In describing its “All-TIME 100 Fashion Icons” list, Time Magazine explains that “from models and muses to designers and photographers, the world of style has no shortage of superstars.” The publication lists the what they consider the 100 most influential fashion icons since 1923, the year of Time’s founding. As one would expect, many of the inclusions are right on the money, while others leave me scratching my head. For example, in the “Muses” category, Time lists Michelle Obama, Josephine Baker, Michael Jackson, and Madonna as major style icons, but also includes Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson in the “Designers & Brands” section — I know they’ve had fashion lines for years and got everyone to start wearing “boho chic,” to be listed next to the likes of Coco Chanel? I’m not quite sold on that one.
I remember taking style cues from Michael Jackson, just to cite one listed icon, and I recognize the lasting impact that he’s had on style today. But the first people I think of when it comes to who has influenced my style (e.g. who I wished I could dress like), I think of completely different types of people, most of whom look a little more like me to begin with. Their style may have seemed trendy at the time but some aspects have lingered and certainly stayed memorable. For example, Denise Huxtable may not be a real person, and Lisa Bonet may not have dressed like that character in real life, but who didn’t want to dress like her anyway? How many of you took boho-chic style cues from Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, or Lauryn Hill and have learned to blend that look into your daily wear years later?