Skip to content

Esquire Names James White One of the 100 Most Influential American Style Icons Ever


Esquire has named Seventh-day Adventist co-founder James White among the 100 Most Influential American Style Icons of All Time. 

The magazine’s list which includes the greatest influencers on American fashion over different eras, includes White “due to his rugged but impeccably coifed beard that has inspired hipsters up to this very day to grow their whiskers regardless of ideology or worldview.”

The publication stresses that White’s impact on American fashion was completely unintentional.  “Here was someone who worked in the shadow of a more famous wife who nevertheless managed to co-found and run a denomination; launch a magazine that is still around and publish acres of writing all while quietly bearing witness to the merits of sporting a stylish beard that would be the envy of any hipster downing a latte in Portland today.”

The Esquire profile of White argues that the best thing about James White’s approach to fashion was the sheer effortlessness of his style.  “White was a busy man with a very utilitarian approach to dress and facial grooming who gave off the impression of having little time for externalities,” said Esquire Style Editor, Edward Macramé. “That’s sort of studied-yet-practical effortlessness has always been a hallmark of American style and facial hair.”

Macramé acknowledges that James White’s spouse, Ellen, had the far greater impact on the American religious landscape. He notes Smithsonian Magazine’s recent listing of Ellen White among the 100 Most Significant Americans of All Time but warns readers against underestimating the impact of her lesser-known spouse. “James spent very little money on personal appearance but one look at his tastefully utilitarian dress, piercing eyes and unbeatable beard and you can see why he was able to woo a prophetess.”


Sevvy is a writer at the anonymously-authored humor and satire blog

Subscribe to our newsletter
Spectrum Newsletter: The latest Adventist news at your fingertips.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.