THE RISE OF STREET STYLE STARS
When Scott Shulman started his blog The Sartorialist back in 2005, the notion of street style was exactly what it said on the tin; the snapping of fabulous, spontaneous ensembles spotted, well, on the actual streets of course.
Those snapped were genuinely surprised and flattered that their outfit was deemed photo-worthy, caught as is and in the moment by someone from that original circle of ahead-of-the-curve bloggers; The Sartorialist, Tommy Ton, Facehunter and co.
Fast forward a decade and the concept of street style has exploded beyond anything any of those involved at the beginning could ever have imagined. Street style is now, essentially, an industry in its own right. The competition for a renowned snapper’s lens attention is fierce, the blogosphere is beyond saturated and only those with the most extreme or curated look will stand out and be posted.
As well as the photographers, another lucrative career path has been created – that of the bonafide street style star. What were once chance encounters with stylish strangers are often now calculated pictures of a style savvy elite – those individuals with such great, distinct style and so many followers that their influence is more powerful than many of fashion’s biggest brand names.
For these folks, peacocking is everything and many will admit to choosing whether or not to wear something based entirely on its Insta-worthiness. The business is lucrative and top street stylers can earn hundreds just to feature a product in one of their shots. Nowhere is the circus as frenzied as it is during fashion week. The style paparazzi line the streets in their hundreds, throwing themselves in front of traffic to get their shot.
Perhaps the best bit about the way that street style has evolved, however, is that nowadays, everyone can get involved. You no longer need a top street style photographer to take your picture in order to validate your personal taste. You can build your own Insta-empire from the comfort of your iPhone (but of course for the best results use an Olympus Pen E-PL7!) and some people are even forging long-term brand relationships and careers in styling of the back of what’s on their backs.
Still need proof of the power of street style? Just tap the term into Google Images and over 373 million results present themselves. Peruse the hashtags #TodayImWearing and #OOTD (Outfit Of The Day) on Instagram and you’ll find over 56 million outfit offerings for each.
So experiment with your personal style, snap it, share it and definitely make sure you have fun with it. But most importantly of all, never risk getting run over by a bus for it. The lengths some people will go to for a perfect shoe selfie, eh?
4 People To Follow On Instagram For Great Street Style Inspiration…
The original street style photographer’s catnip, Susie Bubble is a world-famous example of incredible personal style. The way she puts a look together is unlike anyone else, her eye is her own – and in the world of fashion blogging, that’s a beautiful rarity.
Wardrobe Mistress at The Sunday Times Style, Pandora’s a self-confessed trend addict. Look to her if you want to know what the next big thing will be, months before everyone else.
The Fashion Guitar
Charlotte Groeneveld is a Netherlands-born, New York-based blogger with a taste for minimalism but a penchant for popping great IT accessories. Follow her for a daily dose of cool pared down style, with a twist.
For the high street lover stylist Alex Stedman has a knack of cherry-picking the best budget pieces and showing us how to make them look genuinely high end.