The World’s Most Influential Designers

Everyone has their own unique sense of style. Some people love getting glammed up in dresses and heels or suits and ties, while others prefer to stick to comfortable joggers, t-shirts and sneakers. Whatever your preferred style of fashion may be, it has certainly been influenced by a designer somewhere in history. There have been thousands of designers over the last few centuries, but only some of them have left an indelible mark on fashion. Let’s take a look at them below.

Alexander McQueen

Towards the end of the ‘90s and the beginning of the 2000s, Alexander McQueen was tagged as the designer to watch. He was known not just for pushing the boundaries of fashion, but for completely breaking them. McQueen started to build a name for himself while working at Givenchy, and then went on to build his own iconic fashion house which was famed for its use of skull prints and spikes.

Shortly before his death, Alexander McQueen was quoted as saying, “You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I am here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.”

Azzedine Alaia

Azzedine Alaia worked as an apprentice at numerous fashion houses, including Guy Laroche, Christian Dior and Thierry Mugler, before starting his own label in the early ‘80s. His designs were created to celebrate the female body, and The New York Times once referred to him as the “sculptor of the female form.”

His dresses were known to accentuate the bust and cinch the waist. The designer was also very outspoken and often criticised industry legends such as Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld. He was openly not a fan of Wintour’s style and claimed that Lagerfeld had “never touch a pair of scissors” throughout his career.

Diane von Furstenburg

Diane von Furstenburg is perhaps one of the most ambitious designers in history. Creator of the iconic wrap dress, it was once reported that she crafted over 15,000 of the made-to-suit-everyone garments in a single week.

Throughout her career, she has always been open and humble about her success, once stating, “I had a very down-to-earth product, my wrap dress, which was really a uniform. It was just a simple little cotton-jersey dress that everybody loved, and everybody wore… That one dress sold about three or four million. I would see 20, 30 dresses walking down one block. All sorts of different women. It felt very good. Young and old… poor and rich.”

 Christian Siriano

 Christian Siriano studied under Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood before he auditioned for the fourth season of Project Runway, which he then went on to win. His first collection debuted to critical acclaim in 2008, and his label continued to expand. In recent years, he has become a red-carpet favourite, and is as popular as real money pokies. He is known for creating expressive, inclusive designs for the likes of Janelle Monae, Whoopi Goldberg and Billy Porter. By 2010, Siriano’s label earned $1.2 million in revenue and more than tripled to $5 million by 2015.

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