The fashion industry is a $3.5 billion industry and there are several fashion key players that have influenced many in the industry. I will be focusing on three influential people in the industry for this post and discuss what they influenced and what we can learn from them.
- Anna Wintour, editor-in chief of Vogue and artistic director of Conde’ Nast
“To be in ‘Vogue’ has to mean something. It’s an endorsement. It’s a validation”
Anna Wintour is no doubt a very influential person in the fashion industry. She has had movies based on her and mentions in song lyrics. Anna Wintour helped in many designer’s successes (Zac Posen & Galliano, fer example) and it is said that you need to be on Anna’s good side in order to make it in the fashion industry. Anna’s empire has expanded since she took on American Vogue; there’s Teen Vogue, Men’s Vogue and Vogue Living.
Here are some things to learn from Anna Wintour:
- It’s okay to direct and blunt as a leader-Anna is known for her icy demeanor and it can be seen as a negative at times but at the end of the day her team knows exactly what to do and they get the job done efficiently.
- Have a signature look– Anna has worn a bob since age 14, she almost always wears black sunglasses and she also often wears custom-made manolos.
- Keep a great team– “You’re only as good as the people who work for you.”
Anna works with a great team and all of their talents compliment them well.
- Coco Chanel, started the Chanel fashion house
“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”
Coco Chanel is a fashion pioneer that was ahead of her time. Many of her designs and signature looks are still worn today. She started the little black dress and classic cut suits that have inspired current collections from Helmut Lang, Tom Ford, and Jil Sanders. These are also staple pieces. Her suits were different from other womenswear suits because they were actually more comfortable to move in. Chanel didn’t like the idea of dressing for men, she wanted her clothes to be more practical. Lastly, Coco Chanel was the first designer to have her own fragrance in her name.
Here are some things to learn from Coco Chanel:
- Don’t be afraid to go against the norm-Other designers at the time (1920’s) created clothes that were tight fitting and uncomfortable. At that time, most womenswear was very feminine and She was one of the first women to wear trousers.
- Create designs from what you know-some of Coco Chanel’s designs were based off of things she went through and what she’s seen.
- Don’t let your past define you-Coco Chanel grew up in an orphanage, where she learned to sew and became a seamstress shortly afterwards. She opened her first clothes shop in 1910 and started the classic Chanel empire.
- Ralph Lauren, Began Polo Ralph Lauren fashion house
“Personal style is about having a sense of yourself and what you believe in everyday.”
American designer, Ralph Lauren began his collection in 1967 selling men’s ties. His ties were colorful and patterned when plain black ties were popular. In the 1970’s, he created the classic polo shirt with short sleeves and a collar. The polo shirt is still a staple item for men’s wardrobes today. The Ralph Lauren Corporation is known for being innovators of lifestyle advertising. They sold the idea that wearing Polo Ralph Lauren meant you were a part of a particular lifestyle. Here are a few things you can learn from Ralph Lauren:
- Dreams can come true-When Ralph was in high school, he wrote in his yearbook that he wanted to be a millionaire. He has surpassed that with an estimated network of $7 billion. This shows that hard work and determination can pay off.
- Don’t be afraid to turn down an offer-Earlier in his career, Ralph was offered a chance to sell his neckties in Bloomingdale’s but they wanted to take his name off and put “Bloomingdale’s.” He turned down the offer and years later Bloomingdale’s changed their mind and sold his ties with his name.
- Create your own opportunities- Ralph actually started making ties for his classmates in high school.
Who do you think is the most influential person in the fashion industry? What can we learn from them?
Thank you for reading! 🙂
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