The Shoe Snob Blog

June 5, 2010

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Fashion World’s Most Influential Person

I recently did a guest post on my friend’s blog (Lady Peach) about the fashion world’s most influential person and I wanted to also share it with all of you. If you are interested in photography or just discovering cool new blogs, you should definitely check out her site, it has some of the most stunning and vivid photography that I have ever seen. Enjoy!

If a women was to answer this question, 95% might say Anna Wintour, partly because she was portrayed in the movie ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ and partly because many women know that she is the editor-in-chief of Vogue USA, a magazine considered by many to be a style Bible for women as well as quite possibly the most influential piece of publication in the fashion world. The average stylish man might say Tom Ford or Marc Jacobs because of their increasing popularity and devoted following within the last 5 years or so. However, considering this is such a subjective question and I am usually one to adhere to a contrary belief, I say that no matter who is answering, if they just stated one person they would be wrong!!It’s regular individuals (like the one’s pictured) who are the fashion world’s most influential. People who set themselves apart from the masses, try new things, new pieces, toy with new colors, vintage looks etc. These are the people who give inspiration to fashion designers, editors of publications, people like Scott Schuman (“The Sartorialist”) and everybody else involved in the fashion world. Sure there are people like Anna Wintour and designers like Tom Ford who may set themselves apart by utilizing their vast knowledge, connections, experience and power in the fashion world but they are not the source. They are receiving their inspiration from somewhere and I would be willing to bet that a good chunk of it is from regular people. Many great individuals in their respective industry are good at what they do because they are great observers. They absorb what they see, what they hear, what they feel and use that to create something greater.
A classic example of this comes from a story about the shoe brand called Hush Puppies. Hush Puppies are an American brand that started in the late 50’s and grew to huge success by the early 60’s having their brand tied to many stories regarding famous people and occurrences, including saving the life of Rolling Stones guitarist, Keith Richards. However, what relates them to this post is the fact that by the late 80’s, early 90’s their sales started dwindling drastically, leaving them upon the brink of extinction. But then the strangest thing occurred. A group of hipsters started wearing them (a gray suede slip-on to be exact) in and around the club scene of New York City. More and more people started to recognize these people, wondering where they could also find these gray suede shoes. It wasn’t long before 3 fashion designers caught wind of this and started featuring Hush Puppies in their collections. To give you number examples, Hush Puppies in ’94 were down to 30,000 pairs sold, in ’95 that number grew to 430,000 pairs sold and in ’96 was four times greater than ’95. This just goes to show power of regular individuals and how our they can influence not only high-powered designers, but a country and even the world!

Pictures provided by The Sartorialist