In the National Women's History Month we want to honor and celebrate some female leaders contributions to the fashion industry.
The inspiration behind The Devil Wears Prada Movie. Anna Wintour is a British-American journalist. She has worked as the editor-in-chief of Vogue since 1988. Known for having an eye for emerging fashion trends, Wintour is credited with reviving Vogue, which was considered a stagnant publication when she took over in 1988.
Nicknamed Nuclear Wintour due to her demanding personality, Wintour inspired the film's story: The Devil Wears Prada. Wintour was instrumental in bolstering the careers of numerous prominent fashion professionals, including the 1990s generation of supermodels, gifted fashion photographer Herb Ritts, and several important designers.
From Small, Family Business to Luxury Giant
The shop initially specialized in leather goods and imported English steamer trunks. Mario Prada, the brand’s founder, did not believe that women should be involved in the business. However, his son had no interest in running the company, so his daughter, Luisa, succeeded him and ran Prada for almost twenty years. Luisa’s daughter, Maria (a.k.a Miuccia), then joined the company in 1970 and succeeded her mother in 1978.
Miuccia Prada’s first successful handbag design was in 1984. The line consisted of black handbags made of woven nylon, which became an overnight sensation and were referred to as “the classic Prada handbag.”
By 1989, Prada had designed her first women’s ready-to-wear collection, which was noticed for the dropped waistlines and narrow belts. Prada designs were greatly praised for their rich fabrics, clean lines, and basic colors. In 1992, the brand Miu Miu (named after Miuccia’s nickname) was launched. Miu Miu aimed to offer customers a less expensive womenswear line inspired by Miuccia’s wardrobe.
As the head designer at the Prada fashion house, she is renowned for using minimalist designs to achieve a traditional style with modern influence. In 2014, she was listed by Forbes as one of the most powerful woman in the world and the Time Magazine included her in its 100 world’s most influential people.
The Queen of Punk
Vivienne Westwood's death on 29 December 2022 left the world in mourning and shock. Celebrities, fashion icons, and leaders around the world paid tribute to the British designer, who was widely recognized as a pioneering fashion icon. Her fans celebrated her legacy, her influence in the fashion world, and her commitment to sustainability and activism.
Vivienne Westwood was a pioneering British fashion designer who rose to fame in the 1970s. She is best known for her avant-garde designs, which helped to define the punk and new romanticism scenes. She also had an influential role in the sustainable fashion movement and was an outspoken critic of capitalism.
She was a pioneer whose impact on the fashion world was immeasurable. Not only did she consistently deliver groundbreaking designs throughout her six-decade career, but she also used the runway as a platform to telegraph her commitment to political causes from the climate crisis to the blurring of traditional gender boundaries.
One of her most iconic and memorable designs was Carrie Bradsaw wedding dress on the Sex and the City film, made of the most luxurious ivory silk duchess satin and Radzimir taffeta.
Fashion Staples We Wouldn’t Have If It Weren’t for Coco Chanel
It was Coco Chanel who first saw the potential in this practical, comfortable fabric. She was the first to refuse the shackles of restrictive corsetry and searched for new, wearable materials that would fit the more masculine silhouette she is known for pioneering.
Trousers for Women
As a consummate pioneer, she defied social norms, insisting on clothes that women could live in. In fact, she was the first to begin borrowing her boyfriend’s trousers and started wearing them as a fashion statement.
The Little Black Dress
Prior to Coco Chanel’s invention of the Little Black Dress – a chic black sheath dress that was instantly hailed as Chanel’s “Ford moment” – black dresses were worn exclusively for the act of mourning. In creating the now-iconic LBD, Chanel’s purpose was simple: she wanted to create an effortlessly wearable frock that all women could look stylish in. Mission accomplished.
Suits for Women
One of her most significant contributions to the world of fashion was suiting for women. She was the first to create women’s suits, using knit material so that they would be lightweight, flexible, and flattering. Her suits are known for their impeccable fit, collarless necklines, gold braids, metallic buttons, fitted sleeves, and polished silhouette.