Famous Fashion Designers
Fashion across the globe has been defined by the many shapers and makers in the industry throughout hundreds of years. Clothes have been around since man himself and fashion of the times have been dictated by the functions that they serve — be it as a social status or as a means of expression — fashion serves several purposes and is considered an art form in itself.
Beginning with the father of haute couture Charles Frederick Worth, the label “fashion designer” has been used by amateur and professional men and women who design and make clothes that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. Here are five influential and famous fashion designers of the last 20th and 21st centuries:
The inventor of the little black dress, Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer who was known for her sophistication, elegance, and simplicity. Coming from the restricted Victorian fashions of the late 1800’s, her vision of creating shapeless and comfortable clothes for women was a breath of fresh air. Opening her first shop in 1910, she first started making hats, where she eventually ventured into clothes when people started to ask her about her own clothes that she made herself. She became a fashion powerhouse in the 20’s with her drop waisted, box silhouette dresses, the little black dress, and her most famous fragrance, Chanel No. 5. Her designs are still being worn today.
On the other end of the spectrum was Christian Dior, famous for his “New Look,” after World War II. When Chanel saw luxury and fashion as comfort, Dior saw the beauty in restriction and flaunting the curves of a woman’s body through cinching the waist. Dior was a French designer whose fashion house became one of the world’s tops fashion luxury brands. He opened his first fashion business in 1946, and revolutionized the way women dressed. From the boxy silhouettes of 1940’s suits that defined women’s fashions during the World War II, he introduced the feminine 8-hour glass figure with the tightly cinched waist and full voluminous skirts. His brand today is still a fashion leader with many celebrities wearing his timeless and feminine design philosophy.
Donatella Versace epitomizes the fiery and sexy woman. Gianni Versace, the Italian designer, was already a world renowned fashion designer who had an established worldwide presence, when he was murdered in 1997. Since Donatella was his constant muse and critic during the 70’s, she naturally took over the business of her brother and became chief designer. Through her, she elevated the fashion brand to new heights with her own take on how a woman should should dress. Defined by sexy and lavish designs, Versace is for the fearless woman who is not afraid to show off her sensuality through her clothes.
Famous for her ethereal, breathtaking and spectacular wedding gowns, Vera Wang has made her mark as the fashion designer of the stars. Famous for her haute couture bridesmaid and wedding gown collections, the American fashion designer of Chinese descent worked as Vogue’s senior fashion editor then as a design director for Ralph Lauren. She then started making her own fashion line of gowns and has opened her bridal boutiques in the world’s fashion capitals such as New York, London, and Tokyo. Her famous clients include Mariah Carey, first lady Michelle Obama, Jennifer Lopez, and Victoria Beckham, among many others.
And lastly, Marc Jacobs. American fashion designer Marc Jacobs is head designer and owner of his own fashion house, and a diffusion line. He is also currently the creative director for womenswear for top luxury brand Louis Vuitton. While studying at New York’s Parson School of Design, he received many accolades for his talent in design. He began his career as the designer for womenswear of Perry Ellis in the late 80’s but was sacked due to his grunge collection in 1992. He is one of today’s leading style makers.
Author Kristinsson Magz