|Willow Smith at the 2012 Kids Choice Awards in a Chanel Spring 2012 dress|
I've decided to start a little segment on the blog about the people I admire called "Sui Generis Swag Icon of the Week". 'Sui generis' meaning unique and 'swag' is style. Those of you who follow my twitter know that I use the term "sui generis swag" quite often. Being the basketball fan that I am, I first created the term to describe Craig Sager's sense of style. If you don't know who Craig Sager is please look him up and you'll see why he inspired me. Did you see the suits? I know right. Insane. Swaggah.
For the first feature I want to talk about Willow Smith, the tween queen at the tip of every tongue these days, in part due to her fame but mostly because of her style choices. The 11-year-old is certainly at the centre of the style spotlight what with her widely varying haristyles and hair colours (Rihanna got nothing on The Wils), her edgy shoe collection and overall cutting edge style. What I've observed with all the press coverage is that a lot of people have opinions about what this child does or should do. The keyword there being "child", a noun people seem to forget applies to little Ms. Smith. I've seen some pretty outrageous shit said about her (and to her). Shit I don't even think people would say to adults so it's baffling that it's being spewed so vehemently at a child.
I saw a video of an interview between Michael Yo and Willow on "The Yo Show" (really Michael?) where she talked about how her style evolved over the years (check it out below). What struck me most about the interview is how completely innocent she was. She doesn't seem motivated by press coverage, or attention but genuinely seems like she's just about having fun and expressing herself. Which is what children do!
From a fashion pov Willow Smith has a lot of the same characteristics we love about our own style icons but people criticize it because of her age. Yes she cut off her hair, dyed it almost every colour of the rainbow, wears crazy shoes and mixes prints and is unpredictable but aren't those the same traits we love about our own style icons? I know that what I love about Anna Dello Russo is that you literally never know what she's going to wear next and even when it's outrageous it's fabulous. But alas, adults are hypocrites of the "do as I say, not as I do" mentality. In truth, we simultaneously love and loathe the idea of our children "being themselves" because we have no idea what that entails and neither do they. It's a risky experimental process but we all need to be allowed the option.
As far as I'm concerned, Willow can whip her bald colourful head anyway she pleases and I hope she stays on the straight and narrow path in the areas that matter i.e. no drugs, sex and rock & roll shit.