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Millennials are loving these Upper East Side style icons

It’s the upper crust of street style photography. 

Joshua Kamei and his @LadiesofMadisonAve Instagram and TikTok accounts have gone viral documenting New York socialites, their fashions and the fabulous backstories behind them. 

“I really like glamor and I really like this city, so it’s just form of something I began reporting on,” Kamei, a 39-year-old Hell’s Kitchen resident, told The Post.

A designer by trade, Kamei began the account as a side project in 2020 and it’s snowballed in popularity. The Instagram currently boasts 195k followers, and the TikTok has 122,000 followers. 

Kamei’s earnest adoration for his often senior subjects’ old style class and elegance make the account stand out in a sea of digital street photographers and videographers.

An unnamed lady of Madison Avenue outside Ralph’s Coffee. Her photo graced the account this March.
Joshua Kamei

In each still images and delightfully chatty videos, he captures the residents — mostly women “aged 40 to 95” — of upper Manhattan’s tonier corners. Their looks defy easy categorization, but all of them exude a certain classy, Upper East Side elegance and expensiveness. 

Subjects have included everyone from an anonymous smartly dressed older couple — him in navy blazer, her in a tailored pink frock — at a stoplight, to former Welsh model and onetime Vogue creative director Grace Coddington sauntering down Park Avenue in black, to a younger couple on the Metropolitan opera, the lady in her mother’s sleek charcoal skirt.

“I really like once I can tell a generational story,” Kamei said.

One of his favorite local fashionistas is a smiling, elderly blonde he most recently photographed wearing a black, Karl Lagerfeld-designed Fendi dress with a ship neckline. He doesn’t know her name but he loves her looks. 

A classy lady in a black Fendi dress on Madison Avenue.
Joshua Kamei
A glamorous couple Kamei posted to the account in late August.
Joshua Kamei

“She is certainly one of the gems of Madison Avenue and certainly one of the explanations I desired to document “’The Ladies of Madison Avenue,’” he explained in the caption.

Despite lots of his subjects being of their sunset years, Kamei — who grew up in awe of Audrey Hepburn and his glamazon grandma in Jackson, Mississippi — is a robust believer that age just isn’t a essential qualifier for being chic.

“I believe sometimes it’s a presence,” he said. “Sometimes certain women just have something and also you don’t even notice their clothes, and also you’re like, my God, who’s she?” 

He doesn’t strictly limit himself to uptown, however the overwhelming majority of his subjects are indeed snapped  above 59th street. 

ABC News correspondent Deborah Roberts made an appearance on the account earlier this month.
Joshua Kamei

“There’s so many individuals already reporting downtown,” he said of the oversaturated scene. “So I’m just going to remain in my lane.”

And, while he typically documents older women, his followers are mostly within the 25 to 35 age range. 

“I believe they see women that they would really like to be like once they grow up,” he said.

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