5 Of Our Favorite Style Icons Channel Fashion's Most Famous It Girls

Who’s your sartorial idol, your stylish guiding light? Whose attitude, wardrobe, and approach to life informs your daily dress? Is it a parent, longtime friend, or a famous woman-of-the-moment such as Alexa, Kate, Solange, or Tavi? Or, perhaps you're one of the clever few who find inspiration in style stars of the past like Audrey, Coco, Edie, or Stevie.
To celebrate those chic history majors who turn to ladies of yesterday to dress for tomorrow, we've teamed with Coach — whose timeless, iconic designs inspired its new, luxurious, aptly named Legacy collection — to profile five aspiring fashion icons and the woman who've inspired them. Click forward to find out how personal style can weave together lives (and decades), see these fabulous young women dress their fashion heroes, and learn how there's nothing more modern than a touch of the classics.
Start the slide show here or click on your favorite It Girl above.
Photographed by Kava Gorna; Styled by Emily Barnes; Hair by Adrian Clark; Makeup by Tiffany Patton.
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A worldly, well-experienced woman of 26, Annabelle Dexter-Jones still has a certain gamine, child-like beauty. Maybe it’s because of her Cheshire Cat smile, her delicate makeup-free looks, or her penchant for casual, boyish Parisian-inspired slacks, sweaters, and varsity jackets. Whatever it is, the adorable model, actress, fashion designer, and sister to Mark, Charlotte, and Samantha Ronson steals our little hearts every time she pops up in party-scene photographs. So, when we slicked her hair, reddened her lips, and slipped her into a red-carpet dress worthy of her silver-sceen icon, Lauren Bacall, we were floored. Suddenly the flirty fille was a femme fatale, just waiting to grind the heart of any noir antihero to a fine pulp. Turns out, at her core, Annabelle is just as tough and uncompromising as the brassy, beautiful star of To Have and Have Not and The Big Sleep. We’re never looking at Dexter-Jones or Bacall the same way again.

Coach Legacy Leather Slim Envelope, $218, available at Coach.
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“When I was 13, I watched Lauren Bacall tell Humphrey Bogart to, ‘just whistle,’ in To Have And Have Not. I've idolized her ever since. Everything I’ve seen her do since — for all these years — is just so effortlessly cool.”

“It's rare a woman can gracefully transition from modeling to acting without making you question her skills. Oh, and that voice of hers — it can make any man or woman absolutely melt! She’s so strong, she even stole the screen from Bogart! That kind of calm, refined power is so inspiring to me as a woman. Even though my personal style can change from time to time — and is often very different from hers — I always try to keep her elegance, her presence in mind.”

Coach Legacy Colorblock Leather Candace Medium Carryall, $458, available at Coach.
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Tennessee Thomas is a bit of a legacy herself. The daughter of Elvis Costello and The Attractions drummer, Pete Thomas, Tennessee went into the family business, providing the beats for the beloved (and now on hiatus) It band, The Like. Thomas’ other claim to fame? Her unique, retro look — a combination of mid-‘60s Brit modness with a touch of relaxed, Southern California spirit. So, it seems almost natural that her personal style touchstone is Jane Birkin, the English actress, model, and singer who became an icon of casual, cool style appearing in Antonioni’s Blow Up, cooing with her longtime lover, Serge Gainsborg, on "Je t'aime", or inspiring (and starring in) countless photo editorials. A mother to a second generation of fashionable femmes — photographer Kate Barry and actress/singers Charlotte Gainsborg and Lou Doillon — Birkin is also a style matriarch to any chic lady with long, straight hair, and a penchant for peasant dresses — like a certain drummer we know.

Coach Legacy Leather Tanner Tote, $498, available at Coach.
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“Jane Birkin always looks great — in Wonderwall, Blow Up, or just stepping off a train looking elegant and happy with all her little children. Obviously, ‘60s Mod dollybird is my favorite look and people are always comparing me to her — I carry a basket, I have a similar hairstyle… but I wear a lot more makeup and probably overdo it in the outfit department."

“I saw her perform in New York this winter. She was brilliant, sweet, thoughtful, and elegant. Performing the songs of her ex-lover, Serge Gainsbourg, on the 20th anniversary of his death, she brought tears to my eyes. It was so romantic and sweet of her to carry on his legacy. It was also a benefit for the victims of the Japanese nuclear-power-plant disaster (she met her backing band there). She seems like a lovely person with an equally lovely, sweet voice.”

Coach Legacy Leather iPad Clutch, $178, available at Coach.
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When we were young, Denise Huxtable was the hip, hot, sweet style hero of an older sister we always wished for. But as we got older, we started to realize that the way Denise dressed and carried herself was no television fiction — those beautiful boho-androgynous outfits, amazing attitude, and stunning looks were actress Lisa Bonet’s chic reality. Even as she’s stepped out of the spotlight and into a more private life of motherhood, she’s continued to inspire us with a style and spirit that defies easy categorization (or description). The same can be said for New York's Amy Sall — an aspiring journalistic powerhouse, who's distinctive look has earned her as many placements on popular style blogs as her writing talents have earned her bylines. A contributor to Lurve magazine and a vet of Vogue, Amy may just be a contributor now, but she'll be coming to a masthead near you in the future.

Coach Legacy Leather Penny Shoulder Purse, $198, available at Coach.
Coach Legacy Leather Mini Saddle Bag, $158, available at Coach.
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“Lisa Bonet has really managed to carve her own space outside the rules of mainstream society. Over the years, she’s developed a wonderful sense of self that translates beautifully into the way she dresses. See, Lisa doesn't dress for anyone but herself. She has fun with her style — androgynous one minute and a bohemian earth queen the next. There are no bounds with her.”

“Personally, she's influenced me to play with fashion, to not take it too seriously, or box myself in to one aesthetic. Like her, I enjoy playing with proportions and silhouettes. It is what it is and I wear what I like. Her free spirit reminds me to be myself, inside and outside the sartorial realm.”

Coach Legacy Leather Large Clutch, $158, available at Coach.
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Ysa Perez doesn’t just photograph It Girls, she is one. As comfortable in front of the camera as behind it, she’s trained her lens on rappers, rockers, models, and some of your favorite film actors, while also catching the eye of photogs with her dark, delicate looks. Look at her portfolio and you’ll see her sharp, bright work is a match for her cutting, city style. It was a tad of a surprise, then, when she picked spritely French film ingénue Anna Karina as her style icon. Granted, there’s a certain, similarity in their physical features, but we've always looked at Ysa as a far tougher creature than Goddard's bubbly star. But then Perez started to open up about what she loved about her chosen inspiration, and we started to see it: The fearlessness, the casual, crafted style, the abundant energy and curiosité — the two could be twins! Thanks for the education, Ysa.

Coach Zoee Heel, $188, available at Coach.
Coach Legacy Leather Soft Wallet, $118, available at Coach.
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“Anna Karina first won me over in Une Femme est une Femme; I instantly fell in love with her. She was the cutest! Even her mannerisms were ridiculously adorable (I'm all for quirky). I think it’s that so much of her personality shined through her film roles. I love adventurous, unapologetic woman that aren't afraid of putting themselves out there like that.”

“Her outfits always seem effortless, but still somehow look put together. She has that French easygoing sense of style that makes me so envious. She could dress like a tom with a sweater and trousers, but then she’d pin her hair up, put on a cat eye and be the girliest girl. I love how she was able to be both at once (anyone who knows me would say I'm a guys girl, so…)”

Coach Legacy Leather Penny Shoulder Purse, $198, available at Coach.
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You might have to lean a little closer to the speaker to hear the similarity between Alex Winston’s crystalline, flowing vocals and the grainy peals of Patti Smith. But as their voices loop and dive, attacking each note from unfamiliar angles, you’ll find it. So, too, with their style: Winston has cultivated a relaxed, smoky glamour, whereas Smith — one of the original androgynous female rockers — is famous for looking more like Mick Jagger on the cover of her Horses album than, well, Mick Jagger. But both these women confront the observer with an unconventional, beguiling, and undeniably sexy beauty, complimented with sartorial nods to the abandoned glamours of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s (Smith just chose menswear instead of blouses and fur coats). When we wiped off Winston’s glossy lip color and untamed her tumbling hair in our photo studio, the woman staring back at us certainly could have howled “Because the Night” or “Gloria” — a stunning, electric transformation we were glad to witness.

Leather Double Wrap Turnlock Bracelets in vachetta and black, $48 each, available at Coach.
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“A lot of musicians these days wear their music on their sleeves... literally — costumes, wigs, gimmicks. Patti Smith isn’t about that. She personifies true individuality — she’s real and raw. Patti doesn't follow trends, she sets them by simply being herself. You know, she never set out to be a musician. She wrote poems at the Chelsea Hotel and someone one day just said, ‘Why not set them to music?’ She's a true artist, a tough bitch, and a commanding presence. We need more women like that. I try to embrace and retain that mindset when going about my work.”

“Aside from being a fan of her music, I think Patti has an effortless look. It’s not so much about what she's wearing, but how confidently she wears it. I'm slightly more feminine (I don't tend to have my shirt off as much as she does), but we both like to stick to basics. I’ve also got to love that Patti chose my hometown, Detroit, to call home. I wonder what her favorite local spots are.”

Coach Petrina Clog, $258, available at Coach.
Coach Legacy Colorblock Mini Mini Crossbody, $138, available at Coach.

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