9 New Style Stars Taking Over!

You save their every editorial. You’ve dedicated whole Pinterest boards to their looks (which is, yes, a little creepy). They’re actors, models, writers, and, yes, fashion editors who influence not just what you wear, but how you wear it. Today, your cycle of obsession starts anew, as we hook you up with nine new stylish folks you can start stalking on Instagram, ASAP. Talented, well dressed, and unspeakably cool, these characters won’t just inspire a few new ensembles, they’ll make you rethink awesome style from the get-go. So, prime those Pins — you’ve got new boards to build.
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Photographed by Kava Gorna.
Bespoke Revivalists
Sam and Ashley Owens, musicians, designers, and bloggers
He’s a respected and beloved cult musician and graphic artist. She’s the noted stylist and the woman behind Grandpa Style, the clicky online repository for her cultural and sartorial fixations. Together they form The Owens Family, their still in-utero musical project. An artistic power couple, each donned their personal take on the power suit.

Ashley: “Sam and I are very different from one another, but we both listen to each other’s criticism a lot, so our styles have wound up blending together. I went to Parsons for fashion design where I focused on menswear, so I was the one who worked with a tailor in Queens for our sharp suited look. Also, we both grew up thrifting and wearing clothes that weren’t from the time we were living in. Now we thrift together.”
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Photographed by Kava Gorna.
Sam: “My parents were living off-the-grid in the woods before having children — a part of that second wave of country hippies. So, they’re very do-it-yourself. My mom taught my brother and I to sew when we were younger. If we ever had an idea of something to make, she’d take us to the fabric store and had us pick out a fabric and pattern for us to make. They instilled the notion that you can make anything yourself.”

Ashley: “I also grew up with a lot of secondhand things. It was the only way my mom and I could buy clothes. So, once I was able to buy what I really wanted, every piece came with a sense of pride, and to me, the suit is the epitome of a perfect thing — something to really cherish. That feeling keeps growing as I learn more and more about fitting and the history of tailoring.”

Sam: “People say the suit’s a shackle, but that’s because people think you can only be in an office with one. People don’t expect you to do something out of the norm in a suit. But, look at old photos of pioneers like John Muir. You’ll see him tramping around the woods in a three-piece suit. That was his hiking wardrobe!”
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Photographed by Kava Gorna.
YOLOcore
Haley Wollens, stylist and filmmaker
She calls herself a “big-city, small-town girl," and it fits. Turning the grime of her native Lower East Side into something glam, she’s styled looks for a murderers' row of hip magazines and artists (Blood Orange and Miley Cyrus), created dozens of hallucinogenically distracting short films and GIFs, and is working on at least one upcoming accessories line. We can’t wait for that last one.

“I’m from New York, so I’m worldly. But, I also live within five miles of where I grew up — the East Village on 11th Street at 2nd Avenue — so, there’s this small-town side to my rough, tough, city-girl look. Let me tell you, there were prostitutes on my block when I was a kid. There were all those weird East Village freaks. That was the norm. My mom told me this funny story the other day: We were walking on the street when I was a kid, and we saw some crazy guy with some crazy outfit and no pants. I said, ‘Mom, he’s so beautiful.’ Then he turned around and passed out. The moral of the story is I’ve always been able to see the beautiful in the grimy."

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Photographed by Kava Gorna.
“So, usually, I’ll combine that beautiful grime with the laws of high fashion to create my look. I’ll mix something from the 99-cent store with something from Chanel. I’ve always been about the high/low. I’m trying to grow up a little with the way I dress — high heels, boots, and stuff. But, I’m still pretty true to my tomboy, oversized-sweater-and-a-baseball-cap look.

I’ve always loved playing dress-up, though. When I was a kid, that was my number-one thing. My mom and I used to play a game where we’d describe what we’d wear to a ball. I would go into such detail as a child. Now, I tap into the make-believe when I’m dressing other people. In my own life, I try to be stripped down. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry and so on. The way I dress other people is the fantasy. I always try to go for the extreme and let people dial it down from there. That’s where the fun is, you know?"
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Photographed by Kava Gorna.
AfriPrep
Oroma Elewa, photographer and editor
Through her dress, constant Fashion Week presence, and beautiful magazine, Pop’Africana, Nigerian-born photographer Oroma Elewa evolved into New York’s standard bearer for the best of West African style. With Pop’Africana closed, she keeps the flame burning and her photo portfolio growing at her photoblog called, you guessed it, Oroma's Therapy.

“You know, I’ve never been a person who borrows heavily from icons. I’ve always admired people for the way they think or how they lived their lives — the attitude they put out into the world. Like, early on, my looks came from a lot of imagination, reading my favorite authors like Chinua Achebe and being exposed to things like comic books and Frida Kahlo in our semi-metropolitan area of Nigeria. Oh, and especially my grandmother. She loved velvet and Nigerian fabrics. She valued cloth, not particularly clothing that’s already sewn — cloth. She just dressed herself and carried herself with…regality."
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Photographed by Kava Gorna.
“When I think of my own take on Afro-chic style, I think of my grandma and African women like her; it’s a juxtaposition between cosmopolitanism [and] tradition. When I first came to the U.S., a lot of things struck me in Brooklyn’s black community or Harlem. The style there was different but comfortable and with a lot of character. It’s influenced mine as I’ve became more of a woman.

Still, there are things I can’t just let go: braiding my hair, henna, or the custom-made flat sandals that I wear all year round. I don’t think I’m making a conscious decision. These elements are innate; I can’t get rid of them. It’s like eating African food once a week. If I don’t, I feel unsettled.”
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Photographed by Kava Gorna.
Bloke Chic
JD Samson, musician and producer
A friend of ours recently referred to JD Samson as “that guy in Le Tigre." On some level, she’d probably be okay with that. Long, long before her work with Le Tigre, MEN, or her now beloved DJ night, PAT, the former Jocelyn Samson knew that whoever she would become, and whatever her future held, it had nothing to do with pinafores and peplum. Today, it really, really doesn’t.

"My style is about sticking out without sticking out. What I wear is specific and particular, but also organic. Like one of my T-shirts has paint on it, so I wear it with socks that match that stain. I’m always casual, but conceptually casual with making female masculinity a beautiful thing is my fashion goal."
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Photographed by Kava Gorna.
“I’m very comfortable with my performance of my gender. It doesn’t feel strange to me. I mean, I’ve spent most of my life passing as a 12-year-old boy. Most of the time, I’m able to go about my day that way. But, every day, I see people whispering about me, wondering, ‘Is that a boy or a girl?’ Some days I think, ‘God, this world sucks.’ Some days, it’s exactly what I want to have happen. I want that visibility; I want these conversations. Other days, I just feel super-punk, like I’m creating this little hiccup in the machine of life. It’s exciting.

But, my relationship to my own masculinity is changing all of the time. It’s always been important for me to maintain the image of 12-year old-boy, but as I get older, some things have been changing. Like, recently, I adopted some dress shoes. I mean, you know when you see a guy with his kid and they’re walking down the street getting ice cream or something, and there’s this whole J.Crew-meets-I-just-painted-the-house vibe? I want to look like that guy!”

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Photographed by Kava Gorna.
Art Haus
Hisham Bharoocha, artist and musician
Japanese born and SoCal raised Bharoocha first gained notice as the founding drummer of Brooklyn’s noisy, experimental, and much admired Black Dice. Now, he continues his music through Soft Circle and a school of other, ambitious projects, alongside a flourishing art and photography career that's fueled numerous fashion collaborations, including his own eyewear line, Phosphorescence.

“Everyone’s style is based on his or her history. We all have that special piece of clothing in our memories, and we’re always trying to replicate the feeling you got when you first got it. For me, there was this amazing safari shirt made out of a textile that looked like grass with lions popping out of it. I was probably six when I got that. I’ve always liked overwhelming and intense things, anything really dizzying. It translates to my work, but also my style."

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Photographed by Kava Gorna.
“See, I was born in Japan. When I was two, I moved to Toronto. From there, I moved to California, Los Angeles to San Diego. I was in Southern California all [through] elementary school, which is where my skateboarding influence comes from. Finally, I moved back to Tokyo in eighth grade. So, there’s this nostalgia of being a skateboarding kid who got into punk and heavy metal to my style. But, there’s also the story of a kid who moved to Tokyo and got into different types of visual art influencing it, too — a very urban influence. But, I don’t necessarily try to make an entire outfit reference something. It’s only when I really pick it apart that I’ll see why I chose certain things.

Another influence comes from what I’m making at the time. Right now, I’ve gotten into DJing, so I’m incorporating the minimalistic style of British DJs — a pattern on top and a flat color on bottom, and either a technicolored sneaker or a shoe closer to the color of my pants. It’s about balance. Hey, I used to wear a different color for every piece in an outfit! I’ve toned it down a little as I grow older.”
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Photographed by Kava Gorna.
Past Perfect
Marina Muñoz, stylist
You can see a bit of everywhere that stylist Marina Muñoz has lived in all of her vintage ensembles: Baton Rouge, Argentina, the Berkshires, New Jersey, NYC. The sun-faded, midcentury glories of Buenos Aires, in particular, own a very big piece of her heart and her style, both of which the former model has applied in her work for Tucker, Glamour, Madewell, Vogue, and others.

“I’m very nostalgic. I cling to beautiful memories. Maybe that’s my Latin side coming out. Anyway, I’m quite visual, so clothes are how I remember the good times, the good memories. I pull from my past and the places I’ve lived. Like my parents had a leather-goods store when we lived in the Berkshires, so I grew up surrounded by beautiful alpaca sweaters, ponchos, and carpincho gloves. Then, I left New York when I was 18, right after I graduated high school when my parents were separated. I went to Argentina, which is where my love for the way the gauchos dress began."

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Photographed by Kava Gorna.
“I lived in San Palermo [Buenos Aires], the mecca of vintage. You have to remember, once, Argentina was a booming country and San Telmo, a thriving, beautiful city — beautiful clothes and beautiful cars — until the Peróns ruined it. All of that beauty still lives on in a small way. SSan Telmo's little boutiques and great vintage stores...that sell old Dior. Also, my dad’s from Argentina, and Argentines are always well-dressed. My grandparents even ran the Harrods in Argentina. So, it’s a part of me, that old-Argentine style.

So, yes, I collect vintage. I recycle what my mother wore in the '80s and whatever my grandma gave me. But, I also like utilitarian pieces, like old work clothes from Vietnam or even old kimonos. You know, I went to Cambodia, and I found it to be the most inspiring experience. So many people there have almost nothing, but they’ll take polyester pajamas from Kmart and wear it with such beauty and grace. They take the patterns and, whether they know it or not, create looks Dries van Noten or Hermès would put on the runway!”
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Photographed by Kava Gorna.
The Blank Canvas
Shantell Martin, artist
A shirt and shorts was all Shantell Martin was ever interested in wearing. Anything else would soon run afoul of her constant artistic or athletic pursuits. Her (amazing) hair, too, is more a function of comfort and convenience than designed style. But, it was when the artist extended her "3-D drawing" techniques to the canvas of her clothing that something truly special sparked.

“I destroy things. I’ll buy an expensive pair of jeans and buy a nice shirt, end up wearing them in my studio, and I’ll get paint on them. It used to bother me at first, but I actually have a pair of jeans that I’ve had for 10 years that I bought when I started art school. I look at them now, and they’re fantastic! They have notes on them, names on them, and 10 years later, I remember them all. There’s something precious about mark-making and keeping those accidents alive and well on your clothes. There are memories in them”
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Photographed by Kava Gorna.
“Pretty much all my clothes are white [with] drawings on them now. It’s a uniform, but a recent one — only within the last year or year-and-a-half. I’ve had to grow into it, just as I’ve had to grow into myself as an artist and individual. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but I also knew I had to wait. It was a matter of confidence in my work, a matter of it not feeling contrived, a matter of it feeling natural and not forced. One day, I turned around and noticed it was already happening.

With my art, my medium is everything. Some artists are painters who use canvas. Some are sculptors who use metal. I use pen; either they’re digital or analogue. The world is my canvas. I’ll draw on cars, shirts, people, shoes — but I’m not going into anything with a plan or expectation. It’s about the experience. If it’s someone's face or a wall, I approach them all in the same way.”
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Photographed by Kava Gorna.
Greaser Glam
Caroline Ventura, designer and founder, Brvtvs Jewelry
If you can get past her disarming looks, you might notice some grit under Caroline Ventura’s fingernails. The former skater and, yes, part-time model has been collecting a little every day as she conceives, cuts, hammers, and polishes her minimalist creations for Brvtvs in her New York City studio. Her clothes, too, are a bit high fashion, a bit blue collar — ideal work wear for a tomboy jewelry designer.

“I think jewelry is automatically associated with women, but the process of actually making it…well, let’s just say fingernails are constantly dirty. Sometimes I look like a mechanic with all the black, metal, and grit all over my hands. And, when you’re sitting at a jewelry bench all day, well, you don’t usually want to be doing that in a dress. So, I wear what I’m more comfortable in — jeans. Oh, and I might throw a tailored jacket on at night with some lipstick.”
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Photographed by Kava Gorna.
“But, in both my work and what I wear, I love the contrast of using something that’s typically masculine and creating something delicate and beautiful and feminine. So, if I’m really getting set up, I’ll wear a pair of men’s trousers made out of silk or a men’s button-up in a feminine palette or a rounded collar instead of a traditional pointed one — masculine tailoring with feminine materials.

You know, I always joke with my mom that she ruined me on clothing at birth. The outfit she bought me to bring me home from the hospital was from Neiman Marcus. She instilled expensive taste in me (even though I couldn’t necessarily afford it). She bought me all these cute dresses and all, but I was completely against it. Instead, I was really envious of the way my brother could dress. He could wear whatever he wanted!

That changed a little as I got a little older. I started to get into the process of design and noticing who was designing the clothes I liked. I think as I became more comfortable with myself, I realized that being a girl is awesome. That just because I want to wear something frilly doesn’t mean I can’t go kick a soccer ball around afterward or get dirty. It took me a while to embrace my femininity, and, you know what, I still don’t like to overdo it.”
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