Expanding the Definition of “It” Girl

Part of what I do as a digi-socio trend analyst is connect the dots.

I simply can’t help it. I love doing it, and I excel at it.  Sometime people get it immediately, sometimes it takes them a while; but they always arrive at the same point eventually.  Case in point, I recently pitched a supposedly edgier-than-thou, left-of-center digital ‘zine (read:  not that edgyl if it includes a post how Beyonce is a master of her game.  I think we know this already, so I’m not certain how unique that post is, but I digress….) about contributing a piece about the rise of who I’m seeing as the new “It” girl.

I explained to editor X that it occurred to me that when I look at popular fashion magazines and media outlets such as  Vogue.com (which I LOVE), they are missing the rise of a new type of female.  Not only are many of the “It” girls currently in rotation the same select few pushed over and over again, they do not truly represent the new “It.”

Traditionally, I suppose, an “It” girl definition included such criteria as attending the right social/fashion-related parties, basking in familial wealth, wearing certain designers and globe-trotting to the “right” events while staying at the “right” hotels (i.e. Hotel du Cap).  But this definition has expanded a bit as of the last decade to now include DJ-ing at the “right” parties and launching the obligatory jewelry line that may or may not be remembered years from now like the legendary Elsa Peretti line.

All this is fine and welcome, but a wondrous new type is emerging that certainly bears witness and inclusion.  She is sneaking up and will steal not only the spotlight but also market share, and you’ll be left confounded and shocked if you overlook her.  I tried to explain to editor X that the new “It” girl reflects more of a hybrid who certainly knows her designers, but is one who is more impactful than the young socialite/celeb sister-cum-DJ.  She is creating and  running new digital offerings or expertly weaves tech into a traditional arena in which she is working.  She is stimulating thought as much as she is jet-setting  –  though world traveling would probably include an exclusive invitation to fly on the recent British Airways flight of thought-leaders to create solutions to social/tech crunches and provide her insight while rocking an interesting mix of McQueen and Prada.

No, I explained to editor X that simply posting pictures to Tumblr as a well-known model does not indicate the  digi-prowess of which I speak.  Everyone, anyone, can do that – though, good for model Y.

No, what I’m talking about is a very special individual of whom I am seeing more and more.  She doesn’t just attend and donate to charity events like the Robin Hood Foundation, she creates a new digital platform to help them do so.  In fact often times she flies to targeted third-world country to ensure boots on the ground – or rather Tabitha Simmons heels – are there to ensure authentic analysis and interaction.  She knows her music, but if she has to spin, it’s at a key political event to help give it a bit more flava, and Pharell and Opening Ceremony’s Carol Lim are there as her personally invited crew.  She’s at the right parties, but they include those that are not only the ones that fete the new Saint Laurent store in Soho, NYC but also ones that in support of Twitter’s public policy.  She is not designing a jewelry line, though she supports those who do.  If she does any jewelry at all, it’s to raise awareness and dollars for a particular NGO’s efforts spearheaded by Clooney – yes, that one.

Yes, she may have access to family money, but she knows how to take old money and make it a future bankroll while spreading the wealth to advance social issues.  The paparazzi has nothing on her. Her own Instragram forces media heads to take note on what they should be covering – which includes her.

People are magnitized to her. When she speaks, people listen because she’s a captivating professional speaker and thought-leader asked to speak at forward-thinking events (and we’re not talking TED, which is fast-becoming stale) of all levels but because she believes in the audience.

She speaks a couple of different languages not simply because it’s chic, but because it enables her to better understand the thought processes of various cultural groups and because she wants to ensure that the websites she helms (and  not just another site that sells designer apparel, for goodness sake) will be translated accurately as it goes about organically connecting  with millions and millions of people.

She see a void and fills it, she is stylish, she is magical, she has perfected a recipe for baking gluten-free bread because she values her body inside and out, she understands that hierarchy is being flattened and welcomes that fact.

I could go on, but you get the point.

Well, editor X seemed confounded and ended up passing.  She didn’t think these women existed.

Her loss.

This is the woman-to-watch and include because she’s actually operating at such a high level that she’s setting the future tone for the traditional “It” girl who doesn’t even know it.

That’s the news.

Look around, ’cause she’s not hard to find.  She’s women like Leila Janah.  But more than that…

She’s you.

She’s me.


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