The 2018 Cool-Girl List: New Style Icons to Have on Your Radar

If you can’t stand Love Island, haven’t heard of Gareth Southgate and aren’t sure why men keep saying the word “waistcoat,” summer 2018 might be getting off to a strangely quiet start. Instead of binge-watching the Majorcan shenanigans like it’s your second job or brushing up on “Football’s Coming Home” for the next World Cup, might we suggest some alternative amusement? Drumroll, please… We now present to you our 2018 Cool-Girl List.

This is the second in our annual series documenting the emerging faces you’ll want to follow on Instagram and the cultural movers and shakers with killer wardrobes. Their talents might be varied—one is a 16-year-old actress on Netflix’s biggest show, another is a transgender model who made her debut at London Fashion Week—but they’re all the opposite of a red carpet snooze when it comes to style. From the Spanish influencer who’s set to go stratospheric to the politician shaking things up across the pond with some carefully chosen lipstick, these are the top 10 trendsetters to watch in 2018.

Blanca Miró Scrimieri

She might not have as many followers as Camila Coelho (7.3m) or Chiara Ferragni (13.4m), but Blanca Miró Scrimier (194k) is the coolest influencer on Insta to namecheck now. Stop by her feed if you’ve just been paid and fancy making some irresponsible decisions that involve Wald Berlin anklets, Chimi cat-eye sunglasses, Jiwinaia pearl earrings and Wicker Wings handbags. Don’t forget to marvel at her madcap style of dressing—she wears bucket hats, hiking sandals, bandanas, motorcycle waistcoats and marching-band blazers without batting an eyelid.

Jorja Smith

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Jorja Smith won the Critics’ Choice Award at this year’s BRITs and has collaborated with some fairly well-known music folk (Drake and Stormzy, anyone?), but her wardrobe will also pique your interest. The girl can wear a puff-sleeved meringue of a dress that wouldn’t look out of place on Anna Karenina one minute and a satin Dolce & Gabbana corset the next. Does anyone else really want a snakeskin slip right about now?

Maxim Magnus

Belgian transgender model and activist Maxim Magnus made her debut at London Fashion Week in February on the Paula Knorr runway and has racked up almost 21k followers since. When she’s not giving a voice to the LGBTQ+ community at the European Parliament, speaking about issues like gender-allocated areas and the importance of changing legal documentation, you can find her making a convincing case for bell-bottoms and bandeau tops on Instagram.

Mari Giudicelli

Fans of cult footwear brands like Loq, Neous and Maryam Nassir Zadeh will no doubt be familiar with Brazilian-born designer Mari Giudicelli’s blocked-heeled loafers and dreamy two-strap sandals. But wait till you see the designer’s wardrobe: It’s a study in understated cool, from short-sleeved silk shirts with gold pendant necklaces to frayed white jeans and ribbed sweaters. Her designs are now available in UK on MarthaLouisa.com, so expect the pavements of London to be Mari-filled come fashion week.

Sadie Sink

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No longer is Sadie Sink, the breakout star of Stranger Things’ latest series, playing second fiddle to Millie Bobby Brown. The flame-haired 16-year-old just walked in Miu Miu’s cruise show, although her runway debut was in a red tracksuit on Undercover’s runway back in March. She manages to pull off sequinned Gucci blazers and even wore Chanel to the SAG Awards in January. Eleven who?

Marine Serre

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She cut her design teeth at Balenciaga, won 2017’s LVMH prize at the tender age of 25, and now Vogue is hailing her Paris’s new star. It was Marine Serre’s autumn/winter 2018 collection, her first on the runway, that had critics snapping to attention, with clothes that are puzzled together (think rash guards with scarf-printed skirts) and are at times puzzling to look at. See Serre herself, in a crescent moon-patterned blouse and a velvet halterneck, for a lesson in how to do offbeat circa now.

Yara Shahidi

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Yara Shahidi, the 18-year-old star of Black-ish and its follow-up series, Grown-ish, and one of the youngest/coolest/most eloquent activists in Hollywood, always manages to serve up some personality with her red carpet choices. A favourite of mine was her Tory Burch trouser suit in icicle blue at this year’s MTV Awards, not to mention the cotton candy–coloured Giambattista Valli number she wore to a Marie Claire party. Starlets, take note.

Arpana Rayamajhi

Looking at this Nepal-born, New York–based jewellery designer’s Instagram feed is enough to make me want to move to the Big Apple and try my luck at making beaded chokers for a living. Her clothes are the coolest mishmash of plaid skirts, neat kick flares, rocker T-shirts and layer upon layer of rainbow necklaces. I defy you not to be instantly cheered by her glorious way with colour. 

Tessa Thompson

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Tessa Thompson’s wardrobe in Sorry to Bother You, a surreal comedy set in Oakland, California, is already racking up column inches, thanks to her character’s slogan T-shirt that read “The Future Is Female Ejaculation” and a bikini made of black rubber gloves. The actor’s own wardrobe is just as iconoclastic—fluffy mules by Brother Vellies, sheer suitdresses from Thom Browne and a parachute blouse by Rosie Assoulin. If you’re looking for an antidote to pastel floor sweepers and diamonds on the red carpet, you’ve found it.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

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The spotlight finally seems to have faded on Theresa May’s leopard-print kitten heels, so naturally we need another politician’s wardrobe to put under the microscope. In comes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old Democrat tipped to be the incoming congresswoman for New York’s 14th District—she’s already sent the internet into a tailspin over her preferred shade of lipstick (it was Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid in Beso). Her sleeveless shifts and pointed pumps have a hint of Meghan Markle post-wedding about them, no? ■

Feel free to use this information at your next dinner party.

Opening Image: @yarashahidi