Style icons come in a variety of forms. Whether you turn to Jackie O. for timeless and chic style inspiration, your favorite fashion blogger for relatable street style and behind the scenes glimpses of the catwalk or edgier contemporary icons like Rihanna and Miley Cyrus, social media have helped create the “style icon” that is more accessible than ever. For the first time in history we’re able to catch live glimpses into the lives of our favorite faces in fashion, often through mediums such as Instagram, SnapChat and Twitter. Models, actors and celebrities use social media as a critical form of branding (the mere act of NOT having social media makes a statement). Beyond professional branding, social media has given icons a medium to control their own image beyond the fabrications of the press. Though some celebrities are infinitely more strategic with personal branding than others, millions of followers indicate fans relish the opportunity to engage with their favorite icons on a more intimate platform.
As a gawky middle-schooler I often spent Saturday nights flipping through fashion magazines alone in my bedroom. At this point Myspace was the only form of social media readily adopted by my peers and without my own computer or smartphone, the site was not accessible twenty-four hours a day the way I hold social media in the palm of my hands today. Instead I looked to Elle, Teen Vogue and Cosmo Girl (and occasionally a Cosmo I’d hid from my parents’ sight out of the fear they would think I wanted to read the sex articles not just the fashion spreads) for inspiration. Though I mostly adorned myself with worn out skater shoes, Abercrombie (kids) tees and torn denim with “self-proclaimed edgy” safety pins I was enamored with the images found in magazines. I cut and tore out my favorite editorials taping them to my wall as inspiration. The intended use for said inspiration was an enigma, but I felt as if the pages of magazines called to me creatively in a way my thirteen year old self was unable to express through my own style.
Fast forward ten years and I imagine today’s middle school students look to Instagram and Pinterest the same way I looked to glossy magazine pages. Clicking from the feeds of Karlie and Gigi to “instafamous” girls like Amber Fillerup (of Barefoot Blonde) and Julia Engel (of Gal Meets Glam) teens like the photos of their favorite stars and interact with their friends tagging them in comments on magazine-worthy photos. Instagram has become the source of #HairGoals and #LifeGoals and #SquadGoals and #RelationshipGoals we once placed on editorials from mass produced publications. As celebrities have become more accessible, we’re given more opportunities to idolize style icons even if these icons are not the model of the moment.
Critics of social media preach the flaws and errors of the fast-paced world of Instagram fashion, while others love the accessibility and sense of community provided by social media. No matter which side of the issue you side with, it’s increasingly obvious that the social media presence of starlets is influential in the world of fashion (and beyond). A few of my favorite style icons have mastered social media perhaps with the help of a social media manager or strategic PR coach, nonetheless these specific icons influence everyday style across platforms (and are a few of my favorite accounts to follow).
It’s no secret that I love Taylor Swift (13 reasons Taylor Swift is my #WCW), but following Tay Tay on Instagram has only made me adore her even more. Taylor’s account is filled with everything from sweet photos with her cats, high fashion shots in gorgeous outfits, behind the scenes photos from award shows and friend dates with any of her many high profile BFFS. Taylor always looks fabulous in crop tops and mini skirts (two of my favorite staples) making her one of my favorite Instagram style icons.
I started following Mckenna’s blog a few years ago and quickly became obsessed with her ultra-feminine style. Mckenna’s instagram account is filled with swoon-worthy sparkles, oversized bows and pink perfection. It doesn’t hurt that she travels to an array of luxurious locations and covers events like the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. Mckenna is one of my favorite girly-girl style icons.
Karlie Kloss first hit my radar as Taylor Swift’s bestie. After watching the two strut down the VS fashion show runway two years in a row, I couldn’t help but seek out Karlie’s insta account. Though Karlie is an international super model she comes across as one of the most down to earth celebrities. Karlie shares peeks into her fashionable life from workout photos, to recipes for baking, to glimpses of her life as a student. Karlie always looks chic and stylish on-the-go!
Amber Fillerup Clark
Amber’s hair tutorials and gorgeous braids helped make her popular across social media. Amber started her blog in college and has continued to write through her engagement, wedding day, birth of her first (and second) child and travels all around the world. I love following Amber because of her mix of glamorous and boho style. I’m always excited to see where Amber and her family will travel to next!
I can’t be the only one whose Emma Roberts obsession has multiplied (exponentially) since Scream Queens debuted this fall. Not only is Emma’s character, Chanel, sassy and stylish but Emma is flawlessly gorgeous too! Emma shares peeks into her daily life, photoshoots (like the Aerie Real campaign) and of course life on the set of Scream Queens. Emma Roberts seems pretty great, but is it wrong I sometimes pretend she’s actually Chanel Oberlin in real life? (;
I didn’t mean to choose all blonde style icons, I think I just gravitate towards emulating the style of those who share similar hair/skin tone as me for stylistic purposes. Who are your favorite style icons (on social media or otherwise)? Do you enjoy following celebrities or fashion icons on social media? Do you feel social media has influenced your personal style?