What Makes A Style Icon

The other day I was having a day out with one of my FW Awards judges Miss @oaktreeonahill and we were discussing one of the awards in particular, the style icon trophy. Our discussion was around one point . . . .

What makes a style icon?

Given I wasn’t happy to settle for they just are we explored the theme, and it led to a few key factors. To be a style icon you must have an established history of looking incredible, you cn get a sense that some people will become one but its my humble opinion that one year of awards dresses is not enough to fill the icon part of the award. Icon status is cultivated over years not months, Elizabeth Taylor for example built her reputation over decades. Unfortunately this rules out some of the best dressed people of 2013/14.

Secondly they must have a sense that they are in control of their look ruling out anyone that relies on stylists or has a deal with a single designer. We looked towards Cate Blanchett and the ever awesome Helena Bonham-Carter as perfect examples. HBC is adored and worshiped here at FW Towers because she stands out as someone who pushes back against all the rules, Oscar Night isn’t complete without seeing what she has chosen. But it’s not about choosing the right dress all the time, designers can be style icons, think the Lagerfeld look, he picks the colour of his gloves to match the Paris sky each day, you have no idea how much I love that, or of course Britains hottest property right now Victoria Beckham, La Beckham has created a chic look for herself and for many others, then we must also remember the high priestess of fashion, Anna Wintour, bob, big glasses, always bang on target.

But it’s not always about being chic, occasion FW keyboard rattler @Ms_Shepherd will murder me if I don’t mention Sue Pollard, a woman so unique and wonderful you can’t help but be awestruck at her style, its as much part of her as her nose or her feet, it’s an extension of who she is and she does it so well. I’d also mention Jonny Rotten & The Ramones, as readers will know I’m a huge proper punk fan and these guys created an era and a style that will outlive them, in fact Jonny has created himself a new look mixing country squire with Vivienne Westwood ethics, they of course are old friends from back before they took over the world.

So there we go, a few things that make a style icon, but I’ve filed to answer my own question so I guess in some ways you can’t define what makes a style icon, they just are. Of course this is subjective, I’m sure if we all made a list of our style icons they wouldn’t match anyone elses, so FW Awards panel, it’s over to you to tell us . . .

elizabeth taylor

Cate Style Icon

HBC Style Icon

KL Style Icon

vb vogues

Anna 2

sp style icon

Jonny Ramone Style Icon

jr Style Icon

About Ross Pollard

Since starting writing on my 31st birthday in 2011 I have held a number of positions at magazines and websites as well as regularly producing articles for numerous publications alongside contributing to TV & radio shows as a freelance fashion journalist including Hoxton Radio & Fashion One TV. Alongside writing, I have worked in other industries helping to design & grow digital platforms, develop businesses and support operations practices. This experience has proved invaluable in building an understanding of how businesses work, and the landscape in which retail, B2B commerce and other commercial operations develop. Knowledge of commercial interests has helped shape my fashion industry insights beyond critiquing of garments


  1. I completely agree, I hate that all these young holywood’ers are given style status instantly especially when most have stylists dressing them

  2. I so agree with this, and I love how you’ve included a few male style icons to!

    Oh, I have a giveaway at the moment! Would love you to enter. Kelly from |Daydreams & Daisychains

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