9 Lessons From Frida Kahlo To Help You Become a Better Influencer

Frida-Kahlo-600The New York Times has spoken: Frida Kahlo is having a moment. In 2004, her archive of dresses was finally opened to the public after being sealed, on orders of her husband Diego Rivera, for 50 years. Over the past 11 years, seamstresses have carefully repaired the garments, and fashion mavens, photographers and journalists have made pilgrimages to Mexico City to peruse the collection.

Enthusiasm for this treasure trove has recently reached a fever pitch—not  simply for the garments themselves, but for the fascinating woman who curated and wore them. Nearly as much as her art, Frida's sartorial style marked her place in history.

Since Frida was a master influencer we wanted to take a closer look at her style and philosophy to see if there were lessons to be learned for today's influencers.  Below are nine lessons she can teach us about becoming a tastemaker and authority in today's world.







1. Master the selfie.

But don't be afraid of not looking pretty. Frida's self-portraits were early versions of the selfie, and she presented herself in an honest, and sometimes unflattering, light.  The key is being original.



2. Turn your perceived weaknesses into strengths.

Frida transformed her physical ailments into great displays of style in the form of colorful long skirts and decorated casts and prosthetics. Also see Jillian Mercado, who coincidentally did a very Kahlo-esqe photo shoot recently.


frida tehuana

3. Pay attention to your surroundings.

What art, architecture or street style are you drawn to? Incorporate it into your style. Frida emulated the dress of the indigenous Tehuana women of Mexico, even though it was not de rigueur at the time.



4. Don't forget where you came from.

Your family, roots and upbringing might seem provincial after you've moved to the big city, but those things make up who you are and can help you achieve a special look. Frida (literally) wore her love of Mexico on her sleeve.



5. Let your beliefs influence your style.

Whether they're political, ethical, or even religious (modest style is certainly having a moment!), express your convictions with your style. Frida's communist beliefs led to her rejection of traditional fashion and what was trendy among her upper-class fashionable contemporaries.



6. Dress for yourself.

Not for your boyfriend, mom or the fashion police. Frida's outfits were far from normal at the time and they did anything but blend in.



7. Get dressed every day.

Frida's ensembles were life-affirming, and a way to not only mask her pain, but to give herself a vibrant presence in the world. Remember that next time you're feeling blue as you gaze into your closet.



8. Don't let getting older hinder your style.

Although Frida died when she was just 47, the older she got, the more flamboyant her costumes became. See also Advanced Style.



9. Wear flowers in your hair.

Because life is short.

[Photo via Dago-Art]

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11 Responses

  1. Brooke

    I loved your interpretations and influences from Frida’s fashions. She’s influenced a lot on style, art, and women throughout the years and I’m glad more people are seeing how important she is.

  2. Melody

    Since writing about her in college, I’ve been inspired and moved by this woman. Visiting the exhibit of her home in Mexico is a huge bucket list item of mine!
    What a sweet way to pay homage to such a trail blazer!


  3. Melissa

    This post inspired me to watch a documentary on her. She was an amazing artist and very influential. This was a great blog post 🙂

  4. Lara Sophia

    Great tips and reminders. I think in the world of blogging many think there’s only one way to be successful so they duplicate other successful bloggers and their style in order to “make it.” In doing that they loose their individuality which could really set them apart and bring them success. It seems to me that Frida’s message is all about being true to yourself and remembering what you can bring to the table is just as great as the person, or blog next to you.
    xo, http://chicandsequined.com

  5. DShaunte Mcknight

    Great Tips,
    The fact that she paved her own path is reason for us to all remember that individuality is the best thing we can give to the world. Whether it be through our blogs or any other instance in life. Being one with self is important. Great write-up