Style Tribes Born on the Internet

To celebrate the internet's 25th birthday here is an article from Reflekt Issue º7 about the first style tribes born on the internet. Enjoy!

To see the original pages go to for an exclusive feature with them!

Walking on Melrose Avenue in sunny LA, it’s interesting to see the amalgamation of fashions that saunter through the dirty pavements. Back in the 80's Melrose Avenue was the epitome of LA street fashion, where punks and new wavers were inspiring designers the world over with their disheveled and innovative styling. The idea of street fashion is an allusive idea that all designers have turned to for inspiration at one point or another.

Picture it as a kind of sartorial wild wild west of style, The most classic (and when I mean classic I mean timeless as in it will forever be in la mode) like Punk, Lolita and Rocker, were created on dirty sidewalks by juvenile delinquents and bored outcasts. Everyone is fascinated with street fashion-from the self proclaimed 'fashionista' to the unaware bystander, are affected by its mysterious charms and unexplained comings and goings.

In the 90's we got the gift of the internet where now street fashion looks we love to delve into are only a click and 'like' away. A new generation can delve and devour street fashion without actually going onto the street. We have sites like Tumblr,, and Instagram that quench our thirst for our fashion voyeurism. We have endless streets to gawk and gander at everyone's style from all over the world and of course like any fashion conscious street, styles have been born. We have narrowed it down to five internet style tribes that we love:


The first internet style species would be
 The Street Style Photographers. Easing from newspaper and print publications to the internet was an easy and obvious step. With the likes of Tommy Ton, The Sartorialist and of course the most adorable and discerning eye on what's cool, Bill Cunningham. Before ,these street style photographers were anonymous observers of the candid stylish pedestrian, And now they have come out from behind the lens and shown their own sartorial prowess.Just look at any pics from what is now called 'The Fashion Circus' or 'Fashion Peacocks' outside of Fashion Week tents. Either wearing the loudest up to date
fashions, more functional chic garb, or the photographer uniform of monochrome black and sensible shoes, and of course the best accessory-their camera.


The second to come out of the cyber sidewalk would be Fashion Bloggers. At first only fashion geeks and bored teens would foray into the blogging world, but now fashion bloggers have become a crazy force to be reckoned with as brands, designers, and magazines gladly follow behind their epic influence. There are many types of fashion bloggers out there from the annoyingly snooty (who are just out for freebies, wearing boring outfits that you have seen hundreds of times on hundreds of other blogs) to the glorious and inspiring individuals who truly love fashion, show obscure designers, and their own eccentric personal style. Some that come to mind are Style Bubble, Tavi Gevinson (Style Rookie), Misha Janette and Bryan Boy. We would follow behind the click of their heels any day!


One of the first prominent internet style tribes we discovered, Pastel Grunge was popularized by the likes of Audrey Kitching, Andi Autumn and any other internet fashion star with an allegorical first and last name. Very close to the Kawaii Goth style tribe, but more casual and well, grunge. Its hair like distinction from Kawaii Goths would be the spikey bedazzlement, tyedye, nineties imagery like happy faces and aliens, mixed with laidback beachy styles such as over sized t-shirts, and denim vests or shorts. Born on Tumblr with no known origin and no connection with its 90's flannel wearing big brother. We feel Pastel Grunge is forming into more of a style tribe than a trend with the emergence of lifestyle photos popping onto Tumblr, such as food porn of pizza and donuts, odd mean-girl psycho quotes like "Log on Loser, were blogging" and "You're so cute when your not breathing" in pastel goo font,  Lisa Frank cloudy backgrounds, and fluffy kitties with lazer beams coming out of its eyes. Yup, not sure how Kurt Cobain would feel about this pastel powdered teen spirit, but we love it.


Ridiculously similar to the Pastel Grunge style tribe but distinguished by its pastel colored form of goth mixed with Kawaii aesthetics, eyeballs, goo, bows, crosses, flowers and its very watered down gothic nature. Actually it doesn't really have any ties with the Gothic subculture (we mean subculture has it has its own formed lifestyle and culture), born out of the Tumblr community with no known origin. The only similarities would be the excessive amounts of black worn, Christian/Satanic references, skeletal imagery and S&M penchant for leather garters. The style tribe leaders of the Kawaii Goths would be Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, Juria Nakagawa, Eva Cheung, and Ruby Gloom. They are slowly phasing out of being just a trend to more of a style tribe, adapting some of the Japanese Kawaii lifestyle and its fraternal twin brother Pastel Grunge.


Rihanna as well as the newly transformed Miley Cyrus are the style tribe leaders of the Racthet/Swag style. When you think of both of these girls together what is the phrase that pops up in your mind. “Good girls gone bad”.  It is a combination between edgy hip hop style and femininity seamlessly by combining thick gold chains, snap back hats, crop tops, and baggy pants. This is one of those styles that originated in the 90’s where it was the year of street hip hop greats like Tupac, Biggie, N.W.A, and etc. Also it was the year where woman started dressing like these hip hop greats which added a tomboy touch to our feminist style. This style also introduced the not caring/ or giving a f*** what other people think. Now in modern day this timeless style has resurrected through mainly the internet and Instagram. Many people on Tumblr and Instagram uniquely changed the style by adding the urban updated swag to this classic look. Currently this style is updated with: cute jersey inspired clothing, big bulky gold jewelry, personalized beanies, and retro shoes.