The airport is fashion’s second runway. It’s a climate-controlled safe zone where a celebrity’s ‘fit can be experimented with and forgiven (travel!) if an outfit doesn’t fly. When it does, however, like the time Kevin Bacon glided out of LAX in February of 1991 in shades and suede chelsea boots (above), it can become a lasting image burnt into the retinas of pop culture.
Besides, now that enough time has passed for the ‘90s to be back on trend, these images have a renewed sense of worth. It was a time of peak Hugh Grant and young, suave George Clooney turning heads on the tarmac. Coincidentally, these outfits would work just as well today. Case in point: The airport terminal has become a baggage carousel of new style stars as of late, including Post Malone rocking a loafer, Robert Pattinson sporting a hot track pant, Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a velvet sweatshirt and Timothée Chalamet earlier this year in purple socks.
Yet only 4 percent of published paparazzi photos are taken at the airport, according to a white paper published by the University of Copenhagen in 2014. A total of 4,737 photographs were surveyed and categorized from the ten most visited entertainment outlets (including TMZ and People) over the course of three weeks and distilled into chilling data. Compare that aforementioned 4 percent figure with the 31 percent of images that are taken in the street. Though its share of the larger paparazzi pie is small, there is a significant cottage industry that has cropped up around the celebrity airport snap. Most recently, nascent style icon Harry Styles strolled through Tokyo’s Narita airport in cream Gucci trousers and carried a $4,890 Tom Ford weekender bag. It was written up in Vogue. (He was not personally styled for it.)