there.
Sure, the days of timeless Old Hollywood glamour may be history, but movies, music and television shows continue to provide moments of evolution in fashion. Who can forget Jackie O’s big bold sunglasses look that still stands the test of time? How about the glitz and bohemian flair of Jerry Hall, Cher and Donna Summer in the 70s. Perhaps you grew up watching Madonna strutting her leather and lace in music videos and coveting that look in the 80s. In the 90s the explosion of the supermodels were found everywhere (including fashion magazine covers) and hard to ignore Naomi, Cindy, Linda and Kate Moss. Truly every decade has a group of women that have moments that we look back now and say, WOW true trailblazers. Yet, times have changed, BIG TIME! I’ve had many conversations on this topic with bloggers, writers, teachers, mothers, daughters. Women of all walks of life, all who have agreed that the term ‘fashion icon’ doesn’t feel deserving to many of the women that are being given that title these days. Social media has been one of the biggest reasons fashion has shifted these days. We live in a time when sharing and posting every millisecond of activity of our lives seems to be the norm. Then you add the power of celebrity to that social media machine and you have the analytical results of popularity. That seems to be the driving power of who ends up on a magazine cover, the face of a campaign, who gets the most lucrative modeling contract and what products sell out the most. Who has the most followers, who’s the most salacious, scandalous and provocative seem to be the recipe for fashion’s top style honors. Then there are ladies like Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez, Kate Middleton, Rihanna and Beyonce, these are just some famous women whose style evolution we have seen and have made a significant contribution to the culture of fashion with a side of talent and grace.
The word Kardashian may possibly make you cringe, shrug your shoulders or perhaps fist pump. No matter what side of the fence you are on, they are out there and yes the fashion industry has latched on to them and to their millions of social media followers to boost sales of magazines and more. Much has been written and said about that family and we will not expand here, but what will be interesting is to see where all this leads five, ten or twenty years from now. What the fashion legacy be for the Kardashians is still to be proven and seen. Fashion icons these days can still be found IF like an onion you peel back the layers to find more substance. Finding a genuine fashion icon in 2016 is subjective. It’s like finding a unique piece of art, it is prone to opinion, scrutiny but the depth of creativity and individuality should be transparent. Hopefully, the days of Audrey, Grace and Princess Diana are not gone all together and the young ladies in this new generation will have quality style icons to inspire them too. So fashionistas, what are your thoughts and opinion on today’s fashion icons. Who has your vote? Leave your comments below, we love hear more from you.