STYLE ICON: River Phoenix

May 03, 2013

River exudes a seamless ease in his personal style, he looks thrown together, yet handsome and interesting, you can sense that there is something of a radical in him. The eldest of five, River could well recall his family's early days living in poverty while deeply involved in a new Christian religious movement. They had traveled to South America, and were living in Venezuela. Uncompensated for their work, River and his sister Rain would often resort to playing music on street corners for money. Eventually, River's parents became disillusioned with the Church they had been serving and managed to return to the United States by finding passage aboard a freighter. By 1980, the family was resettled, and it was at this point that they changed their name from 'Bottom' to 'Phoenix' symbolizing their fresh start.

As a child actor, River was able to give nuanced performances that showcased an emotional maturity beyond his years. As his career continued, his performances evolved and garnered him much attention from critics and fans alike. Phoenix was also a passionate activist; a vegan since childhood, he championed animal rights. Regardless, his moral conscious would haunt him through out his life. Phoenix wanted to use his fame to shed light on social issues and make change; in fact, he saw it has his vocation, and it weighed heavily on his mind. At 23 his life was cut short when he died from a drug overdose. Despite his untimely end, he has endured as a cultural icon. 

























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