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WOMEN IN FASHION – A Lifelong Commitment

As we all know, Fashion belongs to Women.

Women are not only the main consumers when it comes to ready-to-wear, but they’re often the mind behind the greatest collections ever created.

Women imagine, design, create and wear. They’re an unstoppable force that moves the world and makes it a unique place.

Although we are yet to reach true equality between Men and Women even in the Fashion Industry, we can all agree that Women have done a great deal to shape the industry into today’s Fashion Panorama.

In order to celebrate the value of Women in our Society, we have decided to bring to you a few examples of Women of Value in Fashion.

Coco Chanel

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Coco Chanel is by far the most influent designer in the fashion world and her character has always inspired women all over the world.

She started by making simple hats and soon moved onto real apparel. While she was openly an enthusiast of black, her collections did involve a bigger range of nuances and different colors.

The main goal of Coco Chanel was to reinvent fashion by bringing something new into the old haute couture that imposed boustiers and complex hat structures. She drew inspiration from the shapes of classic Menswear and from the everyday style of real people, to offer women something new. In a way we can consider her a feminist designer.

Jeanne Lanvin

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Jeane Lanvin began her career as a mother, by designing dresses for her daughter. However, her designs were soon noticed by a multitude of noble women, who soon requested the same designs for their daughters.

The brand Lanvin did indeed start by producing Childernswear. It didn’t take much, though, before women started requesting similar dresses for themselves.

Although Jeanne started later to focused her production on Childrenswear and Womenswear, she wanted to try enriching her business by offering a bigger range of products, especially parfumes.

Elsa Schiaparelli

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One of the most sovversive and revolutionary minds within the Fashion Industry, Elsa Schiaparelli got in touch with her artistic side as a grown up woman and, thanks to her high-profile artistic entourage and her friendship with Salvador Dalì, she managed to transpose the concept of surrealism onto fashion.

She designed very colorful pieces (and invented the “shocking pink” colour), while introducing innovative shapes and patterns into her apparel.

It’s no surprise that she gained herself a space at the Met in New York.

Vivienne Westwood

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Vivienne Westwood is one of the most relevant contemporary figures in the Fashion Industry.

She debuted in the 70’s by bringing something new onto the table: Punk fashion.

She probably made her way into the high levels of fashion doing the opposite as Coco Chanel. Instead of drawing inspiration from ordinary people around her, which was not as innovative as it was a Coco’s times, she was extremely fascinated by Tradition and by the history of the Costume.

As a result, she brought back boustiers and faux-culs and gave contemporary fashion a whole new twist.

Vivienne is also knows for her deep social commitment that is clearly visible in some of her collections, some of which have been created ad hoc in support of Civil Rights.

Diane Von Furstenberg

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The name of Diane Von Furstenberg surely sounds familiar even to an unexperienced ear.

Diane is indeed commonly associated to the famous Wrap Dress, which has widely been used over the last two decades.

It’s important to underline that the it was not directly Diane who invented this design. However, she was able to reinterpret the dress in her own way (midi length and often with long sleeves), and managed to steadily bring back that style into the new millennium.

She decided to start her own business and invest a big sum of money into her collection after marrying the noble Prince Egon von Furstenberg. Not as an attempt to take advantage of his wealth, but because she felt the need to have her own identity and to avoid becoming just a shadow behind his husband’s figure.

Her will to independence did indeed praise her, as her first collection was very successful and allowed her to quickly become one of the most influent designers all over the world.

Vera Wang

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What’s interesting about Vera Wang is that she started her career as an editor at Vogue at a very young age, where she stayed for 17 years. Before that, she was a professional Figure Skater and was even featured in Sports Illustrated‘s Faces in the Crowd.

So we can definitely call that an example of a talented and eclectic woman.

After a relatively short break working for Ralph Lauren, she finally decided to focus on the design of wedding gowns at the age of 40.

Her designs were immediately a success and have been worn buy a huge number of celebrities over the years. She soon found herself designing not only wedding gowns, but also evening wear.

She now expanded her business onto lingerie, jewelry and products for the home. However, Vera Wang will always be the queen of Wedding Gowns.

Donna Karan

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Donna Karan, nicknamed The Queen Of Seventh Avenue, started her career as assistant designer so Anne Klein, where she was quickly promoted to head of the design-team.

After Anne Klein’s death, Donna became head designer of the fashion brand, where she stayed for a few years and forged her skills in order to, in 1984, go indipendent and establish her new label “Donna Karan New York”.

Donna’s designs were very popular for their simplicity, as she designed exclusively apparel that she would wear herself.

The label expanded very quickly, soon including a less expensive line called DKNY and a Menswear line.

What’s interesting about Donna is that she never settled for anything and that she was always ready for a change. That’s why she finally left her CEO position, continuing as a chairwoman and designer, and in 2015 definitely left her eponymous company.

In order to retire? Of course not. She is now focusing on her lifestyle bran Urban Zen, established by Donna herself in 2007.

Miuccia Prada

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Miuccia is not only one of the most influent figures in Fashion, but she’s also one of the most powerful women in the world.

Born in Milan, she soon started working in the small family business run by her parents and was able to bring the company to a whole new level.

She debuted with a line of bags that became surprisingly famous and was suddenly requested all over the world.

What’s interesting about Miuccia is that she constantly works together with innovative architects for the design of her stores. The biggest examples are her main shops in New York, Tokyo and Los Angeles.

She is currently one of the 100 most powerful women in the world and has been featured in the cover of the New York Times in 2008.

Stella McCartney

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Stella is the living proof that having a famous last name does not necessarily bring you fame.

Stella has showed an interest towards fashion ever since she was a child, and soon began to follow her dream by studying Fashion at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

After working as designer for several big labels, such as Gucci, Chloé and Adidas, Stella decided to start her own business and establish her own label: Stella McCartney.

Stella is a lifelong vegetarian and her commitment to a “no-animal” policy is carefully followed in her designs as well, which is why she was featured in the The sustainable Fashion Handbook.

Her label currently includes a cosmetic and lingerie line, and has recently launched a Menswear collection.

A restless talent.

Anna Wintour

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Although Anna Wintour is not a designer, the most famous and feared woman in Fashion did deserve to be mentioned among the most influent women as well.

Afterall, Fashion is not only about design. Fashion is the way a collection is presented to the world and knowing your own audience. It’s a unique photo set, it’s a model and her make up, it’s her pose and how comfortable she is with her environment. It’s a photographer and the pen of a journalist.

It’s about Art.

And Anna Wintour is able to coordinate all that into the greatest Fashion Magazine in the world: Vogue.

We won’t spend any words to talk about the legends that revolve around her attitude, but will rather praise her value by underlining the talent of a woman that has been able to achieve what few people ever have.

So here’s to women, to their never-ending resources and ability to stand out and prove what they’re worth.

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