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3 Stylish Women to Watch

by Makenna Tourville | July 12, 2023 at 4:00 a.m.
Emilee Frasier is authentically herself and defines her personal style as versatile and emotional (Photo/Madison Green).

Mid-Missouri may be home to a strong agricultural industry and beautiful natural attractions, but it welcomes an up-and-coming fashion scene, full of individuality and talent. A new generation of women is pushing the limits of style through bold aesthetics, innovative designs and unwavering commitment to self-expression. HER shines a spotlight on three unique women that are carving their paths and expressing their individuality through clothing. 

Chelsea Ruffins

Iconic, Vibrant, Y2K-Inspired

“As an individual, I embody an iconic essence, and my brand is a direct reflection of my true self.”

Textile and Apparel Management student, entrepreneur and temporary resident of Beverly Hills, California, Chelsea Ruffins has taken her deep connection to her hometown of St. Louis to fuel her personal brand, Iconic Society, and shape her fashion choices. Ruffins dresses according to her mood but has an affinity for street style with influence from her step-father, who introduced her to popular brands and collections, such as Air Jordan, Nike and Reebok. She isn’t afraid to dress in a way that distinguishes herself from her peers, and she embraces her St. Louis identity. Inspired by the fashion trends of the 2000s (Y2K), Ruffins admires the distinctive styles and vibrant hues of the decade that have influenced her personal aesthetic and brand. Her influences of streetwear and Y2K fashion have seamlessly integrated into the identity of Iconic Society that reflects Ruffins’ unique vision. 

For Ruffins, social media acts as a platform for business and enjoyment. She takes advantage of networking with other creatives all over and expressing herself to a wide audience. Ruffins attributes her success on social media to using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and implementing organic marketing strategies that have expanded the global presence of her small business. Social media is an additive business tool that Ruffins can also use to highlight her personal style, life and aesthetic.

Favorite hometown business: Dreamhouse Clothing in St. Louis

Follow along on Instagram: @iconicxchels and @iconicthesociety

Emilee Frasier

Versatile, Emotional, Fun

“If I’m being completely honest, I don’t necessarily feel that my personal style is at all influenced by Missouri or where I’m from,” said Fulton native Emilee Frasier. As a junior studying Fashion: Apparel Studies at Stephens College, Frasier is authentically herself and defines her personal style as versatile and emotional. She draws inspiration from her daily emotions to curate outfits that reflect her mood. Her personal aesthetic is influenced by the 90s and early 2000s, with a love for designer Vivienne Westwood. Her style icons include Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City and influencer Ysabelle Wallace. Frasier’s style and aesthetic are also emulated in her work, which results in fun and unique creations such as her favorite garment, a deconstructed jean skirt. 

Similar to other Gen-Zers, Frasier is influenced by social media. The digital tool provides inspiration for her personal style as well as a platform to share her interests. She enjoys using social media for fun but prioritizes cohesiveness for aspirations of networking or the possibility of becoming an influencer herself.

Favorite local businesses: Maude Vintage Clothing in Columbia and @coolgorlnecklaces on Instagram

Follow along on Instagram: @e_moneyyyyyyyyyyy

Emilia Lee

Exuberant, Playful, Camp

Growing up in Columbia has allowed Emilia Lee, a film student, the freedom to experiment with her sense of style in a less judgemental environment. Lee describes her personal style as a riot of hues, patterns and textures, all combined into chaotic combinations. “Lately, I love dressing up like a playful, poorly wrapped present.”

With bold pieces in her closet, Lee strives to be more sustainable by creating a capsule wardrobe full of statement pieces that can be mixed and matched for eye-catching outfits. Her sources of inspiration include the psychedelic characters in the film “The Holy Mountain” and designers like Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada and artist Yayoi Kusama. Lee’s love for bold, clashing colors, textures and patterns is evident in her crochet designs, digital illustrations and sewing projects. “It is what I’m attracted to and what excites me, which is why I want to put more of it into the world,” Lee said. Her favorite garment that she designed includes a crushed velvet, magenta, two-piece set that is adorned with embellishments and crochet details. 

Lee’s social media presence serves as a fun platform to share her passions, obsessions and opinions. While it provides an avenue for self-expression and connecting with like-minded individuals, she takes a lighthearted approach and doesn’t take it too seriously.

Favorite local businesses: @nuuclothesbyclaire on Instagram, The Wardrobe in Columbia and Tiger Town Treasure in Columbia.

Follow along on Instagram: @lienhsi.n and


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