We all have that one image, person, or moment that is so unforgettable, the impression alone embeds itself deep within the lexicon of our own style. For us, the list is virtually endless but we’ll try our best to share with you our top picks. A Style Heroine is pervasive in every way, someone we find ourselves constantly referencing and revisiting–their influence unmatched. Patti Smith is that and much, much more–near untouchable.

Synonymous with the gritty foundations of New York’s punk scene in the mid to late-70s, Patti Smith’s influence within music, fashion and culture itself is unparalleled. While the list of her peers is notable–Robert Mapplethorpe, Lou Reed, and more–Smith is positively distinguished on her own; unadulterated, raw, honest. In fact, to make comparisons or connections to the iconic essence of her style would be an injustice to her original spirit and transcendent influence on the corridors of Manhattan's East Village and beyond.

The mostly widely recognized image of Smith comes courtesty of the lens of her late friend, fellow kid and former partner, Mapplethorpe; a billowing buttondown, suit trousers, suspenders, and a blazer thrown over her left shoulder. The portrait in question, shot by him for her 1975 record, “Horses”, is an unattainable cool that has resonated for her entire career–effortless and authentic, the first of her kind. Before there were ever Williamsburg hipsters and London street kids, there was Patti Smith. Leaning into her androgyny, Smith became an unlikely sex symbol. Her oversized suit separates, men’s Levi’s, tattered jersey t-shirts, bandanas, military surplus jackets and wide-rim hats were often juxtaposed by an occasional Mary-Jane or willowy dress. Smith unintentionally aided in defining the way we understand New York fashion today–embodying a spirit that, in some ways, has been lost in the digital age. Should you be lucky enough to, you might run into her on the streets of Soho, clutching a book–serving as a constant, a living reminder of originality and integrity of self.

Click through a few of our favorite Patti Smith looks above and shop an inspired collection of listings below.

Follow Oona on Instagram here.

Tags ann-demeulemeester / style-heroine