By Lauren Baker
Whether they are creating new statements or staying true to the city style, Chicago fashion bloggers are creating names for themselves locally and nationally. But with so many bloggers with so many different styles, it becomes difficult finding the right blog to follow. By examining the trends in fashion icons local Chicago style, Medill Reports has picked four bloggs to follow in 2017. Although each one of these personalities demonstrates a different style from the rest, these five bloggers express how the power of the freedom of fashion can not only build confidence but also lead to the better understanding of oneself.
QUEEN OF SUBURBIA
Stella Maria Fanega’s blog Style With Stella writes to her Chicago readers by applying vintage flair onto current trends. The Filipina, who resides in Naperville, has created a blog that allows people to view different looks for any type of day. Fanega says that she is inspired by her mother’s vintage style and the looks of Rihanna and Zendaya. And while her blog showcases her diversity in fashion, there is a deeper message she is trying to communicate. She says, “The focus of my blog is mainly to embrace beauty. I like to make sure that whatever I choose to wear, helps me embrace myself for who I am not and not someone else, like celebrities or other bloggers. It is important to truly be who you are, and I believe that’s by embracing your beauty and accepting yourself.”
The fashionista’s blog also includes a fashion gallery with models of ethnic backgrounds, highlights of women describing what beauty means for them and shots of herself and her personal looks. Fanega is a great example to follow because of her ability to diverse current trends that are particular to her own style.
DOUBLE THE TROUBLE
When it comes to fashion, two plus-size women are showing that you can be beautiful at any size. With the mission “where fashion meets voluptuous beauty”, bloggers of As I Am Chanel Dotson and Le’Cherese Johnson have come together to create a platform showcasing the opportunities plus size women can take part.
Johnson says, “A lot of times limitations are put on plus-size women but neither one of us lives by those rules. We want our audience to feel that empowerment and be encouraged to embrace their unique beauty also. It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it! No matter your size. ”
Plus-size women should be on the lookout for these bloggers because of the lack of representation of women of color who are plus that are in the blogging world. In a city where being plus size and African-American can be both a reward and challenge, bloggers Dotson and Johnson are showcasing their talent in what bigger women can and will do. Plus size women can look to Dotson and Johnson as authoritative voices, blog because of their honesty. Dotson says “If something does not look right, I will be the first to say ‘No honey, that may not be the best look for you, but let’s try this.’ No sugar coating on my end!”
A LITTLE PIZZAZ
Take CoCo Chanel and add Erykah Badu to the mix, and you have created the essence of Kikora Mason. The author of KiKo Speaks is reaching to creative black millennials by writing about the “musings of her life, style and the spirit.”
Kikora says that “Fashion is the fusion of trends and personal; you can be stylish without being particularly fashionable, if that makes sense. What it comes down to is the personality of each person and how they’re able to incorporate that into their looks.”
Audience members can become inspired to create anything from casual Sunday brunch attire to conversations regarding the influence of Chance the Rapper. Sections like life, music, style and spiritually are all available for others be inspired for their own personal looks. Chicago fashion junkies can align their views of fashion with Kikora because of her personal views of fashion. Mason is a great example to follow for any Chicago resident that loves style but also loves the practically of clothes. The blogger suggests that Chicago fashion is more practical than other cities, like New York or LA, but still comprises its own level of style that is distinct from other areas.
GENTLEMAN OF THE HOUR
A Chicago man is taking the classic style of the traditional suit and is adding bold colors with a focus on detail. Xavier J. Biles or X, is the blogger behind The Gentlemen’s Guide. Men around Chicago should be on the look out for the future of this blogger because of his twist on the traditional style of the business suit. Biles and his business partner Marquez Davison have launched a blog in June of 2016 where men can view and shop from looks that are inspired to make a bold statement in a crowded room. When creating his own look, the blogger explains “processing a look simply is formed on colors and boldness. Looks range from modern versions of formal suits to casual outfits embracing a clean urban style . Detailing specific knots in your tie or even folds to your pocket square changes the outlook of your entire wardrobe.”
Biles is trying to help men “to become a distinguished gentlemen” and is attracted to wearing a clean suit or a casual outfit with some particular details . With influences like musician Jidenna, Biles is reaching out to men across the Chicago area of how to be more dapper.