A Street Style Photographer Predicts Spring’s Biggest Trends


Street-style documentarian Johnny Cirillo has built a fanbase under the pseudonym @watchingnewyork by cataloging the ensembles of the city’s most stylish dwellers in their natural habitat. These aren’t posed shots outside a fashion show with clothes so fresh you can smell the store on them (or the PR lending house). No, these are real people with real style. All of these culminate in his opus, Watching New York: Street Style A to Z, released on April 16th.

In compiling his first book, Cirillo turned back the clock to 2016, sifting through eight years of documentation. “We had all these different ideas, and we landed on an A-through-Z guide, [which] basically [describes] street fashion in New York.” He narrowed his collection down to roughly 600 photos, plus various musings from the featured authors and subjects. “It’s more than just a picture book,” he summarizes.

The selection process served as an exercise in self-reflection. “I’ve been doing this long enough where you can look back now and see what was happening right before COVID, what was happening right after the election, all these things that are just in our zeitgeist like the Barbie movie, all of a sudden the city explodes in pink.” As much as we Brooklynites would like to claim style longevity, change is the only common factor. “Every season, the old goes out, and new stuff comes in. That old stuff gets forgotten for a while until it comes back.” He cites bell bottoms and skinny jeans as one of the many victims of fashion’s pendulum swing. Zoomed out, we behave as predicted; Cirillo reiterates that the classics really do persist. “That’s why they call them the classics. Cardigans, overalls, leather jackets, berets—they’ll never go away.”

With the first warm days of spring underway, the energy of his subjects is buzzing. In celebration of the book launch, we asked the photojournalist to predict the trends he’s already seeing this season.


“I think chainmail is going to be big this year, spring and summer,” he says of another cyclical trend. A staple of the Rabanne house codes, chainmail manifests in the form of barely-there tops (worn over blouses or nothing at all), pouchettes, and other accessories.

Sporty Prep

Thank Grace Wales Bonner and Emily Adams Bode for this one; the clash of sporty motifs and preppy aesthetics is in. Born out of two inherently practical fashion fads, this one is unlikely to fizzle anytime soon. “I think there’s going to be a lot of big collared polo shirts,” Cirillo says, characterizing the explosion, “kind of preppy athleisure, Adidas-sporty-prep.”

Red Evolves to Burgundy

“There were the pops of red that came in, and I think that’s evolving into burgundy,” he notes. “Tone down the red; bring a little purple into the mix.”

Light Blue

“I feel like there’s been an explosion of light blues,” he says. Interestingly, both this and the burgundy trend mimic the overwhelming favorite colors of the Fall 2024 fashion weeks. Coincidence? I think not.


“I think that there’s going to be a lot of tattered clothes, holes in clothes, very, very distressed,” he says. Think: shredded denim, beat-up leather, and worn-in T-shirts.


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