|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA, AIWA! NO!|If you only could know about TEN people in fashion today, these would be the names that matter most. Some are famous, others are more behind the scenes— but each has an outsize influence on the fashion industry.
People in the fashion industry are constantly bringing new and interesting creations to the runway which is why fashion trends never get old. Great fashion comes from within and the talents of some of the most influential people in the business.
From designers to models, photographers, and other people in the fashion industry, there is no shortage of iconic superstars when it comes to the most influential people who have affected the manner in which we dress. The fashion industry is known for its long history of trend-setters, ground-breakers, and visionaries that have created and popularised fashion. Here are ten of the most influential people in fashion today.
1. Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel is a fashion designer with creations that have truly stood the test of time. Her designs have always been popular and still remain a staple in the fashion world decades after her death.
Coco Chanel is a true pioneer in fashion and forged ahead with designs that no one else was producing at the time. Chanel designs still reign in the fashion industry as one of the finest for nearly three quarters of a century. Her designs are very stylish with many creations artfully crafted as a mix of male and female design inspirations. Many of the Chanel creations are very luxurious without being too gaudy or overstated.
Coco Chanel first introduced her famous cologne called Chanel No. 5 during the 1920s. It was the first cologne ever to bear the name of a renowned designer. During this same decade, the Chanel suit was first introduced which was designed with a fitted skirt and a jacket without a collar. The design included inspirations borrowed from menswear. Additionally, her fashion helped women to move away from the constraints of tight fitting underclothing, corsets, and other uncomfortable garments.
Coco Chanel was also responsible for bringing the little black dress to the forefront of fashion. This showed the fashion world that the colour black can be used for elegant evening-wear, instead of solely being used by those in mourning.
Approximately ten years following the death of Coco Chanel in 1971, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld took over the company to keep her legacy alive. Currently, Chanel fashions continue to be popular and generate millions of dollars in sales year after year.
2. Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani began his career as a window designer before working his way up to menswear designs. His career in the fashion industry spans more than 35 years and he has been named one of the top fashion designers in the world for 2014-2015.
Following his foray into designer menswear, Armani built a fashion empire of luxurious designs which include Emporio Armani and Giorgio Armani Privé lines of clothing. His empire also includes shoes, accessories, home décor, and cosmetics as well. His designs are known for unique fabrics which are used in unusual frameworks.
During the 1980s Giorgio Armani redefined the business suit for both women and men and set a new standard for business apparel near the end of the 20th century. Power suits and other business apparel were made with lightweight fabrics designed with flexibility for all day comfort. In addition to comfort, the contemporary apparel was also designed with exquisite tailoring which provided business professionals with the best of both worlds.
The Armani designer brand is one of the few top companies that continue to remain independent in terms of international investment channels. Currently, there are more than five hundred distribution stores around the globe.
3. Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren launched his fashion empire from a job he held with a tie manufacturer. It was here he launched Polo Fashions in the late 1960s by designing wide ties which were a popular style at the time.
By the beginning of the 1970s, his line of menswear won the City Award. A couple of years later, he unveiled the classic Polo shirt with short sleeves and a collar. Not long after, Ralph Lauren designed the first women’s suit with the Polo logo which was designed with hints of menswear fashion in mind. This became the new power suit and rivalled the Armani business suit, also designed with a combination of women’s and men’s fashion in mind.
The Polo line became a fashion statement in itself and is still popular in the fashion world today. Additionally, the short sleeve Polo shirt is still considered a staple in every man’s wardrobe across the globe. Both lines of apparel for men and women is very creative and unique. This is why his designs stand out in the fashion industry and make a statement about gender equality.
4. Karl Lagerfeld
Karl Lagerfeld was born in Germany and left for Paris during his early twenties to go to school. It was in Paris that he won an award for a coat design in a contest sponsored by International Wool Secretariat. This placed him on the map when he was offered a job at the Balmain fashion house.
In addition to owning his own brand of designer clothing, Karl Lagerfeld became artistic director for Chanel in the early 1980s. Currently he is also associated with other major designer brand names such as Jean Patou, Chloe, Macy’s, Fendi, and H&M. His designs are well known for bold colours with consistent innovation and reinvention. The Lagerfeld label was recently sold to Tommy Hilfiger.
Karl Lagerfeld currently designs clothing for Macy’s department store and has gotten involved with professional film and photography. In recent years, he has also become known for his glassware designs which are offered by Orrefors, a Swedish company that manufactures exquisite crystal glassware.
5. Valentino Garavani
Valentino Garavani is known for designing Jacqueline Kennedy’s wedding address, in addition to winning the Neiman Marcus award for many of his designs. Valentino designs are known for their luxurious fabrics as well as chic business style. He typically designs most of his creations to meet specific tastes of notable people and fans of the Valentino label. The Valentino website is designed with virtual 3D to allow his clients to view 360 degrees of the creation they are looking to purchase.
Valentino still remains at the top of the fashion world despite stepping down in 2007. His masterpieces which create a natural sense of beauty are timeless creations that still remain in demand by fashionistas with discerning tastes. Jacqueline Kennedy developed an interest in Valentino designs after noticing some of her friends in Valentino creations. As a result, Valentino became her “go to” designer for suits and dresses, as well as her wedding dresses for her marriage to John F. Kennedy and later, Aristotle Onassis in 1968.
6. Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs grew up in New York and was raised by his grandmother who taught him how to knit. The skills he learned from his grandmother marked the beginning of his success designing oversized sweaters. Following his graduation from the Parsons design school, he went to work designing street wear made of opulent fabrics for Perry Ellis. A few years later he was named Creative Director for Louis Vuitton.
Marc Jacobs also owns two designer label brands known as Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs, in addition to designing other fashions including shoes, jewellery, sunglasses, and other accessories. His designs are available in over 50 countries around the world with close to three hundred retail stores throughout the countries.
As a result of his work with Louis Vuitton and the creation of his own labels, Marc Jacobs has become known as the most sought after designer for contemporary fashion. The designs borrow from the past with new and innovative styling and a touch of mix and match vintage looks.
7. Tom Ford
Tom Ford considers his start in the fashion industry as the point when he purchased his first pair of Gucci shoes at the age of 12. He went on to work with Marc Jacobs at Perry Ellis before going to work for Gucci to try and bring back the slowly diminishing designer brand that was nearly bankrupt in the early 1990s.
His designs while working as Creative Director for Gucci put new life in a brand that was lacking in creativity. Many of his designs included chic satin shirts and other fashions made of metallic fabric. This brought Gucci back to the forefront in fashion with an estimated company worth of more than $4 billion by the end of the 1990s.
The most well-known labels that carry Tom Ford’s designs include Yves Saint Laurent, Perry Ellis, and Cathy Hardwick, in addition to his own brand label known as Tom Ford. He has also been awarded by the American Best Fashion Designers in the World for his menswear designs. Recently, he has been making movies which have also been the recipient of many awards as well.
8. Jérôme LaMaar
Jérôme LaMaar was born in New York City and got his start in the fashion industry working as an intern for Baby Phat fashions at the age of 15. Three years later he was named Senior Designer and Creative Brand Coordinator for Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simons.
While working for Baby Phat, Jérôme became interested in designing jewellery as a pastime. Two years later, he was commissioned to work with Adventures of Mimidesigning the costumes for Mariah Carey’s world tour. His designs include a combination of class and inane with a 2015 collection that emanates a disco vibe.
Following his position at Phat, Jérôme went on to work for Chado Ralph Rucci, a fashion design company. At this time he was also appointed by Promostyl Paris as a fashion trend forecaster. A few years later, he became a consultant for the Armani brand label before travelling to Japan to hone his skills as a silversmith for jewellery fashions.
As a result of his experience as a consultant, forecaster, and designer, Jérôme is currently highly sought after by some of the biggest names in the fashion industry. The brand labels include Givaudan, Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret, Tommy Hilfiger, GAP, Swarovski, Adidas, Moussy Japan, and many more.
9. Kim Haller
Kim Haller started out designing knitwear for major brand labels such as Jason Wu and Calvin Klein before introducing her own line of fashion knitwear creations. Her forte is working with yarn creating sculpted creations including one-piece garments, dresses, sweaters, skirts, and more.
The popularity of her designs prompted a need for more knitwear designers in the fashion industry. As a result, she became a consultant for knitwear providing support for other designers aspiring to expand their own knitwear lines. She has also worked as a design consultant for the Michael Kors Collection.
In addition to her consultancy for aspiring fashion designers in knitwear, Kim Haller has also designed popular knitwear for major brand labels in the fashion industry. Some of the labels include DKNY, Anne Klein, TSE Cashmere, Derek Lam, Adrienne Vittadini, Maiyet, and many more. She is one of the most sought after knitwear designers in the fashion industry as the result of her innovative creations and the ability to manage technical challenges associated with designing fine knitwear.
10. Miuccia Prada
Miuccia Prada began her career in the fashion industry after managing a leather goods company owned by her grandfather in Milan. While managing the company, she was able to convert it into a thriving enterprise that took charge of many different brand labels. Miuccia Prada owns an endless variety of brand labels which started when she managed brands such as Jil Sander, Fendi, and Helmut Lang.
During the mid-1980s, the Prada brand began to rise to the top of the fashion world with the introduction of simple black nylon handbags and other similar products that were adorned with understated labelling. This made the Prada brand stand out in an era where many other fashion brands were inundated with logos.
At the end of the 1980s, Prada introduced a new line called Uniforms for the Slightly Disenfranchised. This line of clothing was categorised as a ready to wear style for women and marked the beginning of Prada’s journey into new designs, regardless of what was currently considered fashion industry trend at any given time. This is why she is considered to be one of the most influential female fashion designers to date. Instead of designing her creation with an eye on trends, she disregards fashion industry trends to create designs that are feminine but still powerful and intelligent. Miuccia Prada holds a Ph.D in political science with no formal training in fashion design.
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