While flipping through a fashion magazine at the gate, however, it’s hard not to come across an entirely different sphere of travel, one where models and actresses in towering heels breeze through security draped in wrinkle-free clothes. They might still have to wait for their luggage at arrivals or drink burnt Starbucks coffee, but they’re a world away. It’s a mixture of “Stars: They’re Just Like Us!” and “Wow, I will never strut through JFK in a pair of $10,000 ankle boots.”
Pop culture’s obsession with airport fashion is nothing new. The trend dates all the way back to the Golden Age of Hollywood, when photographers clamored for photos of Marilyn Monroe descending the steps of a plane in Los Angeles or Zsa Zsa Gabor perched on her Louis Vuitton cases en route to the French Riviera. It has continued to this day, with airport paparazzi shots of everyone from Gigi Hadid and Kylie Jenner to Victoria Beckham and Jennifer Aniston dotting the pages of glossy magazines and gossip sites. This fascination with what celebrities wear in airports combines our current generation’s love of social-media access with an age-old obsession concerning the glamorous side of travel and celebrity. It’s the perfect mix of aspirational and achievable.