With the subculture of “ugly” fashion on the rise, we’re seeing more and more faces celebrating their own style and unique online identities. At the head of the pack, model, DJ and influencer Jazzelle Zanaughtti (@UglyWorldWide) is stomping all over fashion norms with her disproportionate boots.
The 22-year-old model is one of many pioneering the future of “ugly” and individualism. Her intrusive presence hasn’t gone unnoticed: the artist has amassed 424,000 Instagram followers and has worked with industry leaders such as British Vogue, Fenty, and ASOS, just to name a few. Zanaughtti’s Instagram bio reads “big-time lo$er” for New York Models and Storm London, but she’s also made waves as a DJ, and the masses flock to buy her clothes from the popular platform Depop.
Nailing the multi-industry presence, Zanaughtti breaks down the standard of existing in just one creative industry. Jazelle’s relatable honesty and vulnerability, which she regularly shows through her eccentric posts, has made her successful on multiple platforms, though most notably through Instagram.
Zanaughtti regularly collaborates with ROW-Z, a brand that encapsulate’s the ‘out-of-the-norm’ fashion that is emerging. The brand’s ethos, ‘no more regular pants’, encourages their audience to abandon the predisposed norms of fashion, and to replace them with means of individuality ‘beyond the confines of gender or body type’. It’s an ethic Jazzelle Zanaughtti abides by, preaching that her followers should try and apply this ‘anything but ordinary’ mentality to their lives, too.
‘[This is a] beautiful time for weirdos and alternative people who have been swept under the rug’. (Zanaughtti)
Those who were previously condemned for expressing outlandish and vibrant fashion now have a seat at the table, as do the smaller companies supporting the trend. The rise of Instagram and personal branding has created a space where independent brands are able to thrive. The platform enables influencers and users to experiment with their style, and thus we are seeing trends such as ‘ugly’ fashion becoming more mainstream. The accessibility and diversity of the platform has created an arena for brands to gain unprecedented exposure: as seen by fashion retailers like ROW-Z, and later followed by high-end fashion retailers.
Before Instagram, fashion inspiration derived almost exclusively from ‘big name’ platforms such as Vogue and Fashion Week catwalks. Leading style trends since day one, the group of people making the rules for fashion was limited and restricted to the select few. And to hell with the old system. The rise of diverse and personal style is refreshing, less prescriptive. We’re seeing a power shift of fashion trends: the crown once held by designer brands is perhaps being passed to more of an ‘every’ man. Anyone with an Instagram account has the potential to be just as influential as the next person.
Perhaps what is most refreshing about this soar of individualist style is that it doesn’t feel forceful; it introduces an environment where fashion is furthering subjectivity to the holder and becoming applicable to everyone. Whether “ugly” fashion is just another trend, like any other, remains up for debate. While luxury fashion brands, like Balenciaga and Moschino have jumped on the ugly fashion bandwagon, UglyWorldWide transcends this. She has remained consistent over the years with her style and message, which is proof enough that she is here to stay.
With this shift in power and influence, we are slowly starting to see fashion becoming democratised. It sees us moving away from high fashion brands and publishers, and giving more opportunity for anyone to make their mark on the industry.
Let us know below what you think of the current trend of ugly individualism and its place in the fashion industry.