A couple of weeks ago, I read an article on Man Repeller titled, “Is Gigi Hadid’s Style Actually ‘Good’?” This preceded an opinion piece I read in the New York Times that questioned Beyoncé’s title as a style icon due to what the author argued as Queen Bey’s lack of influence on fashion. It’s one thing to criticize up-and-comer Gigi Hadid, but when one throws Beyoncé into the mix, it forces us to acknowledge a pressing question: who is a style icon? I then made a mental list of the people I view in this light. Names like Iris Apfel, Leandra Medine and (R.I.P) David Bowie came to mind; however, the two women whose style Man Repeller and the New York Times dissected never made this preconceived cut of mine.
So, we have Mrs. Apfel, Leandra and Bowie, which led me to think a step further: what actually constitutes a style icon? We throw this term around in the form of a compliment as opposed to a status, causing us to turn a cold shoulder to the masterminds behind what we appreciate in the media. Those costume gala gowns and Grammy performance outfits are the brainchildren of stylists who have cultivated a career in translating their sartorial visions into celebritante reality. Gigi and Beyoncé’s brand campaign and performance looks? The work of under-recognized stylists. The two’s street outfits? These are the products of runway trends and, arguably, are not innovative–like this Fashionista’s oversized frames.
Wherever your opinion lies on the subject of Gigi and Beyoncè, this week’s Fashionista gives hope to the next generation of style icons beginning with her signature glasses. In fact, this accessory channels the flying saucer frames that have placed Iris Apfel in maven territory. A pair like these will help you stand out from the crowd and produce a signature look that is crucial to becoming an icon. When partnered with dramatic eyeliner, they will add a layer of sophistication to an already polished ensemble. Complete the look with a pair of gold cuffs, or thin earrings that rest over the cartilage. This will add a bit of edge to the polished pieces.
Glasses are the ideal accessory since they provide the wearer with a more intellectual vibe; however, we can’t all choose the same piece. Maybe heeled booties or shapeless jackets will serve as your staple. Whichever route you take, remember the importance of accessories. Use them to your advantage like this Fashionista has done. A classic black frame will go with anything, plus it adds a refined aspect to any outfit—perfect for cultivating style icon status.