How to Spot (Or Become!) a True Street Style Star: An Expert Weighs In

Meghan Blalock
street style star giovanna battaglia

Giovanna Battaglia
Photo via ImaxTree

As we’ve seen during this past Fashion Month, the world of street style has become a force in itself. The crowds at New York and Paris Fashion Weeks, for example, are largely attracted to the event for the runway shows at center stage—but many have also become stars in their own right.

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Rachel Arthur, a global senior editor at fashion trend forecasting organization WGSN, sat down to chat the subject of street style with us, and one topic rose prominent above the rest: how you separate the wheat from the chaff, and pick out (or become!) a true street style star in the crowd.

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StyleCaster: Do you think the realm of street style has become a bit overcrowded?
Rachel Arthur: The whole “outfit of the day” hashtag is a bit overdone. It’s getting a bit on the tired side. Everyone gets their 15 seconds of fame, as they say now.

Are there too many street style bloggers?
It’s easy to argue that there are. But it really depends on where you look for it. If you’re talking about fashion week, then yes, maybe. If you’re somebody with an eye, it’s just about being able to separate the wheat from the chaff, and spotting what is going to be influential, the people who are actually doing something a little bit different, and being able to step away from a [designer] name or the buzz [surrounding a person].

So what does separate the wheat from the chaff?
I think it’s about being able to look globally, because a lot of trends emerge from other markets, not just from fashion weeks. There’s nothing we [at WGSN] don’t look at it. Our team is [analyzing] street style year-round, at sporting events, fashion schools, in daily life, and other influential places.

So where do you see some of the most trendsetting style right now?
Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo. It’s so influential. They’re not showing off; it’s super experimental, but it’s just who they are. They’re just expressing themselves.

Is self-expression key to what makes someone a true street style star?
It comes down to self-expression. Wear what expresses who you are. Of course they’re being influenced by other things, but my [favorite street style stars] really know who they are. Everything they wear is beautifully tailored in that regard. Everything they do seems very unified, all very tied together. They kind of roll with it.

And what about those people who don’t stand out as much?
The ones who don’t do as well are more focused on following trends here, there, and everywhere. They’re looking at other people.

Any other tips for people wanting to ramp up their approach to street style?
Be more experimental. That’s what works so well in these places—you’ve got to create a sense of inspiration basically. There’s also inspiration to be found in something incredibly wacky and over the top.