While most rising stars seem unsure about how they want to present themselves to the world, Chanel Iman is equipped with a refreshingly confident sense of style. During fashion show season, when many models stop trying and throw on any old thing, she's always thoughtfully turned out, effortlessly groomed, and flashing her thousand-watt smile. In addition to these high-style daytime looks, Iman is equally comfortable on the red carpet, where she's been spotted everything from sharply tailored suits to sweetly romantic frocks.
If you're not deeply versed in Iman's work, we suggest picking up May's i-D Magazine and grab a copy of the latest Lula, Issue # 8, S/S 09, while you're at it. You can check out her wardrobe proclivities via her latest gig as a special correspondent for MTV's House of Style, but for those of you who aren't familiar with her off-duty outfits, we have a quick primer on her street style. First and foremost: the girl likes minis! Whether it's a tiered, flowy, floral dress or a body-con pencil skirt, Iman wears her hemlines high. Typically her ensembles involve at least one rock'n'roll element, such as black leather (jackets, ankle booties, or bags!). She also loves to incorporate texture into her looks: fringe, feathers, tassels, embroidery, and any other embellishment around!
Now that we've painted you an imaginary picture of Iman's closet, it's time to bring that image to life! As we searched for the right pieces for What Would She Wear, the goal was to assemble an outfit that's just as fresh and fun as our subject. Our first find was an amazing print dress from our new clothing obsession-Maje. (Technically, the French label has been around nearly a decade, but it hasn't had much of a presence in the States, stockist-wise at least.) With this standout item as our guide, we added some soft, Chloe-inspired ankle boots in a slightly unexpected shade, a perfectly worn-in jacket, and two universally appealing accessories, all of which are just as memorable as today's muse!
1. Oliver Peoples Zooey Sunglasses ($415)
While considering various sunglasses options for Iman, we found ourselves drawn to this retro-modern pair by Oliver Peoples. Oddly enough, they were co-designed by another famous young lady with "Chanel" in her name: Zooey Deschanel. We figured that coincidence was too good to pass up, so we pulled them for today's story. The handcrafted Zooey Sunglasses come in five different colors, including the style shown above, which is a classic black frame with gray lenses. If you're not interested in investing, try AJ Morgan's Feline Sunglasses ($28) in black. They're not exactly the same, but super cute nevertheless!
2. Maje Sleeveless Fringe Dress ($300)
As mentioned earlier, Iman likes her boho embellishments, so when we spotted this playful dress, we knew we had a winner. The frock's simple lines and short hemline perfectly balance out the bold graphic print and dramatic fringed sides.
3. Topshop Aztec Studded Ankle Boot ($160)
The entire WhoWhatWear.com office is obsessed with these short boots from Topshop. The double-buckle and studded upper add a little toughness to the simple shape, while the untraditional white leather makes these shoes really stand out! In short: they're so perfectly delightful, so wholly Iman-ish, we had to include them. If you really can't wear pale shoes, fret not, you've got options: the ankle booties also come in black and red.
4. Jerome Dreyfuss Billy Large Bag ($846)
We toyed with giving Iman a 3.1 Phillip Lim bag (hey, she is his muse, after all), but ended up settling on this amazing satchel by Jerome Dreyfuss. The shape is damn near perfection: it's casually unstructured and somehow reminds us of a drawstring bag or backpack without being either! Plus, we figured that a world-travelling model/MTV host would like something coolly under-the-radar, because what's better than an unidentifiable, yet fantastic, tote? On that note, we also like Urban Outfitters' Sabina Leather Satchel ($245); it shares the same unidentifiable-yet-cool vibe but is slightly lower in price.
5. 7 For All Mankind Mars Jacket ($250)
Like most models, Iman knows just how to layer her outfits and always has the right outerwear. Rather than suggesting a little leather jacket, vest, or blazer (all were immediately ruled out, as she's already in possession of perfect versions of each), we picked a snug denim jacket from 7 For All Mankind. Admittedly, it's a bit of an investment, but the three-quarter length sleeves and lightly distressed wash are pretty classic, which means you'll be able to wear it to pieces!
6. Urban Outfitters Studded Mixed Bangles ($24)
Whether it's the hardware on her belt or spike details on her bag, Iman always wears at least one item that has a bit of a punk edge. Accordingly, we decided to throw in this eight-bangle set from Urban Outfitters, as their no-fuss style will add that understated edge to the rest of our chosen outfit.