|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". 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 visit Google and you'll see why he inspired me. Did you see the suits? I know. I know.
For this first feature I want to highlight Willow Smith, the teen queen at the tip of every tongue these days, in part due to her family's fame but, mostly because of her style. The 11-year-old is in the style spotlight for her widely varying haristyles and colours (Rihanna's got nothing on her), her edgy shoe collection and bold print mixing. What I've observed with the vast majority of media coverage is that a lot of people have opinions about what this child should and should not 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). Things 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 recently watched an interview between Michael Yo and Willow on Yahoo's "The Yo Show" (really Michael?) where she talked about new music and her style evolution over the years. What struck me most about the interview is how completely innocent she was. This talented creative child who is under such heavy scrutiny for genuinely just wanting to have fun and express herself. Which is why we all fell in love with fashion in the first place isn't it?
From a fashion POV Willow has a lot of the same characteristics we love about our own style icons but people aggressively criticize her because of her age. 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.
On this Willow said, “Grown ups [have] children and they say “you can be whatever you want to be.” And then they go on my Instagram and comment, ‘How can your parents let you go out looking like that?’ Telling me that I can’t do what I want to do. When I’m someone’s child. You’re telling your kid they can be this but telling me I can’t be that.”
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.