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You Don’t Just Book Any Model, You Book Mimi Elashiry

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By Lucy Shanahan

“Oh my God. What have I done? They’ve bleached her eyebrows.”

In a terrifying moment of doubt, a dark thought entered John Scott’s mind when he called his client, Mimi Elashiry, on a shoot for Sneaky Magazine. Her first major fashion editorial with talk of a cover, John and Mimi suspected that something big was brewing. Mimi was bouncy and excited on the phone. John, on the other hand, was searching for an escape route, “I just thought, ‘how do we get out of this?’”. But when he saw the images, it was one of those ‘oh’ moments, “I went, ‘we’re dealing with someone who is more exciting than I ever imagined’.”

Mimi is an unstoppable current and the go-to girl of the moment for all things fashion and beauty. A designer’s golden ticket, Mimi has proven time and time again that her influence transcends beyond the screen and into wardrobes. She has the ability to sell out garments nationally. But rather than being moulded by a major marketing mogul, her brand is her own.

“It’s the new age of expressing yourself and being able to own your own brand. I think that’s the most important thing. Before that, everyone was trying to fit into someone else’s niche. Now it’s like, ‘be you’, so that people connect to that,” Mimi says.

Mimi’s connection with her social media followers has flourished from a grassroots beginning. Many of them crossed paths with her growing up, whether they attended the same school or danced together as baby ballerinas. Anyone who knew Mimi has been able to watch her grow up as they’ve grown themselves. And what’s more, she’s still the same person. As her following has expanded and her work has matured in a remarkably short amount of time, Mimi’s philosophy is to remain the level headed, down to earth young woman she’s always been.

Mimi says her posts are unformulated. She shares what she feels passionate about and ensures that her photos remain true to her own world view. From her vintage finds and homemade protein balls, to major editorials for Free People or simple beach shoots with a friend, to her picturesque film shots of great escapes – Mimi shares the memories founded on her journeys. It’s her magnetic energy and refusal to tick other people’s boxes that keep her followers wanting more. Sharing her life and story has now become a part of her everyday routine. “I think I’ve started to notice lately, I’ve committed to sharing every day of my life, for however long, with 700 000 or however many people it is. I guess I’ve come to an organic and natural flow of telling stories through my photos. I think that’s why people have connected to me and continued to follow me because I’m not forcing things on them and I’m not forcing things on myself.”

At 770 000 followers, John and Mimi have worked creatively and cleverly to find loopholes in the path to traditional modelling. They’re proving that a tangible connection with real people is worth much more than chasing after an industry standard image. But when John and Mimi were first looking for work, they were consistently met with rejection. Meetings with top agencies always reached the same outcome: “every time they kind of just measured me and would wait for me to grow.”

John was particularly frustrated by the prevailing narrow-mindedness of these agencies. On one occasion, he received a call post-casting: “they said ‘look, she is amazing, but she’s not tall enough. We need tall girls.’ Then in the next meeting, the owner came in. She looked at Mimi and said ‘you’re very beautiful, but you’re not a model. I think you should focus on dancing and acting’.”

At the time, Mimi was quietly discovering her own place in online fashion’s wonderland. John said he was wary at first: “I remember her saying, ‘someone wants to pay me to do a post’. And I was like ‘do not take money from strangers! This is weird, what the hell is going on!?’.” But he also sensed that Instagram had a nourishing quality that could turn a platform for self-expression into a legitimate business model. Mimi had already interested a 3000+ following in a brand she had unknowingly curated. John realised two things: “if I can find 100 more Mimis, I will have a new business”; and that by tapping into Mimi’s budding social media influence, they could position her as a serious model with a unique reach to a young audience, a specific group others are forever failing to engage.




Even as John and Mimi embarked on honing a modelling career, Mimi’s work was not always well received. Mimi heard everything from ‘she might be a model, but she’ll never walk in a fashion show’; to ‘she might get some work in Australia, but she’ll never work internationally’. Since then, David Jones specifically requested Mimi to walk for them in Vogue Fashion’s Night Out. Major Australian retailers Glue and General Pants sought after her to hand pick her favourite items and star in national campaigns. Mimi is represented by Next Models, one of the leading modelling agencies in Los Angeles. John says he loves those challenges. “The more I get the more determined I am to prove that this industry is full of outdated paradigms that were expressed in that meeting with that agency, where people said ‘you’re beautiful, but’. To me, that is rubbish. You cannot tell a human being, ‘you’re beautiful, if only’.”

What’s beautiful to Mimi are the people and places that ground her. Flicking back through her Instagram feed, it’s adorned with sweeping landscapes and natural beauty from around the globe. “Travel and spending time with my friends is what inspires me the most.” Her style changes depending on where she is, opting for black in Sydney and something a little more reminiscent of Woodstock ’69 when travelling. She’s more inspired by beauty in the ordinary rather than over-thought content filtered within an inch of it’s life.

Mimi is easy to connect to because she feels like a friend. Her brand is fresh because it’s intimate and familiar, and her path encourages her followers to publish their art forms on their own terms. “I see this time as almost the renaissance of creativity for humans,” John says. “Nowadays, people have this huge opportunity to say ‘wow look at me, look what I did with my hair, look what I did with my nails’, whatever it is. That’s one aspect of it. But then the other thing is ‘look what I made, look at this photograph, this is how I see the world’.”

User generated content is a powerful movement that now dominates our screens, and Mimi’s at the forefront. She’s active in the creative direction and production process of much of the content that appears on her feed. As video content grows and consumers continue to find innovative ways to use relatively underdeveloped apps like Snapchat, businesses and audiences alike are looking for a breath of fresh air, an individual stamp that seeps originality.

Mimi’s success comes down to the fact that she has strived to remain true to herself. She’s self and grateful for the experiences she’s encountered on the way, “I think the fact that I’ve been given the opportunity to travel to different places and meet people and work with photographers and designers and all that sort of stuff… that’s the thing I love about it the most. I wouldn’t have that opportunity otherwise.”

When you book Mimi, you don’t just book a beauty. You book a mermaid with her own song to the sea. You book someone on a spiritual search, a young woman with an open mind and a certain kind of sparkle in her style. You book Mimi Elashiry.

All Images:

Jordan Keith, @JORDENKEITH

Model Diaries #7 Love continued…

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Continuing on from Model Diaries #4

 

my fear of being “that” annoying whiny girl that wants to know whats “going on in the relationship”. Right now there isn’t much of a relationship, but i know i like you and if i act all nochalant, then you might get the idea i don’t care if you are with someone else, and i do care. Because i’ve had too many boys slip through my fingers because i haven’t said shit.
So even though i know you will hate the question, i’m going to ask if theres any hope for being with you – and no one else – or if you care as much as i do. And all i need is an honest answer coz then i can stop thinking about you as much, and start moving on.
Or maybe you have an amazing act down pat and you use this on all girls and you clearly have feelings for your ex, its karma that she cheated on you, and you would hate to hear that. But your comments about other girls you’ve been with and how you kind of rub it in, is a…

Holiday Like A Model

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By Michele Smith
Facebook – MicheleSmithMarketing

We all need a day off, and while a model’s life appears amazing from the outside looking in, it is truly less glamorous and less fabulous than most people realize. While most supermodels definitely have their super perks, your everyday model trying to make it, is literally running about around every day from start to finish, while attempting to sneak meals in between and maintaining some semblance of a personal life. Anyone can vacation like a model and specifically, the key here is to have simple vacation tips to make the most of your time away. The below hot spots can be all yours will just a couple of recommendations to keep in mind. All of the following are a couple of getaway vacation spots to vacation like a star and get some serious rest and relaxation in. Weekend vacations are not now only about the spot, but how to seriously escape in a short time frame with food, fun and precious amenities all at the same time.

Monterey

Monterey is a home away from home, with exquisite bed and breakfasts, beach front properties, and hands down the freshest seafood on the planet where you can see what you are eating literally right off of the pier. While some of the priciest homes are an available among Pebble Beach, Carmel, Monterey offers the perfect serenity combining the trend of southern California activity with the classy quiet of northern California. Visitors enjoy some of the freshest seafood cuisines on the bay, while enjoying the spectacular views of country meeting coast. Wineries, quaint shops and coastline trails, are the make up the perfect outing for both tranquility and fun.

Sedona

Sedona’s red rocks are sure to impress the most seasoned traveler, including your supermodel on the go. Sedona offers miles of hiking trails, as well as multiple crystal shops and art galleries. The local museums celebrate the town’s history, while the wine trails and Palatka Heritage site simply add to the surrounding culture. During this weekend getaway, visitors can also visit multiple vortexes; unique rock formations known to emit energy from self-confidence to motivation, as well as aspects such as goodness, passion and compassion.

New York City

Move over Sarah Jessica Parker, because Manhattan, NYC is sexy all by itself. No matter where you live, the energy of downtown Manhattan is absolutely unsurpassable. For a weekend away, anyone can hit up a double bus pass and see every tourist site, transport complete, in the city from the Statue of Liberty to the Trump Tower. For less touristy options, simply take a taxi or cab to 5th Avenue to pursue the shops. Century 21, one of the most popular shopping spots in lower Manhattan, is one not to miss, as well as grabbing a Mai Tai at the 230 Fifth Rooftop Bar, for a spectacular outdoor, rooftop view of the Empire State Building. When you visit the city that never sleeps, there is no shortage of finding a spa for a pedicure at 10 p.m. followed by tapas at midnight. This is if you decide not to take a river cruise or choose to hit up the dance club scene in the warehouse district.

High Fashion Is Becoming Accessible – And Wearable

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We’ve all found ourselves—either sitting at fashion shows or clicking through the runway photos later—looking at the featured designs with a cocked head. The looks shown on catwalks are notoriously funky. Not funky in the, “Oooh, how eclectic” way. Rather, funky in the, “Who the hell would actually wear that?” way. Such has been the typical discourse around high fashion for decades. Designers would make impossibly intricate or just plain un-wearable items. Who were they creating these pieces for? Why were these extreme looks even being tolerated? Did people actually like these garments?

Do a quick Google search on the term “high fashion,” and all the articles are titled something like “Why Is High Fashion So Ugly?” or this Buzzfeed article, where a reader asked “why are designer runway clothes so ridiculous?” And rightfully so. If designers want people of prominence to buy their luxurious fashion lines, wouldn’t those fashion lines at least have to appeal to those buyers? This conundrum has been common in the fashion world for far too long.

But there has been a recent shift in the way things work. Before, there were couture or runway collections, and then there were separate ready-to-wear collections. What you saw on the runways at NYFW would not be able to be purchased until the season it was shown for. However, fashion week is morphing into something much more inclusive than it ever has been. Many major designers said nah to the traditional lights, camera, catwalk, this year and instead held fashion presentations of sorts. It’s known as the “see now, buy now” business model. You can read more here about some of the designers who chose this model from this past NYFW, those of which included Rebecca Minkoff, Tom Ford, and Michael Kors.

Of course, not all designers have adopted the change coming to the fashion industry. Many bigwigs still believe that exclusivity is what makes high fashion so… well, high. Luckily, e-commerce is also playing a part in revolutionizing availability. Luxury fashion sites are making high fashion accessible to anyone—just take a look at Lyst’s Bvlgari collection, for instance. Having big-name brands at your fingertips is a new opportunity for shoppers who don’t have access to luxury brick-and-mortar shopping, and it’s really paying off for the designers. Their products get much longer shelf-lives and are much more widely available than ever before.

Whether it’s because of the shift in consumer activity or simply because designers are shifting their own views on the high fashion market, the overall status depicts that luxury items are becoming much more wearable. Now, that’s not to say you still won’t see some wacky creations boldly strutting down the runways, but there will certainly be less. Thanks to both e-commerce and the “see now, buy now” business model, designers are viewing runway fashion in a much more practical manner. Because let’s be honest – no one’s going to buy the ridiculous looks called out by the Huffington Post.

How To Treat Your Skin After The Gym

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By Gritty Pretty
@gritty_pretty

New Year = new #fitnessgoals

Whatever your health resolutions for 2016, we’re rooting for you. But we’re more interested in how you tend to your skin after you’ve demolished those reps, when your skin’s all hot and bothered.

So, here’s a list of what you should be doing if you aren’t already, to treat your skin post-workout and keep it looking as solid as that work-in-progress bod:

1. Wash Your Hands Immediately

Unless you’ve got access to the Hemsworth private gym, you’re going to want to wash your hands – thoroughly, and with soap – to avoid picking up and transferring any bacteria from hand >>> face. Gyms are riddled with germs, so first thing’s first, get your hands fresh and clean.

2. Pat Dry, Don’t Rub

You must wash your face after a workout. That’s like, the rules of feminism or something (not really, but just as important). Exercising increases your blood flow making your skin more sensitive, so go for something gentle. Pat dry, don’t rub and use a foaming or gel cleanser to easily remove oils and impurities, and glycolic acid or tea tree to fend of pore-clogging bacteria. Makeup wipes are a good idea, too.

3. Deal With Hydration

Your skin might feel oily and sweaty after training, but it could actually be dehydrated.  When you workout, you lose moisture though evaporation and the salt in your sweat can ultimately have a drying effect. Go for a moisturiser with hyaluronic acid to replenish and plump skin, as well as all-important SPF to protect from any further damage (whether you’re training outdoors or indoors behind glass windows).

4. Avoid Body Acne

Body acne. Backne. Moist. *Shudders*. It can happen to anyone, if you leave your active wear on after you’ve been sweating bullets or give unwashed gym gear a second run. If you’re going straight home from the gym, at the very least make sure you towel dry any sweat prone areas like your back and décolletage to prevent body breakouts. Once a week, it’s a good idea to give your back a good scrub.

5. Use A Fragrance Oil

As mentioned, skin becomes sensitised and dehydrated after a workout so why not try a scented oil instead of an alcohol-based EDP? With your blood still pumping quickly, your body heat will help carry the scent of the oil for a longer lasting fragrance. Plus, because perfume oils are more concentrated, they generally come in smaller, travel-friendly packaging making it easier to toss into your gym bag.

The Beginners Guide For A Fashion Intern

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By Margretta Sowah

Your fashionable mission, should you choose to accept, is to become the head in which brand [x], for all intents and exploitation purposes, shall rest its fair-weathered and creative crown upon. The duties include: a new wardrobe that you cannot afford and a slew of technical verbatim like Prêt-à-Porter and Piqué. To counteract any stereotype of the “fashion woman”, let me break down the criteria for success and give you a repertoire of small talk topics and fashionable idioms. This post stems from a fun spirit and little life experience… surely that’s worth a bit of tongue-in-cheek.

1. You will be subject to piles of fabulous clothing,
which you will have to organize by color, collection or personal preference. Resist the urge to throw yourself into a sample size and instagram your look. Remember that is not an indication of your worth but rather your time management skills. #wardrobegoals

2. You will be a coffee/latte expert.
Chai. Soy latte… it is no secret that interns are beverage connoisseurs with coffee-runs being a rite of passage in almost any industry. Having prior knowledge as a barista will definitely come in handy when taking orders for the staff. If you can carry half a dozen coffees in one go while juggling your notes and that dress you were asked to pick up, even better. Moments like this show untapped potential… with the smell of coffee being the fuel to carry on for the rest of the day (or at least the next few hours).

3. You might get to go for a Champagne run.
If that happens I suggest you purchase the bottle(s), wait outside the building – preferably in an alley or behind a bin – and take several sips before walking it. If they ask what happened to the bottle just say you were attacked by a homeless man who demanded a few swigs of the Champs. Not only will your supervisors praise you for such a selfless act, they may even palm off ‘exciting research opportunity’ for you! Putting others before yourself always pays off.

4. Observations will be your best friend, along with your intuition.
Having the privilege of being in the midst of such talented and creative people allows you access to confidential information. Forget about your ex, this is where your stalking and spy skills come into play. Keep a sharp eye on your surroundings – who is coming in? Going out? Doing what? Seeing who? Smelling how? – Yes, even smells paint a picture. (Please note this does not include anything illegal or unethical).

5. Be ready to sell yourself
and by that I mean sell your talents. No one likes a Nancy-know-it-all but no one respects a Silent-Sam either. Have a pitch in your back pocket of your greatest assets – professional assets, of course. Putting your boobs on blast will not get you to Fashion Week. Starting with, “Well, if you ask me…” shows your listening skills and proactive attitude.

6. Your Cocktail/Spirit/Wine game should be on point.
Partying is a huge part of the Fashion schedule – though we call it ‘work parties’ but really it should be called, ‘any excuse to get sh*tfaced.’ I advise you take a cocktail course and study up on the difference between a Sauvignon Blanc and a Sémillon. Both look the same, taste relatively similar but are not to be confused at a work party. Stick to colourful, mixed spirits – stay away from anything clear before dinner and remind yourself that Beer is as attractive as a Burberry’s suede boot in the middle of summer. Bottoms up!

Having these things in mind will definitely prepare you for the weeks of character building menial jobs. No matter how far along the journey you are, rest assured all your dreams can come true when preparation meets opportunity… I think they call that luck. Of course, not all things on this list will happen – especially the Champagne run, though I did intern for a company where we drank every Friday… that’s what happens when you allow yourself to conform to the ways of this business. You gain industry experience while finding your tipsy way home… oh, and you get to use the word ‘Haute Couture’ without sounding like a plebe. Not a bad gig.

*Please note no one was injured or fired in the process of gathering research for this post. I do not endorse bad outfits or behavior.

 

The 2016 Fitness Trends

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By Michele Smith
Facebook – MicheleSmithMarketing

The new year is here and January is the time when most people turn a keen eye on their personal health. While most of this is attributed to over consumption attributed to many holiday events instead of a daily, yearly fitness routine, the following are a couple of trends that may motivate people to stay in shape year round. The key here is doing something that motivates YOU while keeping you active, healthy and motivated. We’re not saying that this needs to be incorporated every day, but if you are exercising 5x per week you are certainly erring on the healthy end.

Wearable technology

We are not talking about just your step counter here, there are a bunch of new items on the market that track your heart rate and calorie count. There are some great fitness trackers offered by Jawbone, Fitbit, Apple Watch and Garmin. New wearable technology will undoubtedly make you put your old counter to rest, as the new technology will break old bad habits. Trainables are wearables that offer real time feedback. There is uprightpose.com that will track bad posture through adhesive pads on your back, the wearable Spire tracks mood and breathing, and BiteBit is a device that is supposed to be worn in one’s ear to track eating habits – whether to eat slower or snack less often. These are just a few that are currently on the market.

Bodyweight training

If you are not a fan of bodyweight training you should be. This is a great way to lose weight, gain strength and overall pump up your calorie burn. Plus, the use of minimal equipment makes this a convenient and inexpensive way to work out. A bodyweight workout can consist of plank pushups, pulse jump squats, pushup rotations, mountain climbers and lateral jumps.

Personal training

While most people cannot afford an in-home personal trainer; most can afford trainers at health clubs and even can take advantage of the personal free sessions when you join. Personal trainers are hands down amazing because they literally will reshape your body. Licensed professionals (and this is key) will design workouts that will optimize your body and completely change your perception on personal health. At the end of the day, personal trainers will make the most of your “gym” time.

Functional fitness

Many people do not realized that their day-to-day activities actually qualify as exercise. Yes, bending over and picking things up around the house does qualify as exercise. Functional fitness workouts include the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Caterpillar Workout, the Skipping Olympian and Chop Squat.

Strength Training

Strength training is absolutely key for burning calories, adding muscle mass, decreasing fat, torching body fat and protecting bone health. What is strength training exactly? Anyone can do many different exercises with little to no equipment. For example, sit ups, pushups, abdominal exercises and squats to name a few. Resistance tubing is another inexpensive option and is easy to work out with. You can find resistance tubing in any sports store.

5 Routine Daily Exercises

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By Naima Karp

Since most of us are totally helpless when it comes to exercise, we’ve hired a Pilates expert to give you a few tips on how to fit key fitness moves into your daily routines. Here are five of the most effective moves you need to add to your daily exercises.

The Roll Up

The Roll Up is one of the most effective Pilates moves (one roll up can be equal to multiple sit-ups). The key here is slow movement – people often equate strength with fast movements that burn your body out quickly, but the slowness here helps you gain stability and strength in your core. Rather than propelling your chest up into a sitting position, slowly and gradually curl up starting from the shoulder blades, then curling into the upper abs, until you eventually fold over both legs as far as you can reach. Reverse the process as you roll back down. Remember to keep your back neutral: this means minimal arch in the lower back, which will result in more core work and will also protect your spine from injury. (2 reps. Of 25.) 

Leg Circles

For this exercise, lie on your back and lift your legs up straight. Make circles or semi-circles with your legs – the smaller and more controlled the movement is, the tighter the results in your glutes and thighs will be. Reverse the circles midway through, and play around with simultaneous circles with both legs, eventually evolving into a move called the corkscrew. The corkscrew is where you keep both legs glued together and make large circles with them, reversing the direction of the circle halfway through a rep. This will provide some good burn on the lower abs as well as your legs, cutting even more time off your workout. (3 reps. Of 30.)

Plank

Balancing on your forearms, stretch your body out to a push up position. Keep your back as straight as possible and draw your belly button into your spine. For more oblique work, tap your right hip bone to the ground, return to center, tap your left hip bone to the ground. For more arm work, alternate between lying on your forearms and pushing yourself up to a full push-up position (if you can, sneak in one pushup per rep). To tone up your butt, alternate lifting legs as you hold your plank position. (3 reps. Hold each plank for 30 seconds, or challenge yourself to a full minute.) 

Tricep Dips

You don’t have to miss a minute of that Real Housewives episode for this one. Pull a chair up next to the TV and press your palms into the seat. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. With your butt in the air, positioned like a Roman chair, push yourself up and down. Make sure to straighten your arms as your propel yourself up. Try lifting one hand off and propelling yourself upwards with the other. Keep your core tight, sucking your belly button in. (3 reps. Of 20.)

 

All around body toner: The Hundred

For The Hundred, you need to make a v-shape with your body. Lift your shoulders up as well as your legs, with only your bottom glued to the ground (if bringing your shoulder blades off the ground is too difficult, keep your head and neck up). With your legs up in the air, stick your arms out straight and pulse them up and down. If you want more leg work, play around with crossing your legs or scissoring them at various paces. For more core work, you can pulse your upper body up and down on an angle. (3 reps. Of 15 second holds.)

Model Diaries #3: Family

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By an anonymous model

This entry explores my feelings towards my parents. Mothers Day was around the corner and I was feeling guilty about not being able to spend it with my mother. There was, on one hand, the lure of NYC, with its bright city lights and a new future for me, and on the other hand, my comfortable home and loving family. It’s hard to leave people behind- especially when you’re unsure of what’s to come…

“Ok so I don’t know why that movie made me feel weird but it just did. Possibly the obvious life-cycle of the women and their relationships with one central male character that allowed an open investigation of the characters meanings which lead to my analytic side being stirred once again or maybe it could be simply having time alone outside of New York and the simple ending — of mothers days. One always follows ‘doom’ after impending but that’s so not the right word as I describe Mothers Day. What just came to mind was “remorse” and I have no fricken clue why. Maybe (obviously) because I feel bad that I am not home getting to know my mother. All this time I was focused on her letting me go but I realize now that its me she wants to know. She wants to see me grow and be with me and its I. Its ME whos being selfish by not giving (them bad too) the chance, to be with me allthe time. However, in my defense, I do feel like I am living in the right city. New York kicks me up the ass so much, throws me around opens my eyes and teaches (uncovers) aspects of myself I never thought possible to exist. Sometimes I need space from my lover. From my city. As some relationships do. People break, people cheat , people return and people love. It’s a life cycle and its beautiful. The highways run like veins and the pulse of the city is felt in its energetic vibrations. Life comes and goes, it moves and sings, its happy time. Frank Sinatra (heart) in the right places. Up and Down I go. That’s ok with me. Aim for what you wish for. Think it and it shall become.”

Style & It’s Hidden Truths

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By Margretta Sowah

Instagram, much like the Fashion Industry, loves people with style.

Our culture is obsessed with seeing seemingly ordinary people mix & match genres and subcultures, injecting their own personal handwriting into Couture and Ready-to-Wear collections. This is why the street-style trend has skyrocketed. Many quotes are devoted to the importance of Style; reminding us that Fashion and Style are not mutually exclusive. Scrolling through Pinterest for visual inspiration (and yet another secret board to add) I stumbled on this quote by Edna Woolman Chase: “Fashion can be bought. Style one must possess.” Therein lies the enigma. Fashion is clothing; it is runway shows, editorials, collections and campaigns – the whole shebang. Style is an internal signature you can’t escape once stood with truth. This proves that we are who we are – we may improve (or not) but we can’t change the essence of ourselves. Philosophical? Yes, in the most fashionable way.

There are plenty of Fashion lovers who can name all the highbrow labels but find it difficult to find their own style within those brands. And by style I mean Taste. That is what Style is – a particular way you do things. Fashion is a commercial enterprise that has several different components to it. There is no stock-standard formula (despite what the glossy pages of ELLE, Harpers Bazaar and the like feed us in bite size canapés) for achieving your personal preference.

At a retail business seminar a few weeks ago one of the speakers (shout-out to brand expert Richard Saurman – his clients list includes Coca Cola, Microsoft, Toyota and Levi’s to name a few. In short, we call him The Brand Guy) made a very interesting point; “Tools are as good as the people who use it.” Big agencies have been known to scout for model’s almost anywhere. Jourdan Dunn was discovered at Primark in London while shopping with a friend. Though some might think it is serendipity to find a model in a clothing store that is not an indication of a fashionable person, let alone someone with great style – no offense Miss Dunn.

Regrettably most of us are not born with Vogue-esqe chic. We go through periods of trial and error. As we mature in knowing ourselves more authentically we mould non-verbal signals to communicate with the world around us. To the outside world, this could be called Body Language. In Fashion, we call it Style. Brands hire Stylists because they are sort of like the surgeons of the Fashion Industry – astute in their practices, their aim to highlight the positive and reduce the negative. A Stylist has to be cut-throat and merciless in their editing process.

We have been told from a young age that Less is More. If Less is More where does it leave room to be yourself and to not feel the restrictions or pressure of the minimalist Post-Post Modern mentality? Is Style not about being unequivocally and unapologetically yourself? Much like a writer or any other creative, one must learn to cut the unnecessary to reach hearts and heads of readers, this is not an easy task. You could say a model can be seen as a blank canvas in which a Stylist “Jackson Pollock’s” on them (that sounds dirty, doesn’t it?).

It is easy, in this world of social distraction, to compartmentalise things – to put them in categories and then generalise those categorises; good/bad, black/white and so forth. The problem with generalising is we are individuals with the propensity to change and evolve. That which was once this can turn into that, and vice versa (think Caitlyn Jenner’s transgender transformation).

The pre-requisite to Style is knowing yourself – what you like, don’t like and why it works for you. Then, like my Mother always told me: try, try and try some more. You will not know the practicality of something unless you get into it. Walk proud in your choices.

Diana Von Furstenberg has said she can handle bad taste, but no taste? That is something the world needs less of. We can afford to get Fashion wrong. Not everything is for everyone and brands target specific audiences which may not always include your taste (e.g. Jeremy Scott for Moschino, though I love his point of view). That is why style is so important. The world can cater for everything, but not everyone can eat the way you.

My advice? Enjoy licking your plate clean and be brave enough to go for seconds – but hey, that’s just my style.