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What Makes Johnny Depp a Fashion Icon?

06/04/2012 at 06:00 PM ET

Johnny DeppWireImage; Landov; Getty

Johnny Depp is set to join the ranks of the fashion industry’s elite as he accepts the Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Icon award on Monday. Cher, Elizabeth Taylor, Lady Gaga and Audrey Hepburn are among previous winners — but if you’re looking for a way to compare Depp to those ladies, it’s not easy.

First of all, he’s the first male to ever be named the CFDA Icon. What does the CFDA look for when selecting their Icon? CFDA CEO Steven Kolb, who likens the process to Oscars voting, reveals that there are 700 people who nominate and ultimately vote on designers and recipients. Eventually, they narrow their choices down to three top nominees in each category, and the board of directors chooses the winners.

“Johnny’s come up every year,” Kolb tells PEOPLE. “He doesn’t worry about what someone else is going to think. That’s what we liked about him: he’s got no fear and dresses for himself.” Diane von Furstenberg, President of the CFDA, tells PEOPLE, “There’s something that’s authentic about Johnny, and you can see it in his eyes. He’s nice and naughty.”

Kolb cites Depp’s love for accessories as something that made him stand out among nominees. “You see pretty much every guy wearing a bracelet or two,” he says. “You look at Johnny, and he’s got forty of them on and he’s been doing that for a while.” Depp not only adorns his wrists with jewelry, but is known for his necklaces (like beaded items made by his daughter, Lily-Rose) and rings as well. “I have my little trinkets,” Depp has said.

Von Furstenberg says that the element of Depp’s style that she most respects is something that comes from within: “His personality and star quality are very earnest,” she shares. “Personality is what I respect.”

Depp won’t be in New York for Monday night’s awards, but you can catch the rest of the celeb-studded action during a broadcast on Style.com on Tuesday, June 5, at noon ET. And visit People.com Monday evening to see all of the CFDA Awards’ style stars! Tell us: Do you consider Johnny Depp to be a fashion icon?

–Catherine Kast, with reporting by Suzanne Zuckerman

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Showing 11 comments

Stella on

He’s fun and one of the last few originals left. Why else does everyone else copy him: John Mayer, Jack White, Brad Pitt, almost every other actor. You could have posted some pics from earlier years – he’s worn all kinds of looks.

rake on

He deserves it because he is the best ever and EVEN without trying,not like other actors..that’s why he is the best and the coolest man ever ..and the sexiest too!! We love you doll!

What Makes Johnny Depp a Fashion Icon? | LY.ON on

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Amy on

Depp definitely cares about his style in the best way possible. The man always looks so GOOD!

karojen on

Depp’s look is much like Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones. You could see the jacket, the hat and the whip and know it was Indiana Jones.

Depp always adds extras to a normal outfit; the scarf out of the back pocket, the hat, the Platoon boots, the bracelet of pink plastic hearts that his daughter made.

His sunglasses are blue and his hair can be which ever way but never according to rules.

I tied a bandanna around my leg above my knee in high school in 1972. Depp was too young but he makes me think of the 70’s style. [or lack thereof]

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[...] The Council of Fashion Designers of America have awarded Johnny Depp with the Fashion Icon Award, this is the first time that a man has ever received this award. Why is Depp deserving of this honor? Maybe because he just doesn’t give a damn… (People) [...]

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[...] The Council of Fashion Designers of America have awarded Johnny Depp with the Fashion Icon Award, this is the first time that a man has ever received this award. Why is Depp deserving of this honor? Maybe because he just doesn’t give a damn… (People) [...]

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[...] The Council of Fashion Designers of America have awarded Johnny Depp with the Fashion Icon Award, this is the first time that a man has ever received this award. Why is Depp deserving of this honor? Maybe because he just doesn’t give a damn… (People) [...]

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