A person devoted to fashion clothing, specifically unique or high fashion. A person not to be called a fashionista would be someone who obsessively follows trends. REAL fashionistas do not believe in trends.
In the sense of a consumer, a fashionista tends to follow fashion avidly, and he or she dresses well, keeping up with the latest fashions to ensure a reputation for being stylish and well turned-out. In addition to actively buying fashionable garments, a fashionista keeps an eye on cultural trends, attends fashion events, and reads fashion magazines. While they may be criticized as shallow, fashionistas aren’t necessarily one-dimensional people with a single-minded fixation on fashion. In fact, fashionistas sometimes lead movements to push for fair trade garments and the abolition of child labor in the garment industry, or engage in other socially and politically aware activities.
This term can also be used to reference people in the industry, such as buyers, designers, and so forth. Fashion buyers often have a huge impact on the fashion industry, because they determine which stores carry which collections, and which items go on to become popular. Becoming a fashion buyer requires a formidable knowledge of fashion, trends, and the industry.
A number of derivations of the classic fashionista can be found. A recessionista, for example, is someone who tries to dress fashionably on a limited budget, using creative means to remain stylish in the face of adversity. Some fat activists use the term “fatshionista” to describe overweight individuals who dress stylishly and promote plus-size fashions. Many fatshionistas try to act as ambassadors for the plus-sized community, showing people that being overweight doesn’t preclude stylish looks.