A few months ago, designer Hedi Slimane posted a series of pictures he'd taken of Frances Bean Cobain. She was decked out in grunge attire, tattoos, and a dense layer of smoke. To me, the images looked like a girl trying to connect to this god-like figure the public has made of her father, Kurt, who died while she was still very young. But that's not what other people saw. Other people were excited that she was "bringing grunge back" and were a-buzz about her potential as a fashion icon.
Most fashion icons are icons because people noticed their styles while they were busy being good at their other jobs. Audrey Hepburn and Katherine Hepburn were both fantastic actresses who had distinct fashion senses. Coco Chanel was a good designer who pushed her vision onto the masses. Jackie Kennedy's purpose was more than looking nice. But now we make people fashion icons because they model nice or because they paid a stylist to push them and their fledgling careers into the limelight.
I'm not saying Frances Bean Cobain is trying to get attention (in fact there haven't been anymore photos since), nor am I saying that she doesn't have style (although I think the photographer styled these). I am saying that I'm sick of "fashion icon" being a thing to create and aspire to instead of it being a side effect of a woman's own awesomeness.