Thank God for Instagram virtual stylists

Conversation with two virtual stylists

In an era where streetwear fashion-themed Instagram accounts have taken the platform by storm, a new breed of fashion-related page is rising: virtual stylists. Thousands and thousands of curated outfits displayed à la Polyvore.

Yusra Tharwat – @styledbyyusra

Yusra is the girl behind this fast-growing account (49,1k followers). The 20-years-old architecture student from Egypt spoke to us about her interest in fashion, the impact of social media on the latter and her inspirations.

What does fashion mean to you?

For me, fashion is a form of communication and self-expression. It can emote feelings, portray images, be visually pleasing, it can give inspiration. Not only fashion is relative to architecture – which I’m currently studying – in a sense, but it’s something I find myself indulging in. It’s something I’m inspired by within all other aspects of my life.

What are your favorite brands?

My favorite high-fashion brands are Tom Ford, Helmut Lang, Comme des Garçons, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood. When it comes to ready-to-wear brands it’s Rag & Bone, Mach and Mach, AREA.

I also love Balenciaga, Acne Studios, Prada and Max Mara!

To what extent do social media and fashion influence one another?

Social media has fast become a powerful and efficient marketing tool in the fashion industry. Fashion bloggers and YouTubers both contribute to making fashion trends by marketing high-end and fast-fashion brands to their audience. I don’t think that brands like Off-White would be as popular without social media.

What’s your number one grail?

Well, I know we live in the era of chunky sneakers – hello Balenciaga, Chanel, and LV – but I’d say Nike Air Force 1’s. I really love this pair. Some people may consider them as being basic but I just love how comfy and clean they look. They’re also super fun to customize!



Sarah Penn – @styledbysf

Sarah runs the account @styledbysf, her “little fashion business” as she describes it. The 19-year-old from Auckland, New Zealand, works full time in retail while studying part-time with an online fashion course in the US.

What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion to me is an expression of one’s personality. It’s a way to stand out from the crowd and avoid looking like clones. It’s something you can get lost in and never get bored of.

What are your favorite brands?

My favorite high-end brands are Elie Saab, Dior, and Zimmermann. For more reasonably priced brands, I enjoy the classics – Pretty Little Thing, Princess Polly, Beginning Boutique, and a little brand from Australia/New Zealand named Glassons.

How would you define streetwear fashion?

I would define it as a walking Pinterest board. There’s never-ending inspiration from streetwear. Whether it be from famous models during Fashion Week, or just someone I pass by on the street – the inspiration is always around.

What is one thing the fashion industry should fix?

I believe the fashion industry should stop using animal fur/skin! It’s so saddening to watch people parading around in those sorts of clothes. Another thing is that I’ve found a lot of designers go over the top with their fashion shows lately, half the time causing the audience to not even be able to see the clothes properly! I believe in a simpler fashion show. Last thing I believe they should fix, is their standard of women. It’s been going on for years now, and it’s still sad to see women so upset about themselves purely because they don’t fit into the fashion industry’s ideal standard of a woman.