going against the grain: are you a trend-setter?

May 6, 2010
What constitutes a trend-setter and how do you locate a real one in the bucket full of fakes? In my experience, most trends are set by individuals who dare to step out of the box of normalcy, and go against the grain of what we consider the norm.

Going against the grain: Are you a trend-setter?
Words Faraji Toure
Original discussion can be found here

Most of us are influenced by the person or persons, most notably a public figure, be it music artist, actor or whomever we see who has dared to step out the proverbial box and create a style all their own. They may have created something new, revamped a style with a new twist, or simply brought back a style that has been long forgotten. In either case, there is something new for us to either applaud or shun. But I’ve learned that to some degree the masses don’t really care if that style fits them or not. They just want to mimic the style and swagger of those in the spotlight.

Case in point: The “skinny jean” craze we are currently in. Most men won’t admit that the skinny jeans they wear are uncomfortable. Why else would you wear skinny jeans and try to sag them? That answer may be in the aforementioned “with a new twist” term is used earlier. Is there a limit to what people will endure to look like the person they idolize?

(These jeans can not be comfy)
The other percentages of people are afraid to take a risk and find out what’s right and comfortable to them, and look to others to give them style. These people are not really concerned with copying the finesse of an actor or looking like their favorite music artist. They may even be able to come up with a style of their own. They look for what’s hot to wear in terms of name brands…we call them label whores. It’s enough for them to have a name brand on rather than to mimic a style per say. This type of thinking has filled the void for those who cannot handle the pressure of coming up with a style of their own and daring to be original. I believe this is what causes women to wear Ugg boots outside when the weather is warm enough for an open toe shoe or damn near freeze to death on line at their favorite club with next to nothing on–all for the sake of trends in fashion or the dreaded label.
(Women, please stop wearing these winter boots in 90 degree heat)
But what about those that set the trends? Let’s face it: those who are actually trend setters are a very small percentage of people that have big influence on the world at large. And nine times out of 10 they are not the artist you see parading back and forth on stage at a concert or videos, not even on the movie screen. More notably they are a small group of people we call stylist. They play a key “behind the scenes” role in what you see on TV, film and television. They’re the ones that come up with and make known to the world what is hot and what’s now in style. I’m sure there is a plethora of motivation and influences to their creative process, but they’re the people that have mastered the art of “putting things together” for the rest of us who don’t have a style of our own.

At some point in the lives of each of these self aware individuals, (and millions like them), they had decided to step outside of the normal fashion box and be genuine enough to develop their own sense of style. This process pushes fashion forward by creating new and exciting designs as well as attitudes towards dressing and style, that gives the rest of the world courage to try new things in an effort to find our own fashion identity.

Which trend will you follow next– will it be your own?