Style icons of tomorrow will wear clothes that exude fashion sense and create a personal style that feels authentic in the Instagram age. With all of today’s posing and puffery, just trying to keep up or compete can get a person down. But, it doesn’t have to be like that. We live in an era defined by social status, celebrity suck-ups, and influencer insanity. People live for likes and loves on social platforms. On the face of it, it does seem that style exists. But, what about the substance? This is what truly matters.

Specializing in working with high-profile people, I know that nearly all of them could not care less about adulation. I consider them the style icons of tomorrow because they quietly lead with authenticity today.

What differentiates the caliber of these high-profile people from others is that they intend to remain low key. This is a remarkable distinction because, in the Instagram age, many people push themselves out for publicity. For sure, many clients use Instagram and post images of their experiences, but not to make spectacles of themselves. They want to connect with their friends, not build a legion of followers. They are also notorious lurkers. {It’s cool. I know who you are.}

Running companies and teams requires a much different attitude than morphing oneself into celebrity status. Personality and attitude, the main elements of personal style, play a big role in one’s approach to leadership. Leadership has nothing to do with status, contrary to what today’s young influencers think. A leader guides the actions of others. But when someone waves his status, this is about making sure that others know they are below the leader. The best leaders have far less interest in making themselves centers of attention. Moreover, they don’t seek recognition as “rock stars” of their companies or professions. As style icons, leaders have a big responsibility to mindfully guide others for the good of all.

The cult of fashion celebrity began with Annie Leibovitz photographing stars for fashion magazine covers and spreads. Now, decades later, the surge of social media platforms has catapulted enterprising individuals into household names. Even so, many more wannabe style icons are here today but will be gone tomorrow. This is why today’s internet stars are unlikely to be the style icons of tomorrow. People like my clients definitely are. This celebrity culture craze will crash. I’m preparing clients to have a more sustainable sense of self that goes against pop culture trends.

As an Instagram user with a brand to promote, engaging with followers is important to me. However, others live for, quite frankly, fake and inflated numbers of likes. It has turned this platform and others like it into a place for inauthenticity. Serving as a positive influence offline is an interest that I share with clients. Nonetheless, Instagram remains a platform for me share the best of what I have to offer: experiences and expertise.

My clients play crucial and discreet roles in their work lives as micro influencers. They don’t really see themselves as style icons of tomorrow, let alone of today. But, they each use their fashion sense and wardrobe to show up looking like leaders with ideas and innovations. This sets up trust, boosts their credibility, and subtly inspires and influences their teams. Quite frankly, they feel a rise in self-confidence as they create looks by using clothes to dress on-message.

This is a wonderful outcome. Rather than using social media to wield influence, my clients do it old school. And offline. In my opinion, these are the real movers and shakers in the business world. Serving as micro influencers, they inspire future leaders and encourage those in their spheres to be their best. While it does feel good to dress well, this shows others how to create a vision for their own leadership presence. The best kind of influence creates this kind of win-win scenario.

No one I work with dreams of being one of the style icons of tomorrow. They’re too actively busy living their best lives today. Their focus on the now propels them into a bright future.