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5 Black Fashion Icons Who Influence Our Style

Amber Williams | 1/9/2014, 6:18 p.m.
As black women continue to make strides in music, media and beauty, it’s worth noting that, in the process, their ...
Michelle Obama

None of us are 100% original in our style. Humans just aren’t that creative. Let’s be honest. We’re inspired by people, places and things. People, especially, create possibilities in clothing that a blouse on a rack just can’t accomplish.

As black women continue to make strides in music, media and beauty, it’s worth noting that, in the process, their fashion sense serves to inspire our own style. Here are 5 black fashion icons that do this exactly right, every time.

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Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae

The feminist fashionista takes advantage of every public opportunity to make a fashion or beauty statement. Her message? I’m electric. Her signature complement? A shiny coif atop the usual black and white form-fitting pant and top separate ensemble. She is consistently true to herself, her style and her music. The girl can make even sneaker wedges look good. Now that’s power.

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Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee has this sort of understated old time grace, unexpectedly mixed with quirkiness and edge. She blends oversized skirts with sheer blouses, wild hair and red lips. Or fitted 60s-style dresses beyond the knee with shimmer clutches and exotic jewelry. Or even better, structured blazers with unstructured bottoms. Her fashion sense doesn’t make sense, which is why we’re so inspired to take risks just by looking at her.

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Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Since her inauguration as FLOTUS, Michelle has graced the cover of countless magazines including Vogue, Essence, Time, Glamour and Ebony. She has single-handedly put several designers on the map like Jason Wu, Tracy Reese, Isabel Toldeo and Thom Browne. Through her outfit selections, we are told that true style does not require the overexposure of skin.

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June Ambrose

June Ambrose

Initially known as a music video stylist for Missy Elliot, Puffy, Busta Rhymes, R. Kelly and Jay-Z, June has become one of the premier fashion-forward stylists to the stars. With her extraordinarily unique style, we are reminded, among other things, that turbans and fur hats really do work with balloon pants and 7-inch platform boots.

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Marie Denee

Marie Denee

Marie, creator of The Curvy Fashionista blog, is one of the most influential plus-sized fashion bloggers in the industry. Her style and spirit inspires women with curves to not only embrace their figure, but to also rock the latest and greatest of trends. In 2013, she graced the cover of Daily Venus Diva and appeared on The Ricki Lake Show.

What black fashion icons inspire you? Whose style do you regularly channel?

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