Trendsetters around the world change every season for different purposes. They get along with what sells the most and what is trendy or not, creating that influencer’s culture that we millennials and Gen Z youngsters are very much used to. However, there are a couple of distinguished trendsetters whose styles and role modeling have been on the game for some time and have a great potential to expand and be more and more significant. I will mention only the top seven out of my list, but that doesn’t mean that the others I consider great role models in fashion are not equally remarkable. It’s just that I see a global impact in these individuals I’m about to mention, who’s work isn’t focused on fashion only, but they use fashion as a social justice tool.
Iranian-Afro-American actress Yara Shahidi has made her own path in fashion, with both classic and trendy styles. Bright colors and geometrical patterns go along with her passion for shining accessories, like necklaces, hair-pins, rings, in addition to her polished and neat makeup.
I love Yara. When I was in Los Angeles, I had the chance to meet her at a fashion panel, hosted by Nischelle Turner of Entertainment Tonight. The event saw Black-ish and Grown-ish Costume Designer Michelle R. Cole discussing with Yara about the detailed choices made behind the scenes in terms of costumes and fashion, in order to maintain the desired aesthetics of the show while also showcasing specific brands along with their particular designs.
That day meant so much to me. I wasn’t feeling the best at all, to be honest. It was my second day in Los Angeles and the jet-lag had me a bit sleepy, even though I was flying from New York. In addition, I was a bit lost in this new city, full of charm, but at the same time enigmatic and full of mysteries: people use only cars in LA! I thought that the geographical stereotype was exaggerated, but it wasn’t. I was feeling a bit confused in this city, but that didn’t stop me to explore my surroundings. The mobile app Eventbrite did its magic and that’s where I found out, among all the events happening in those days in LA, the event with Yara. Seeing her in real life was so nice because I felt like I was meeting up with an old friend of mine. Her mom, Keri, was also such a sweet person, full of fashion and grace from head to toe.
However, besides this episode of mine, I think that Yara has got an excellent taste and a fine team of stylists around her. She embodies and grows in fashion, by wearing not only classical Gucci, Prada, or Chanel high couture designs, but also streetwear looks like Adidas. Given her transparent nature and open-minded disposition, Yara is able to collaborate and work with an eclectic spectrum of brands and fashion houses, because of her maturity and age, respectively dynamic and young. She might not have the highest height to be a runaway fashion model, but she definitely uses fashion as a social statement and form of art in Hollywood.
Ariana might be small and tiny, but her impact has been everything but petite in the fashion industry. Apart from her successful music career, Ariana has a versatile style, which can be divided into two macro groups: a pastel-colored-feminine one and an urban-clean-minimal one.
Baggy shirts and pants are a must in Ariana’s closet. She displays her femininity in various ways, by always portraying the idea of an innocent grown-up woman, yet full of life and with a big heart. This is her marketing, no matter what you might think of her. She knows well how to market herself while being comfortable in her trendy looks. On the other side, she has also developed her style through many pastel doll-like dresses, tight on the waist and large on the hips. Considering her physical appearance, Ariana tends to wear short dresses and skirts, paired up with long-knee-covering boots or chunky sneakers. She had also a ballerina phase, but that seems to have been more of a teenager thing to do. Ariana has a lot of influence, and her editorial campaigns are a big success every time she collaborates with a fashion house. The same thing goes to music personalities like Billie Eilish, Lana Del Rey, and Cardi B, who thanks to their musical acclamation have been major targets from brands and fashion houses.
This Cali woman is taking steps like no others, with her tippy toes. The rapper, relatively new into the music world, has just shown an admirable team of designers, stylists, and makeup artists in these last major fashion weeks, especially the one in Milan. Saweetie, like Meghan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj, has got the potential to establish her own style. I personally think that Nicki’s fluidity will be very hard to replace or replicate, but Saweetie is showing to the entertainment a solid trendsetter attitude, specifically targeted to the rap and trap industry. She is forging her role model position, climbing her own way up to the fashion hierarchy.
Lizzo is making her way into the fashion world with her positivity and cheerful attitude. The singer brings on stage such a positive influence, along with her self-love messages. I’m glad to see Lizzo as a fashion role model, because she has been making a solid impact in the plus-size community and this is an amazing step in representation. I wish all the best to her, because she really does have all the great features and fierce to put creativity and freedom in fashion. Go Lizzo, go!
What I appreciate of Lizzo’s style is her sense of irony and creativity that she brings in fashion. She reminds lots of Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus, very provocative and unexpected in showcasing her talent, body, and spirit. I think that Lizzo is a great representation of a fashionable woman, feminist in the true meaning of the word, and confident in her role in society.
Luka is the cool guy in the building. His dynamic hustle attracts many artists and creatives. Maybe because he’s young with an edgy style, maybe because of his “bad guy” look, maybe because of his both careless and adventurous lifestyle, Luka embraces fashion in the most artistic way, making him similar to a Gen Z Oscar Wilde. Luka portrays himself almost as a desirable personality, free-spirited, and chill. Whether you like it or not, he is a role model in our generation and the fashion industry sees him as a profitable individual.
The Italian-Maroccan rapper based in Milan has entered the fashion world in a fast and exceptional way. By following his lane, Ghali shows off his musical talent arising sociological and political questions, that Italians tend to analyze on a daily basis, in terms of immigration, racism, and social equality. Ghali can become a fashion icon if he keeps collaborating with brands and expanding his music outside Europe. I hope he gets the recognition he deserves because even if his songs aren’t part of everyone’s playlist, he has a deep message anchored within his lyrics: his goal is to represent the underrepresented with rap, by inspiring many young Italians in becoming more and more interested in modern music and its various genres.
Billy is extra, and that’s a compliment. Lately, his fashionable choices have been high-key on point. At the 2019 edition of the Grammys, his multi-styled look was impeccable and suited his personality 100%: a sparkling azure teddy, a flat top hat with a large base full of silver accessories and an incorporated curtain made of lustrous strings, with a set of argent jewelry in full display. I consider him a role model in fashion because throughout his career he has been able to carry styles with the same extravagant tone of Lady Gaga. He treats fashion as a pure form of art, with great delicacy and social awareness.
The number of trendsetters that came up while I was typing these words were so many. They kept coming back and forth in my mind: this proves the flexibility that fashion is famous for and is able to provide to the general public.
the curly flower