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Our stylists’ unexpected style icons

Our stylists’ unexpected style icons

There’s something particularly appealing about a style icon who isn’t trying hard to be a style icon. And while they might not always be the obvious choice to turn to for style inspiration, that’s exactly what makes them so compelling to our stylists, who often use them as references when doling out style advice or preparing for a photo shoot. So we asked them to name drop some of their favourites and what it is about these individuals that makes them so unexpectedly stylish. Toby and Freddie, take it away. 

Harrison Ford 

Harrison Ford is an ‘if you know, you know’ kind of icon. His style is super down to earth and wearable, mainly made up of stone-cold classic menswear items – like a solid pair of jeans, a shirt, a great-fitting blazer. But what really makes the looks he wears are the personal touches, like how unbuttoned his shirt is and the way he rolls the sleeves. 

It also helps that he’s from the era of celebrity when style was so less sanitised and packaged up. He didn’t start acting until his 30s, so he had already established a sense of personal style before being thrust into the limelight. His carpentry roots shine through in his ‘70s take on workwear. Han Solo (the role that made him famous) is also the coolest guy in the galaxy, so it stands to reason that he’d be equally as cool on Earth. 

My favourite look would have to be when he wore flared jeans, a sports jacket, and a cap while being pelted with snowballs by Carrie Fisher. The absolute dream. - Stylist Toby Standing 

Little Simz

Little Simz teaches us that we don't have to feel tied to or constrained in one style. She rocks the most casual styles to the most formal, mixing men’s and women’s to create something entirely unique. One of her signature looks is a tracksuit – usually from the brand Seventh, who constructs its ‘airport suit’ with a heavyweight scuba fabric and cuts it to a flattering boxy shape. It’s these little differences that elevate it beyond a typical tracksuit. 

When not in a tracksuit, you can often find her wearing a vintage-cut, patterned suit, and always with flair – she’s not afraid of clashing patterns or colours or garments that typically lean a bit masculine. Most of all we can learn to be brave with how we dress and take influence and elements from all styles. - Stylist Freddie Kemp 

Patti Smith

She’s the queen of androgyny and a punk poet laureate, and I’m constantly plunging to the depths of Google and Pinterest to find images of Patti Smith in the heyday of ‘70s New York City. She talks at length in her books about finding coats in thrift stores and handing onto shoes through years of wear, which speak a lot to my approach and love of second-hand clothing. 

I’ve been into the aesthetic and music of Patti and her contemporaries since my teenage years, and it shows no signs of fading. I’ve found myself looking to her even more since losing weight and growing out some scraggly long black locks. - Toby Standing 

Words: Allison Pavlick
Styling: Toby Standing & Freddie Kemp