We can’t say we’re surprised, but the results are in: Harry Styles is the fashion icon of the year 2021.
The British singer Harry Styles has come a long way since starting out in the boy band One Direction – and not just in the world of music. In just a few years, the global star has also become a veritable fashion icon, with his gender-fluid outfits inspiring millions of people around the world, as a new study reveals.
Harry Styles has many talents, it seems. Whether in music, movies or fashion, the global star seems to turn everything he touches into gold, and above all knows how to adapt brilliantly to the current – and numerous – changes underway in society. Not content with success on stage or in theatres, the former One Direction member has totally metamorphosed, playing with fashion to serve up a new vision of style –one that shuns convention, not to mention some of the norms and expectations imposed for decades by an industry that’s also in the throes of change.
Harry Styles is inspiring the toughest generation of all
The result is clear. Harry Styles now inspires a whole generation — and not just any generation — the one that’s undoubtedly the most difficult to apprehend and win over, Gen Z. The British singer is a popular style icon in no less than 27 countries around the world, where his outfits have been searched for more than any other celebrity in 2021, according to a study conducted by Money.co.uk. From the UK to the US, Spain, Canada, Finland, Iceland, Egypt, Sweden and the Netherlands… the world has fallen for his style to the point of relegating Billie Eilish to second place among the most popular celebrity style icons this year.
But the American singer isn’t far behind in the ranking. Her outfits are top of the searches in 23 countries around the world — a great performance. After making the cover of Vogue UK and being snapped in a breathtaking Oscar de la Renta dress at the MET gala, the singer has been inspiring fashion fans in Belgium, Brazil, Malaysia, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey, Morocco, Senegal and India.
Is gender-fluid fashion the real style icon of 2021?
Between them, Billie Eilish and Harry Styles clearly appear to have dominated the fashion limelight this year. And their taste for gender-fluid looks no doubt has something to do with that. Both stars have clearly distinguished themselves with their willingness to break codes and stereotypes, reflecting broader changes underway in society. And while neither star is giving up traditionally masculine or feminine clothes altogether, they both play with fashion however they like, dressing according to their personality, their whims and their fancies, rather than following any fashion diktats.
Whether it’s a suit or evening dress for Billie Eilish, or flared pants, open shirt and shiny gold chain or a dress with a feather boa for Harry Styles, both use fashion as a new form of self-expression. It’s like a new genre in its own right, and it’s one that appeals, especially to younger followers. And that’s without counting the various clean and vegan commitments made by the two stars when launching their respective beauty products this year. This, again, is music to fans’ ears.
Kim Kardashian: Still got it
In the rest of the ranking, Ariana Grande takes third place, with her outfits being the most-searched in 14 countries around the world, including France. Then comes Kim Kardashian – whose style rules the way in Armenia, Botswana, Namibia and Australia – and her two sisters, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, who are also still popular this year.
This year’s new entries include Rihanna, Cardi B, Justin Bieber, Addison Rae, Kate Middleton, Doja Cat, Selena Gomez, David Beckham, and two Blackpink singers – Rosé and Jisoo – whose outfits will be closely followed throughout 2022.
This story first appeared in Prestige Online – Singapore