Style Like U Celebrates Individual Style

StylelikeU shines a spotlight on personal style and individuality. Lily, 21, (left) and her mother Elisa started the site in 2008, and it's full of fascinating people. As they say, "No matter what one’s age, socioeconomic status, body type, or ethnicity, style is soulful, immaterial, and universally accessible." Cool! We talked to Lily to find out more. I Heart Daily: What was the inspiration for Style Like U? Lily: My mom and I shared a passion for personal style -- we used to love sitting on street benches, people-watching for hours. When that one person would walk down the street who made our heads turn, we would joke about how we wished we could get to know them. So in an abstract sense, the site came to fruition as a result of our fascination with people of all shapes and sizes.

IHD: How do you find the people you profile? Lily: It's an extremely organic process. For the most part, each person that we shoot sends us a list of their friends who they feel would be great subjects to feature for the site. So in that respect, it's an ongoing tree of referrals. Plus, our team is always looking out for interesting art, fashion, and music events, as well as flea markets, where we may be able to find unique people to feature.

One of the greatest experiences in recent memory was when my mom and I were shooting in London this past summer. One day, one of our shoots got cancelled, so we had about an hour to kill. We ran to a flea market in Brick Lane for our own shopping indulgences, where we completely unexpectedly discovered two of my favorite SLU subjects ever, Oliver and Kira. My mom and I did our normal sketchy stare-down, checking them out until we got the guts to go up to them and ask if they were interested in being featured. They were completely open to be interviewed, and we went to their apartment the next morning. The shoot was truly magical, as these two artists live in a complete fantasy world in their Brick Lane apartment.

IHD: Do you have a favorite subject you've profiled lately? Lily: One of my favorite recent posts is Trae Harris. I love how every aspect of her style, from her tattoos to her bangles to her face paint, is all embedded with deep meaning. One of her tattoos represents her belief in numerology (especially the power of the number 3), her bangles are from her travels to Cambodia, and her face paint represents her connection to the rituals of the Dogon tribe in west Africa. As I was editing her video, I was inspired to write down nearly everything that I heard come out of her mouth, as she is so self-aware and lives her life in such a brave and admirable way.

IHD: What inspires your own style? Lily: I get most of my style inspiration from the people on StylelikeU. Some of my all time favorites have been Chase CohlNick FouquetKaren & Sara Brown, and Elizabeth Burns [who's 81]. However, one of my biggest inspirations is Lisa Moffie, my mom's best friend and an aunt-like figure to me. She truly marches to the beat of her own drummer in her clothing and in the way that she lives her life. She is somewhat of a nomad, having spent much of her life traveling all over the world, particularly all over Africa. I covet her endless collection of beaded African necklaces, belts, and her tunic dresses. Every object that she surrounds herself with tells the story of her life. To this day, no matter how much time I spend in her house, my heart races every time I enter her world.

Click on any of those links and you'll get lost in StyleLikeU -- it's full of inspiration.