At the origins of fashion trends, one person or a group of people makes the trend easily adaptable for the masses. This can start with local influencers wearing something and advertising it. However, the majority of the trends in the last decade have been started by celebrities. From ugly dad sneakers to bodycon dresses. Many celebrities are at the start of it. With the right stylists and vision, these celebrities can become the “It” guys or girls centered around a fashion trend. An example would be Rihanna, who has started numerous trends in her career. Looking back into fashion, there are some current trends and styles that started with a celebrity adopting that trend and presenting it to the masses. Sadly, These celebrities haven’t always gotten the credit they deserve.
Janelle Monae- The Suit
From a tuxedo to a suit, a trend usually credited to Blake Lively. However, the suit trend started was impacted by Janelle Monae. Before masculine femininity was a trend, Janelle Monae was growing into her look. Besides being known for her black and white color scheme, she is largely apart of the reason why masculine suits are a trend. Janelle Monae is the originator and trendsetter when it comes to suiting. Her earliest red carpet looks were in 2006 when Monae first started wearing suspenders. As the trend evolved, Monae was always steps ahead. From colored suits to patterned suits, Monae had them all. Suiting for women would not be looked at the same if it wasn’t for Janelle Monae. Soon after, other women felt more comfortable in suits making it easier for runways to adapt and highlight this fashion trend.
Kanye West- White Tee
Kanye West does not receive the credit he deserves for a lot of different trends in the fast fashion industry. From polos to distressed shirts, he has started numerous trends. If it wasn’t for his outlandish comments, most people would be more accepting of him being the fashion icon he is. He has also brought us Virgil Abloh, as well as many other fashion professionals.
One of his most underrated and unaccredited trends he started was the white tee and gold chain. This created the staple piece most men have in their closet now. A simple, loose, crew neck t-shirt. This look started with Kanye and was the beginning of his signature minimalistic style. Kanye started this trend in 2011, but in 2013 this trend began to popularize when West passed down his style to Scott Disick. Passing down his style to The Kardashians, as well as being on the show, is when his style really became adapted by the masses. In 2013, Kanye did a partnership with APC, which sold white tees that he helped design for over $100. To this day, a basic white tee and a gold chain can be found at any event.
Tracee Ellis Ross- Full Color And Full Prints
Colorblocking, Monochrome, and all over Print was something we saw on runways from time to time, but the trend and look were polarized and perfected for the masses to adapt by Tracee Ellis Ross. She was one of the first celebrities to take on this look and elevate it. Giving every colorful fashion girl something to look up to. Starting a new trend and wave in the fashion industry. We hardly saw color outfits the way Ross pulled them off. Colorblocking was perfected with her. She was the first celebrity to make the colors look mature and not like a gimmick, making it easier to adapt to women who didn’t wear color. Ross was also one of the first celebrities to start wearing Christopher John Rogers when the black designer was just starting.
Travis Scott- The Oversized Flannel
Travis Scott is one of the biggest influences in the streetwear fashion industry. One of the fashion trends he started but doesn’t receive credit for is reinventing the oversized flannel. Starting in 2013, Travis Scott was always captured in an oversized flannel and sneakers. He brought back Nike SDs and the flannel look. This is around the time streetwear became what we know it as today. The origins of streetwear is long, it starts with sneaker culture and has evolved since then. Streetwear is now polarized and not what it originally was. One of the key players in the now popular segments of fashion was Travis Scott. As he grew in his style, his connection with streetwear did too. Kurt Cobain is known for bringing flannels to his time, but Travis Scott reinvented the flannel button-up as a streetwear essential.
Megan the Stallion- The Cowgirl Hat
One of the latest It girls to inspire a fashion fad is Megan the Stallion. She made the western trend easily adaptable for the masses. This was also during the time when the song “Ol’ Time Road” had taken over. This is the lastest trend evolution we see that started with a person and time in the world. During 2018 and 2019, cowboy hats and boots were on their way back. This southern hottie defiantly elevated a trend that was coming back in the industry.
Celebrities have always been the way to popularize a trend. Their influence makes it easier to carry it over to the masses. However, most smaller celebrities don’t get credit for the trends that they helped start. Every trend has an origin and over the last couple of years, a celebrity is at the start of it all.
Written by: Corinea L. Austin
Corinea is an Atlanta based fashion business owner and voice. She is a graduate of SCAD with a background in fashion, costume design and business management. With insight spanning into the textile industry, she can be found on all social media under @cocorinea