Food & Drink

Seattle’s Street Seen – Hair Apparent

These vibrant styles all make the cut

By Jonathan Sposato April 12, 2023

Betty, performer, Harbor Steps.

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2023 issue of Seattle magazine.

This month’s “Seattle Seen” puts a special focus on the most beautifully hair-endowed amongst us. If hair is 75% self-esteem, then this segment of Seattle’s population would assuredly be plenty self-possessed. These trendsetters exhibit a vibrant display of personal style, grooming, make-up, and a distinctly Pacific Northwest attitude. These are the round pegs in the square holes, the misfits and troublemakers, and likely the very folks who challenge the status quo by beating to their own delightful rhythms.

Finding them in neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Ballard, or Belltown, Seattle magazine’s on-the-street photographer Valerie Franc shows us that it’s a mistake to assume Seattle has no style game. These portraits aptly underscore the diversity and subversiveness of Seattle street style much more so than any Madison Avenue or Hollywood approximation of Seattle’s hip and trendy.

Franc says she’s always been attracted to photojournalism and portraiture. She took workshops in Arles, France, with renowned photojournalist Eric Bouvet, and a portraiture workshop with noted Seattle photographer and author Jenny Riffle at Photographic Center Northwest. She also learned from Ted Mase, a retired photojournalist who persuaded her to volunteer with street newspaper Real Change.

“I started working on a street portraiture project highlighting Pike Place Market,” Franc says. “I wanted to convey the vibe of that iconic Seattle landmark in all its diversity. Then came the pandemic, and I re-centered on Capitol Hill with no particular project in mind. I just photographed the strangers who caught my gaze.”

Left: Sixties cool girl, Northwest Folklife Festival. Right: Anonymous regular, Pike Place Market.

Photography by Valerie Franc

 

Left: Desiree, skateboard maker, at her day job in Capitol Hill. Right: Johnny, tourist, Pike Place Market.

Photography by Valerie Franc

 

Left: Gigi, tourist, Capitol Hill. Right: Gigi, skateboarder, Capitol Hill.

Photography by Valerie Franc

Follow Us

Sustainable Strands

Sustainable Strands

Decoding clothing labels for chic and healthier fabric choices

When curating your wardrobe, paying close attention to clothing labels is a must. To ensure your outfits are stylish, sustainable, and durable, look for garments crafted from natural fibers such as  cotton, silk, wool, linen, and cashmere. Clothes made from...

Authentic, Inclusive, Functional

Authentic, Inclusive, Functional

These three Seattle brands are forging unique paths in fashion

Despite the ubiquitous “casual and comfortable” look, Northwest dressing is starting to take a more thoughtful turn — it just requires a discerning eye to spot the elusive trendsetters. When talking street style, Seattle might fall flat when put up against New York, Paris, or Los Angeles, but many of its designers are leaning into

Your Guide to a Closet Refresh 

Your Guide to a Closet Refresh 

Spring is the perfect time for a fresh start

Our closets often reflect our lives — busy, a tad chaotic, and full of ‘someday’ promises. It’s time to reclaim our space, align our wardrobes with who we are today, and prepare for the exciting road ahead.

‘Mean Girls’ Reboot Sparks Surge in Y2K Fashion 

‘Mean Girls’ Reboot Sparks Surge in Y2K Fashion 

Seattle’s vintage shops put us in the lead 

Flared low-rise jeans are back. With the new Mean Girls movie sparking a wave of nostalgia, the nation is once again embracing the days of flip phones and cargo pants.