According to Merriam-Webster, an icon is an emblem or symbol of another idol. In that case, fashion icons don’t just represent fashion, they are fashion.
A fashion icon is a person whose style still influences the industry today. Their style is timeless and can transcend any era. The most amazing part is that many of these icons set trends long before social media existed. They had a lot fewer resources to spread their influence.
To see some of the more unforgettable fashion icons in history, check out the list below.
1. Jackie O
Who can think of 1960’s fashion without picturing the classy Jackie O wardrobe? The pillbox hats to match her amazing coats and bow-cinched dresses were one of the most iconic accessories of the decade.
Jackie’s look — like Audrey Hepburn’s — is effortlessly chic. She wasn’t afraid to bare her shoulders in strapless gowns at events or rock elegant, elbow-length gloves. She is no doubt one of the most stylish First Ladies in history.
2. Diana Ross
Jackie O doesn’t have a monopoly on fashion in the 1960’s — Diana Ross is another unforgettable style icon of the era. However, Ms. Ross’ influence was in a different space. She is the queen of diva fashion.
Where would today’s icons like Rihanna and Beyoncé be without Diana Ross? Chances are they’d be a lot more boring.
One of her most recognizable influences is her big hair. It was unusual to see her without her natural, picked afro. Of course, as a diva, you can’t forget her bold eye makeup, luxurious fur coats, and glittery gowns. She was the essence of “treat yo’self.”
3. Katharine Hepburn
A fashion icon list without Katharine Hepburn is just disrespectful. This brave woman was one of the first stars to don men’s trousers in the 1930’s. At the time, pants were not considered women’s fashion. In fact, it was unseemly for women to even wear them.
Katharine Hepburn didn’t just help make the trouser and pantsuit part of women’s fashion, she represented a fearless independence and freedom that women could strive for.
4. Grace Jones
Where would androgyny be without Grace Jones? She’s an incomparable fashion icon that totally transformed the 1980’s.
Her hooded scarves, geometric hairstyles, and gender-bending looks pushed the envelope of conventional fashion. No one had ever done what she had before, and no one has since. She’s one of the sexiest androgynous figures in fashion history while also being one of the first to embrace androgynous style.
5. Pam Grier
Pam Grier is a sultry actress of 1970s blaxploitation films. She was one of the hottest sex symbols of the decade.
Not only did she have her looks going for her, but she was smart and tough. She was a heroine for women and a symbol of Black Girl Magic before it was named.
Her iconic style consisted of a perfectly round afro, full cleavage in a crop top, platform shoes, and high waisted pants.
Fashion Icons and Fashion News
Fashion icons are style role models. If you’re lacking some perspective in your wardrobe, look no farther than the closet of these icons. Despite all the years that have passed, the industry still looks to them for inspiration.
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