Style Icons

Present day, bestowing the title of Best Dressed or Style Icon gets thrown around way to freely. Usually upon celebrities with an unlimited budget and a stylist who creates those looks. Let’s not forget they receive tons of designer’s clothing for free. Or you also have the Social Media Style Icons, folks made popular via the internet, whether it’s street style blog or Instagram. The formula for an internet style star is very different from celebrities. It is a combination of fast fashion, thrift and vintage store finds and if they have a huge following maybe a few gifted items from designers. I’ll give credit to the Social Media folks being more organic in their style than a majority of stars but, there are a few bold face names that are a rare hybrid of both digital style star and also known as a true celebrity.

Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross was a staple on my television screen on Monday nights for over six years as the goofy, crafty, lawyer Joan Clayton on Girlfriends. Too many Joan and Tracee are one, as Tracee’s personal style crept into her on camera wardrobe many times. As the daughter of the infamous Diana Ross, Tracee has noted that she knew her love for clothes and fashion very early on. She inherited a love for statement pieces and of course she is heir apparent to the museum like wardrobe of the divine Miss Ross. But Tracee is just cool and like myself, she mixes smaller brands with vintage and every outfit no matter how effortless is in all actuality well-planned and thought out which comes from her stage as a fashion editor for New York magazine and the now defunct Mirabella magazine. Even when she’s seen in Prada and other high end European labels, it comes across more as a great piece than a snobby expensive purchase. There are no mistakes with Tracee Ellis Ross and I love calling her a style icon.


Solange Knowles

Another young lady from a celebrity family with great style is Solange Knowles, Beyoncé’s younger sister. You are probably hiding under a rock if you haven’t noticed Solange meteoric rise to style star. With a love for bold patterns and prints, her style can’t be labeled exactly. Some times Solange, like Tracee, channels her inner Supreme but not as glam as her pop-star sister. The hair is a perfectly coiffed Afro, rather than lengthy locks. The gowns are long but less form fitting, the fabrics shiny but not beaded. Solange is not the anti-Beyoncé but her style is opposite of her famous sister. Combining new designers with J. Crew and a twist of urban garb, Solange gives you polished quirky hipster with a twist of Black exploitation cool.

Both of these ladies are slightly under the radar and may not be style stalked as much as Miley Cyrus or any of the Kardashians but they have fans and followers, including me. Solange Knowles and Tracee Ellis Ross are pretty much the only two on my list whose closet I’d like to raid.

Who are your style icons and why?


Native New Yorker Shaunya is the owner and curator of VintageShaun, a collection of vintage clothing with a contemporary vision that has been featured in NBC’s The Today Show. She is a longtime Goodwill fan and style expert. Last May, Shaunya collaborated in Goodwill’s Spring Fling the Excess, our Earth Day/spring cleaning promotion. Most recently, she styled models for Goodwill Suits You, a fashion show to mark October, National Disability Employment Awareness month.

You may also read her blog: or follow her on Twitter @vintageshaun

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