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12 women shaping the fashion industry

On International Women's Day we celebrate the designers, photographers and models who are changing the fashion world

12 women shaping the fashion industry On International Women's Day we celebrate the designers, photographers and models who are changing the fashion world

The fashion world, even with its contradictions, is an industry where women have always played a prominent role, working in powerful and influential positions. We often ask ourselves wether to design women's clothes it's necessary to be a woman, and the answer is of course not, just think of the work of Yves Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld or Valentino, to name a few. Nevertheless, if we stop for a moment and reflect on how many women are actually at the helm of the most important fashion houses in the world, we realize that the number is quite small. The biggest exceptions are represented obviously by Miuccia Prada, a pioneer, Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior (hers was a historic appointment), Clare Waight Keller at Givenchy or Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood, who have always followed their own way. Taking a look at the schedules of the Fashion Weeks, it seems that the future of female designers will be written by young creatives coming from the Far East. In any case, the appointment of Virginie Viard at Chanel might have represented an initial sign of change in the right direction. 

To celebrate the International Women's Day we have gathered here a list of 12 women of the fashion world that more than anyone else inspire us, between designers, photographers and unusual models. 


#1 Ashley & Mary-Kate Olsen 

The Olsen Twins managed to reinvent themselves after a childhood spent on the set of dozens of movies, without ending up in the vortex of self-destruction typical of that world. Together they gave life to one of the most acclaimed and beloved fashion houses in the world, a standout name of NYFW, The Row. Maybe unexpectedly the Olsens design clean, refined, minimal clothes, synthesis of the work of Phoebe Philo and not distant from the austerity typical of Victoria Beckham. 


#2 Adwoa Aboah

It's almost impossible to list all the reasons why the English model inspires us. Maybe more than her unusual and beautiful face, more than her remarkable career between catwalks and ad campaigns, what strikes about Adwoa is her commitment for the mental health and wellness of all girls, especially through Gurls Talk, the online community where being a woman is dealt in all its facets. From education to empowerment, from sports to sex, Adwoa has become a positive role model for girls all over the world. 


#3 Yoon Ahn di AMBUSH®

Jewelery designer for Dior Homme, close collaborator of Kim Jones, Yoon is one of the most appreciated creative women of the moment. Her first collaboration with Nike went sold out in a few minutes, while at the Nike Future Sport Forum 2020 in early February 2020 a new women's capsule was announced in collaboration with Yoon and also a Nike Dunk High sneaker. The designer's latest collaboration is with UNIQLO, dedicated to Minnie Mouse and to a very young audience, and Yoon spoke about it in a recent interview with us


#4 Kendall & Kylie Jenner

The highest-paid model in the world and the youngest self-made billionaire in the world. Kendall, the face of a great number of Maisons and an habitueé of the runways of the Fashion Week, as well as adidas Originals ambassador, while still remaining in the reality show of the family, was able to build a successful career with her own forces. The same happened for Kylie, who at just 21 years old can boast such a title thanks to her cosmetics line Kylie Cosmetics, which is valued around $900 million. 


#5 Emily Oberg

We had already talked about Emily here, reporting about her rise in the fashion world, especially in the sportswear industry. Oberg was, in fact, able to conquer her own role within a male-dominated industry, becoming the creative director of Kith Women before deciding to create her own annual publication, Sporty & Rich, whose merch is always sold-out. Her taste and her aesthetic are proof that streetwear isn't just a boys club, and, on the contrary, it can be interpreted also from a female point of view. 


#6 Jessica Washick

Jessica Washick happily divides herself between two equally successful careers. The American creative is the Senior Color Designer at Nike, she's the mind behind some of the most successful Air Force 1 silhouettes, including the one with interchangeable Swooshes. Washick is moreover an established nail artist, just take a look at her Instagram page and her blog, entitled unequivocally U Don't Need a Man. U Need a Manicure


#7 Ava Nirui aka Avanope

She's the undisputed queen of customizations and DYI on Instagram, her Champion hoodie with the Gucci embroidered logo is now a cult item. Ava Nirui, who started off at Vans, in the course of the time has collaborated with the biggest fashion houses in the world: Opening Ceremony, Helmut Lang, Hood by Air and above all Marc Jacobs, with whom she worked for a series of sold-out hoodies, and still collaborates with him constantly.


#8 Frida Vega Salomonsson

Self-taught photographer and editor-in-chief of Nuda - annual publication, blog, but also gallery space - Frida Vega Salomonsson, based in Stockholm, has an artistic soul that she expresses especially through her work. The images she shots for Nuda want to become a sort of inspiring mood board for all her readers, the magazine aspires to be a platform to discuss fashion in an unusual way, without following seasonal trends, focusing on timeless pieces. 


#9 Marine Serre 

Her mission is to ignore the boundaries between ready-to-wear, couture, tailoring and sportswear. Since her debut collection, Marine Serre has distinguished herself for her unique and specific aesthetic, the symbol of the crescent moon, a recurring element of the FutureWear collection, is now in every street style shot. Serre has become in a very short period of time one of the standout names of PFW, strong with her identity and vision. She collaborated with Nike for the jerseys of 2019 Women's World Cup, and together they created a capsule that includes a sports bra and a bodysuit, with the classic half-moon pattern combined with the swoosh all-over.


#10 Peggy Gou

She's the youngest Korean woman to have ever played at Berlin's Berghain, the global temple of electronic music. Over the course of the time, Peggy Gou has become one of the most talented DJs in the world, performing all over the globe, without giving up her passion for fashion. Peggy is often spotted in the front row of fashion shows, she was one of the protagonists of the Fendi Baguette campaign, she took part in the launch event for the Nike Air Max 720 along with Ghali, and later she unveiled her own fashion brand, Kirin. She's unstoppable. 


#11 Aleali May

Aleali began hes career as a stylist for Louis Vuitton and for the American rap scene, until, in 2017, she created her first version of the Air Jordan 1, followed by two other collaborations with Jordan Brand in the following two years. These include the Air Jordan 1 Court Lux, teaming up with the WNBA star Maya Moore, to celebrates basketball, fashion and hip hop - three worlds that Aleali start following from a very young age. Her style is a unique combination of streetwear and luxury, which reserves her a special role at all the Fashion Weeks around the world.


#12 Chitose Abe of Sacai

Chitose Abe is the creative director of Sacai, a brand founded by Chitose in 1999 and entirely controlled by herself. Based in Japan, the brand debuted in Paris during the 2006 Fashion Week where it started to conquer the international audience. Before founding Sacai, Chitose worked under the direction of Rei Kawakubo for Comme Des Garçons and later in the design team for Junya Watanabe. Sacai has recently collaborated with Nike for an apparel capsule collectiona and different sneakers (LDWaffle and Blazer) with a hybrid and "reconstructed" design typical of the Japanese brand's aesthetics. A few days ago it was announced that Chitose Abe will design the next Jean-Paul Gaultier Couture collection - according to the new concept, in fact, JPG will invite a different designer for each season to create his/her own version of Haute Couture following the Maison's codes. Chitose Abe will debut this project in July 2020.