In the spirit of International Women’s Day, we’re honoring the women who’ve blazed trails in the fashion world and changed the industry as we know it. Read on for a look at 7 of our favorite female designers who’ve influenced fashion forever.
Lanvin began as a children’s clothing label, after making clothes for her daughter that were so beautiful, a number of wealthy people began requesting copies for their own children. Soon, though, mothers began requesting similar designs for themselves, and within a few years the business had grown to include womenswear, perfume and home design, making Lanvin the first designer to see the potential of a lifestyle brand.
Chanel’s influence today is as strong as ever, as the house she founded remains one of the most coveted and respected labels in the world. She introduced what are now staples of sportswear into womenswear, in part, by borrowing from the vocabulary of menswear, setting an early bar for equality in the fashion world..
Classically trained in sculpture, Grès became a leading French couturier of her generation and costume designer, best known for her classically inspired floor-length pleated gown, and has been referred to as “the master of the wrapped and draped dress.”
The scope of Prada’s designs – from the nylon handbags in the mid ’80s that made her famous to her critically acclaimed fifties-inspired collection – is truly an inspiration. With a strong eye for design and trend, as well as her astute business sense, she will remain an iconic designer for decades to come.
Diane von Fürstenberg
It goes without saying that Fürstenberg was instrumental in revolutionizing womenswear with the introduction of her classic wrap dress – but her work as the CFDA’s president, nurturing young talent and helping to set healthier standards within the industry, truly set the standard for empowered women designers everywhere.
Thanks to Westwood, modern punk and new wave fashion made a strong mainstream appearance, with bold classic style that’s here to stay. Without her, safety pin shirts, sky-high platforms, plaid pants and, of course, expertly draped details would not be such timeless trends.
As the role of women in the workforce really began to gain momentum, with more women rising to the top of the career ladder, ladies’ workwear staples became more refined. Karan was responsible for developing stylish everyday career looks that were comfortable and gave off an aura of power – clothes that Karan, as a career woman and mother, would also want to wear.