Olivier Rousteing: The social-media pioneer

Social media gives access to so many different people.
For me it’s the new high-street window.
You can actually be part of the dream.
Olivier Rousteing

With Rihanna and the Kardashians, Doutzen and Alessandra Ambrosio on speed dial, Rousteing is not only gorgeous and French but was also the youngest ever creative director of Balmain when he took on the role aged just 25 in 2011. Charged with taking Pierre Balmain’s multimillion-dollar brand and his vision of opulent femininity full force into the digital era, the right man is at the controls of the fashion empire – and the keypad. Rousteing is a pioneer of luxury social media, Instagramming relentlessly to his two million followers. ‘THIS IS MY REALITY!’ he once cried on the site – and my, what a glossy, glowing, glamour-drenched reality it is. Rousteing is proof that social media and exquisite luxe fashion can have a happy marriage, and with his H&M collaboration, which hit stores last year, this picture-pop idol is bringing Balmain to places Balmain has never been before.

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fashion icons 2016 lu yan chinese model 1600 x 1100

Lu Yan: The supermodel and designer

What I wear is just a reflection of myself, the real me.
I encourage everyone to experiment
with fashion but to stay true to their own style.
Lu Yan

Model extraordinaire, entrepreneur and the first face of The Boulevard – say hello to Lu Yan. Blessed with brains to match her beauty, since the late 90s this Chinese siren has appeared on the covers of Elle, i-D and Marie Claire the world over while prowling the catwalks in New York, Paris, London and, of course, Shanghai. Daughter of a coal miner, Lu Yan has come out into the light since being coined the family’s ugly duckling. She launched her own luxe label, Comme Moi, two years ago and showcases seasonally a want-worthy collection that runs from sharp, tailored separates through to feminine dresses.

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fashion icons 2016 alessandro michele creative director of gucci 1600 x 1100

Alessandro Michele: The new visionary

The way you dress is really the way you feel,
the way you live, what you read, your choices.
Alessandro Michele

After Frida Giannini’s departure from Gucci in February, Alessandro Michele was appointed creative director. His goal: to rescue sliding sales – and quickly. The unveiling of the FW16 collection was delicious proof that the right man got the job. ‘I decided to go back to the street,’ says Michele. Think nerdy, buttoned-up blouses; ruffles; chiffon; pussy bows; thick, knitted jumpers; and sexy librarian glasses – it’s bookish and brilliant, and it had the frow in a frenzy. We’re not sure exactly which street he was referencing, but we think Jarvis Cocker and Johnny Depp channelling Hunter S Thompson in Fear and Loathing would feel right at home there.

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Angelica Cheung: China’s grande dame

You inspire the girl to believe, if I take care of myself,
if I buy the right things and I educate myself, tomorrow will be better
Angelica Cheung

China’s answer to Anna Wintour – note the sharp asymmetrical bob – Cheung, the first and only editor of Vogue China, has steered the magazine through 10 remarkable years, capturing the spirit of a continually changing nation in her stride and placing China firmly on the fashion map, and China’s models as emphatically on the catwalk and local photographers in the frame. With a whopping 1.4 million readers in print and online, Vogue China ranks as one of the highest-circulation fashion magazines in the world, standing up tall against its glossy global counterparts and inspiring a whole new generation of fashionistas with a broad, distinctively Chinese vision. ‘The whole industry only started when I started the magazine,’ Cheung has said. ‘It took 50 years for Europe to build this, and it took us five.’ Unquestionably, Cheung is a fashion force to be reckoned with.

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G-Dragon: The Fashionistar

People discover words like
‘global’, ‘unique’, ‘stylish’, ‘trendy’ and ‘creative’ in me.
I always want to show these qualities to people
G-Dragon

Rapper, musician, fashion muse and social-media sensation, G-Dragon is Asia’s hot name right now. Born Kwon Ji-yong, G-Dragon started his music career at the ripe old age of five, found fame as part of the K-pop mega-group Big Bang and then went solo, becoming one of Asia’s most photographed celebs. Now armed with a penchant for fine textiles, he cuts shapes and rubs shoulders with the fashion elite – and looks good doing it, too. A muse for Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott, he turned the head of fashion god Karl Lagerfeld and walked in Chanel’s AW15 haute couture show. Fashion icon status: secured. Keep your eyes firmly on this fashion darling – his future is bright and the world his stage.

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