It’s #InternationalWomensDay and we’re celebrating with empowering quotes from some of the greatest female fashion designers of our time. From a pioneering feminist of the seventies to today’s trailblazing heroine for sustainable fashion, let’s take a closer look at these female fashion icons and their timeless style.
First up is Diane Von Fürstenberg of DVF.
Belgian fashion designer Diane Von Fürstenberg shot to fame with her iconic wrap dress in 1974 after launching her eponymous label in 1970. By 1976, she sold over a million of her dresses in less than two years of its inception, defining it as the power symbol for feminist fashion for generations of women to come. After a hiatus from the industry, she reemerged in 1997 and reintroduced the dress that started it all, establishing her company DVF as a global luxury lifestyle brand. An active philanthropist, Diane continues to inspire women today. She is a board member of Vital Voices, an NGO that empowers emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs in America.
Next, we have Nicky and Simone Zimmermann, founders of the Australian luxury brand.
In 1991 after graduating, Nicky Zimmermann was selling her designs made in her parents garage at a local market stall. Her friend and fellow graduate happened to wear one of her designs to her workplace at Vogue Australia, resulting in a feature in the magazine. From there on, Nicky opened her first store where sister Simone joined and together they formed Zimmermann. Starting out as a ready-to-wear line, the sisters’ swift and savvy decision to add a swim collection became the turning point for the brand. The move garnered a lot of press and a CNN coverage throughout America was credited for putting the Aussie brand on the international map. For 29 years, the Zimmermann sisters have grown and evolved their brand, expanding to over 20 stores in Australia and US, with runway shows in New York Fashion Week. Defined by “a sophisticated femininity, a passion for detail and a love of colour and print,” the sisters’ take on swimwear and luxury daywear personifies Australian style and continues to make strides in the trend globally.
Next on the list is Serbian-born London-based designer, Roksanda Ilincic.
Roksanda Ilincic studied architecture and applied arts in her native of Belgrade before she came to London to study MA in Womenswear. A year later in 2008, she launched her eponymous label and managed to build a successful independent British brand from scratch. According to Financial Times, her “strong commercial sense and major ambition are significant factors, as well as a poise, which seems to translate into grace under pressure.” Now considered as one of London’s most desirable designers, Roksanda dresses everyone from pop stars to princesses, C-executives to political wives. Her boldly coloured, distinctively feminine designs are clear in her colourblock gowns, voluminous suits and geometric accessories. See her aesthetics in the recent collaboration between Roksanda and athleisure cult-brand Lululemon.
And up next, former pop-star turned fashion designer, Victoria Beckham.
Victoria Beckham has undergone major transformation from Spice Girl to footballer’s wife, to fashion icon and now to successful fashion designer. Through sheer hard work and determination, she battled her way up from receiving lukewarm reception for her first collections to winning her place in the fashion hierarchy. As a testament of her strength, her eponymous label which debuted in 2008 with a diffusion line released three years later, achieved a £30 million turnover in 2013. Almost a decade on she is awarded an Order of the British Empire for her services to the fashion industry. Today her clothing is worn by other famous women such as Meghan Markle, Miranda Kerr, Beyoncé and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Topping off our list is sustainability pioneer Stella McCartney.
A leading female designer in the industry, Stella McCartney is also a vocal champion for environmental issues in fashion. A lifelong vegetarian and animal rights activist, Stella does not use any leather or fur in her designs. Her commitment to sustainability is clear in her shows and collections which feature a lot of vegan leather. Most recently, she pioneered the world's first faux fur KOBA® made using plant-based ingredients. As a nod to sustainability, Joaquin Phoenix wore the same Stella McCartney tux for the entire 2020 awards season. Known for her British take on modern femininity and sharp tailoring, Stella was creative director of Parisian fashion house Chloé in 1997 where she met critical success. In 2001, Stella showed her first eponymous collection in Paris with 50/50 joint venture partnership with Kering, representing the only designer in the group to have had an equal share in their business. Today, the brand operates 51 stores in cities like Manhattan, London and Tokyo, distributed across 77 countries, through over 800 accounts. Stella McCartney received the BoF Global VOICES Award in 2018 for outstanding achievement in fashion.
Lylamod wishes you, the power girls of the world, a Happy International Women’s day 2020.
Rent dresses from the female fashion designers featured here.