You know them because you follow them. We all do.
Words: Precious Onyeabor | Photography: Getty
It's not a debate – Instagram is fashion's new homepage. Given the platform's visual nature and easy interface, it's no surprise fashion fans took to it the way we did. Clubs have formed around common colour palettes, trends and aesthetics, and some are more prevalent than others, recognisable to all of us no matter what tribe you pledge. These are their leaders. You know them because you follow them. We all do.
As our cities, spaces and headspaces become more crowded with the clutter of modern life, there's something noble about rejecting the status quo and stripping it all away. The smug minimalist knows this, but the cool minimalist is just trying to save the world and simplify life, one anti-consumerist sentiment at a time. The result is a style philosophy that finds beauty only in the essential. If you don't need it, it's too much. If there are more than four colours, it's too loud. Negative space is luxurious. Silence is actual gold. Theirs is a lifestyle that inspires FOMO for the superhuman ability to want less. Bless their monochromatic hearts.
Follow: Ivania Carpio, Mirjam Flatau, Sara Crampton
When Anna Dello Russo said, "I don't have any daywear, it's a waste of time for me," I can't say I felt that, but her fellow maximalists can. The style reappeared as a reaction to normcore, the deadpan dad joke heard around the world. The maximalist is honestly not trying to be loud or command the room. She just defines 'normal' a little differently from the rest of us, because she believes that more is in fact more. All the world's a stage, not a dress rehearsal, so she comes prepared – both for life and for its street style photographers. Her jeans are embellished, her leather is painted, and rainbow sequin tees are her uniform. It's like she's never even heard of a little black dress.
Follow: Susie Bubble, Anna Dello Russo, Giovanna Battaglia
The Cool Kid
Whenever she's not posting strangely perfect candids and mirror selfies with that elusive cool factor you wish you could bottle, she's spending her Saturdays on set with a wunderkind designer you only just heard about. She ends up not only styling the lookbook, but starring in it too, and leaving with half the samples a few hours later. You can usually find her in the women's streetwear corner of Instagram. You don't really know what she does for a living – like, are you a junior streetwear buyer or an IT intern just dripping swag? She's probably PR, but she won't be for long.
Follow: Aleali May, Emily Oberg, Ava Nirui
Like the cool kid, she never really seems to work. With no desk job to tie her down, she's a modern nomad, working as a creative consultant of some sort for all the brands you love. Her stories are all athleisure looks, airport coffees and chic luggage (#havepassportwilltravel). Her feed displays her sharper workday style through gritty filters, probably shot at a street crossing in New York. She never looks the way mere mortals do stepping off a long-haul flight, all dehydrated and disheveled. Instead she's glowing, thanks to her famed in-flight skin routine featuring a 24k gold sheet mask.
Follow: Ruta Gyvyte, Margaret Zhang, Yoyo Cao
She's scrolling through her phone in a fluffy robe, hair half done and manicure nearly dry. It sounds familiar, and while you may do the same on the edge of a messy bed in a humble apartment, she's doing it backstage at Calvin Klein, while her makeup artist consults with Pat McGrath and Guido Paolo's assistant scratches around for hairspray. She's in Paris for fashion week – again. The rest of her feed is a strange stream of glamorous editorials and goofy but gorgeous selfies with other professionally beautiful people. There's the occasional island holiday and snaps from red carpet season, just to keep up the personal brand. She leaves for the next show with a limited edition Pat McGrath Labs hoodie but since she's also sweet enough to bring her agent homemade cookies, you can't hate her. Soz.
Follow: Jourdan Dunn, Malaika Firth, Imaan Hammam
The Well One
I have a few questions for this stylish, impossibly fit, glowing-from-the-inside life balancer: How do you look that good after hot yoga? Is that your fourth session at bootcamp this week or your fifth? Did you pack that slick winter outfit in a duffel bag and change in a sweaty, sticky locker room or do you live right above the studio? How do you not sweat through your edges if your daily workout is at 5 am? Is the bestie you're always posing with doing advanced Blogilates or her second round of BBG? I need your mushroom root cleansing tea recipe now that matcha is over, and if you could pass on the name of your acupuncturist that would be great. Also, please explain what adaptogens are. I need to know.
Follow: Hannah Bronfman, Vanessa Hong, Adrianne Ho, Lindsey Harrod
Did we miss any? Which one are you?