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In a city like New York, style lurks on every corner; it can be found at the busiest intersections or crawling up from the subway, unfurling on the street like magic. You might wonder, where do people find the inspiration to dress with such panache and get their hustle on, the way New Yorkers do? From Brooklyn to SoHo, New Yorkers don’t need fashion week to dress up, they just do it. All day, everyday, street style serves as a runway for the freshest looks to inspire your next outfit.
Entrepreneur Liisa Jokinen of NYC-Looks (as well as Hel Looks documenting street style from her hometown of Helsinki, and SF Looks, which rounds up street style in San Francisco) is shooting street style to get to know New York City. Jokinen arrived in New York from Finland this January, and has been snapping shots of “people who aren’t afraid to experiment with style,” she says.
So what catches Jokinen’s eye? “It’s impossible to specify because the unfamiliar surprises and inspires me.” However, the self-taught street style photographer has a couple of style adages.
“What I’ve learned about style is that too often we play it safe. The more fun you have with your clothes, the more fun you have in life. Don’t be afraid to experiment,” says Jokinen.
“Don’t keep your festive clothes in [the] closet. You never know what’s going to happen tomorrow.” Some of Jokinen’sfavorite designers and brands include Maison Margiela, MM6, Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake, Pleats Please, and Finland‘s Marimekko, as well as Vuokko, Samuji, and Aalto International.
Jokinen photographs people of all ages, and is particularly drawn to those who are not so young that they haven’t grown into themselves yet. “We all look different and that’s amazing,” she says. “Anything can look stylish, but if you’re trying to be trendy, you end up looking like everybody else.” Instead, she suggests following your heart when it comes to getting dressed, and to add some color.
Here’s a tear sheet from NYC Looks, as Jokinen captures street style from the city she calls the “fashion capital of the world.” You’ll find style inspiration from New York neighborhoods, and their snap-worthy inhabitants.
May 7, 2017 ∙ Red Hook
“I’m wearing a suit that was custom-tailored for me in Sierra Leone, Africa along with a white Nike/Adidas hoodie and off-white Converse shoes. My style is inspired by being half Japanese. While growing up as a child, living with my single Japanese mother, she would constantly update me on Japanese trends and attempt teaching me how to be “おしゃれ,” which essentially means sharp or stylish. I am also inspired by old photographs of my parents before I was born—their style was on point! I’ve inherited a lot of my father’s older clothing, in which I help give life to. I sometimes refer to my style as ‘future grandpa chic’ as some of my looks include much older styles with a modern Japanese twist.”
Apr 26, 2017 ∙ Midtown
“I love things from people and places made and inherited by love. Whatever I’m wearing is attuned to how I’m feeling or would like to feel in a moment, intuitive coming from somewhere internal and vital. Some days I want to feel held by the air between my body and the clothes, other days I feel like being held more closely. Clothing has a body we shape and are shifted by when we move. Now I am wearing a thrifted lace top, a dress from Ulla Johnson, a coat from dear friend Alexa Stark, a vintage Margiela scarf, and love necklace from Lisa Levine at the beautiful Maha Rose. ”
Apr 23, 2017 ∙ Dumbo
“I’m wearing a pair of WW2 pants, vintage tops and Doc Martens. My style is inspired by everything that’s from the beginning of the last century in men’s and boys’ fashion; I’m in love with the newspaper boys’ and the Little Rascals’ attire. I love what Jeanne Moreau wears when she dresses as a man in Jules et Jim. Anything that’s from the past is more worthy to me than contemporary garments. I hate anything mainstream such as H&M, Gap, Zara and the like.”
Apr 23, 2017 ∙ Dumbo
“I am wearing my own pleated clothing: pants, poncho, hat, and coat. I am inspired by beauty, and textiles, especially indigenous and tribal. I like a rather wide variety of clothing, mostly antique, tribal, and ethnographic. I’m much more interested in individual style than fashion. As Coco Chanel said: ‘Fashion changes, style remains.’”
Feb 1, 2017 ∙ West SoHo
“I’m wearing a Salsa For President t-shirt, Levi’s jeans, Danzarteb boots, a jacket from L Train Vintage, and a market bag from Mexico. Mexico and Latino America inspire me a lot. I love leather and denim jackets, purses and boots. Eclectic outfits are my favorite ones.”
Mar 3, 2017 ∙ Midtown
“I am wearing my grandma’s fur coat, a harness I made, a NASA sweatshirt from the California Science Center, a friend’s beret, a pink snakeskin coat I fashioned into a skirt, and customized platforms from vintage store, Collections. My style inspirations are clowns, faeries, grandmas, babies, dolls, insects, drag queens, goddesses, and trash. My closet is mostly comprised of brightly colored, oversized, thrifted, gifted, repurposed, or vintage pieces. I believe getting dressed is a meditative ritual, and clothing is our second skin as it is an extension of our souls and bodies.”