Because we’re fashion obsessed and also well into Women’s Month, we thought it’s a good time to look at the women in fashion who’ve done incredible things and led the way to a fashion-forward future. From designers and media personalities to bloggers, there are women behind some of the biggest fashion empires. And we’re all about it.
1.Rei Kawakubo (1942 – )
Designer and founder of Comme des Garçons
Known for: Her deconstructionism in fashion, starting during the 80s. Kawakubo exemplifies true Japanese style, staying humble and hard at work, and revolutionising the way fashion is experienced.
‘What you wear can largely govern your feelings and your emotions, and how you look influences the way people regard you. So fashion plays an important role on both the practical level and the aesthetic level of activity.’
2.Gabrielle Coco Chanel (1883 – 1971)
Designer and founder of Chanel
Known for: Introducing women’s trousers, the little black dress and costume jewellery. Chanel played a very important role in changing the perception of women’s dress.
‘Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future.’
3.Sophia Amoruso (1984 – )
Businesswomen and founder of Nastygal
Known for: Starting a very successful online retail company and defining what it is to be a #Girlboss.
‘There are secret opportunities hidden inside every failure.’
4.Pat McGrath (1970 –)
Known for: Creating beautiful looks for the best designers all over the world, as well as doing editorials in the top magazines. She also created her own line of make-up. Most recently, McGrath has become a contributing editor for Vogue and won a CFDA Award.
‘I felt uncomfortable doing something that everyone’s already done – you don’t want to be boring.’
5. Leandra Medine (1988 – )
Founder of Man Repeller
Known for: Her brilliant approach to fashion and individuality, through running her very successful blog.
‘The fact that so many young people with opinions and ideas on fashion have been able to rise to the top of this industry that has historically seemed so impenetrable is really, really inspiring and motivating. You see yourself in the sort of digital superstars of fashion and that’s a really special sentiment to share.’
6.Sonia Rykiel (1930 – 2016)
Known for: holding her title as the ‘queen of knits’.
‘Sometimes in the fashion industry we come across some unfair rules, but no-one is obliged to follow them.’
7. Susie Lau (1983 – )
Founder of Susie Bubble
Known for: Being one of the most prominent media personalities, running her blog Susie Bubble.
8.Vivienne Westwood (1941 – )
Known for: bringing punk fashion to a mainstream society.
‘I didn’t consider myself a fashion designer at all at the time of punk. I was just using fashion as a way to express my resistance and to be rebellious. I came from the country, and by the time I got to London, I considered myself to be very stupid. It was my ambition to understand the world I live in.’
9. Miroslava Duma (1985 –)
Entrepreneur and businesswoman
Known for: founding Buro24/7 as an all-encompassing platform for fashion, lifestyle and news.
‘The fashion industry is all about storytelling and craftsmanship. Sustainability adds value because it makes that backstory even more impactful.’
10. Miuccia Prada (1949 –)
Designer of Prada and founder of Miu Miu
Known for: Creating the first ready-to-wear lines for Prada, as well as more affordable brand Miu Miu.
‘What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today when human contacts go so fast. Fashion is instant language.’
11.Jenna Lyons (1969 – )
Designer and businesswoman
Known for: being the president and creative director at J.Crew and is also on the board of directors of the CDFA.
‘There’s this idea that everybody has to have everything right away… I wasn’t the superstar. I had to work really long hours for it.’