Fashion Leaders

There are so many different trends and tastes in the many cultures and subcultures that make up popular culture today, it can be difficult to pick out individuals that can be considered overall “leaders” in fashion, or in any other area of aesthetics and art such as music, visual art, etc. For that reason, I attempted to pick individuals that display a somewhat eclectic representation of the current trends in fashion for my collage of today’s fashion leaders, using different designers and fashion icons that show a range of different tastes and styles while all unequivocally demonstrating modern and forward-thinking attitudes when it comes to the clothes they wear. The fact that I don’t even like some of the particular fashion statements that I have included in the collage tells me that I have done my job in this regard, and I believe I have compiled a fairly accurate, comprehensive, and objective collection of today’s individual fashion leaders.

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Mary Kate Olsen, Miley Cyrus, and Ashley Greene demonstrate fairly different fashion sensibilities in the picture I selected to incorporate in my collage, but they all represent the young Hollywood look(s) that receive so much attention. Miley Cyrus has spoken to interviewers about the need to always try and look “cute” even in a set of “comfy” sweats; it is this sensibility as well as her immersion in the moneyed world of Hollywood that makes her one of today’s fashion leaders (Sassi Sam 2010). Ashley Greene is more of an overnight sensation than Miley Cyrus, with her “casual and feminine style” appealing to many after her role in Twilight, and she wears very diverse outfits that help keep her current yet effortlessly stylish (Daily Fashion and Style 2010). Mary Kate Olsen has been a star almost her entire life, with an immersion in Hollywood glamour similar to Miley Cyrus, but the fact that this Olsen twin is also a designer is what really makes her a leader in today’s fashion world (Hall 2006).

Ciara, Rihanna, and Sean Combs (or Puff Daddy, P-Diddy, or whatever it is he goes by these days) all came into the fashion world not through the acting world, but rather through the music industry. This origin is largely reflected in their fashion styles, I believe; Rihanna definitely has a hip-hop/R&B flair in most of the outfits she dons, despite the rapidly changing and drastically different styles she has gone through in her career, but regardless she always looks sleek and sexy (Ecko 2010). Ciara, meanwhile, has used her music stardom to attempt a modeling career, and claims she derives a great deal of inspiration from fashion, believing that, “fashion and music run parallel to each other” (Bailey 2010). Sean Combs has launched an even more successful entry into fashion using his musical fame (and personal infamy) — like Mary Kate Olsen, he has translated his sense of style into a career as a fashion designer, and despite the fact that much of his style seems derivative of the gangsters of the Roaring Twenties and the Depression era, his ability to make this classic look also current and somehow cutting edge marks him firmly as a fashion leader even as his popularity and fame as a musician have faded (Greenhouse 2003).

Lady Gaga is also a , but of an entirely different caliber than the three discussed above. She has made an equally large statement with her fashion as with her music since she first started performing, and this has kept her on the forefront — literally a part of the avant garde — of the fashion world, even arguably influencing big-name designers (Lomrantz 2009). Christian Siriano is the oddball of my collection, as he achieved his fame in fashion solely through his talent as a designer (albeit assisted by his Project Runway fame and championship), and his consistent creativity makes him one of the most interesting young designers in fashion today (Siriano 2010).


Bailey, L. (2010). “Ciara — a fashion model.” EurWeb. Accessed 3 November 2010.

Daily Fashion & Style. (2010). “Ashley Greene fashion style.” Accessed 3 November 2010.

Ecko, M. (2010). “Style history: Rihanna.” Complex. Accessed 3 November 2010.

Greenhouse, S. (2003). “A Hip-Hop Star’s Fashion Line Is Tagged With a Sweatshop.” NY Times. Accessed 3 November 2010. http://www.nytimes..html

Hall, S. (2006). “Olsen twins strike a pose.” E! Online. Accessed 3 November 2010.

Lomrantz, T. (2009). “Did Lady Gaga influence the clothes at Haute Couture?” Accessed 3 November 2010.

Sassi Sam. (2010). “Miley Cyrus’ fashion style interview.” Accessed 3 November 2010.

Siriano, C. (2010). Christian Siriano. Accessed 3 November 2010.