It’s International Woman’s Day and what better way to celebrate than to honor the women who have had a lasting as well as profound impact on the fashion industry. Whether it is through ground-breaking designs, inspiring style, powerful editing, or becoming the face of a decade, these are the women who changed the meaning of fashion for generations.
Better known as Coco Chanel, she defined the notion of wardrobe staples for women that would last a lifetime. From the little black dress to the tweed jacket to pants to statement cocktail necklaces, Coco Chanel redefined women’s wear. She was also one of the first designers to create boxy, shorter and easy to move in pieces, freeing women from their tight corsets. She built an empire that even today remains the most known brand of every girl in search of glamour.
Costume designer Edith Head has won a record eight Academy Awards: more than any other woman alive. She has defined new eras of elegance and grace on film, dressing everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Audrey Hepburn. She collaborated with big-name designers such as Hubert de Givenchy to create fashion icons. Without her, the Holly Golightly we know from Breakfast at Tiffany’s would not have existed.
Audrey Hepburn was and still is a major fashion influencer, particularly for her fashionable characters from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sabrina & Funny Face. She popularized straight, black-cropped pants, boat-neck tops, and comfortable slip-on loafers. She made Holly Golightly an icon in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a fashion favourite forever.
When Anna Wintour became the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue America, she transformed the magazine into a cultural phenomenon. She popularized high fashion for a new generation of women when she was brought in as editor in 1987. Her first Vogue cover pictured a carefree pregnant woman mixing high and low fashion with lots of costume jewellery. She acknowledged the influence of Celebrities on fashion & started the concept of celebrities on the cover of Fashion magazines. She shifted the whole culture of fashion into something young women were inspired by, making Vogue a centrepiece for a new demographic.
We all love & adore Carrie Bradshaw & her group of fashionable girlfriends from SATC. But little do we know that Patricia Field was the reason behind Carrie Bradshaw, whom she styled from 1998 to 2004. Patricia Field injected narrative into a television character through styling like never before, and brought high-end fashion to the masses by dressing Carrie in Manolo Blahnik, Oscar de la Renta and Prada. She also designed costumes for The Devil Wears Prada and Ugly Betty.
There are many other women who changed the landscape of fashion over the years like photographers Annie Leibovitz & Inez, editors Suzy Menkes and Diana Vreeland, Stylists Rachel Zoe & Lori Goldstein, style icons Jackie O Kennedy & Princess Diana, Models Gigi Hadid & Cindy Crawford , Celebrities like Madonna & Elizabeth Taylor.
Who in your opinion influenced you the most? Do let me know in the comments below.