There’s a secret group on Instagram that I like to call “the ethereal club of black Instagram style stars.” Secret in that I’m the only one who calls them that — these aren’t the Insta-famous, online celebs you already know, but you should: their style is otherworldly. These women are likable for reasons that are hard to pin down, although it just might be that they’re smart and aren’t afraid to be themselves.
Something I realized in February while singing about my otherwise unsung fashion icons is that black style is about throwing caution to the wind. Members of this ethereal group do just that. But how do I do that? How do we do that? I asked the women of this underground club about their relationship with style and for their advice to women interested in the industry.
You’re in for a sartorial treat with Celia Smith’s Instagram. She is a fashion chameleon. On a Wednesday she might look like she stepped right off of Gucci’s fall 2016 runway (in look number 53, to be exact). On Thursday, she might evoke a vintage Parisian feeling with her outfit: L’ecole des Femmes T-shirt, high waist jeans, an Isabel Marant sailor cap and bright red Robert Clergerie boots. Oui.
Her advice: “Don’t get stifled by seeing everything through the lens of color. All women want to look and feel beautiful and that’s what makes us no different from one another.”
I want to be Yaminah Mayo’s friend based solely off of her ‘grams. For Yaminah, getting dressed revolves around her hair .”If my hair is on ‘fleek,’” she told me, “I’ll gravitate toward a more minimal outfit with a cool silhouette. If my hair is in need of a lil’ love, I’ll emphasize texture to distract the masses.” A woman after my own head and heart. Her advice industry career advice: “Pay your dues, do your research and hone your voice. The latter two are pretty self-explanatory, but I started out thinking that paying dues was being Andy Sachs in Devil Wears Prada and it’s not.”
@clothesconscience, Tanya Jean-Baptiste, Blogger
Tanya has what she calls a “girly” aesthetic. But don’t be fooled by the pretty minimalism and high heels; she’s serious about her comfort too. Her favorite pair of jeans are falling apart (she and I have that in common) but giving them up isn’t an option. To Jean-Baptiste, it makes them all the more perfect. Her advice: “Intern, intern, intern. That’s how you get your foot in the door, make connections and figure out what you do and don’t like. Also, be prepared to hear a lot of no’s before any yes’s.”
@vanavain, Vanessa Lundy, Fashion stylist
Vanessa’s attention to detail and knack for mixing prints is insane. She has this green faux fur thrifted coat that I think we should all band together to steal. Her advice: “Look the part and show up!”
Honey, I’m here!
Follow Kurie Fitzgerald on Twitter @KurieFitz.