In our new series, BAZAAR.com honors the women—past and present—who have had a lasting and profound impact on our beloved industry. We chose women across eight categories: designers, fashion icons, models, editors, imagemakers, businesswomen, beauty gurus and new media.
Whether through ground-breaking designs, inspiring style, iconic photographs, powerful editing, or becoming the face of a decade, these are the women we can thank for what modern in fashion means today.
- Designers are the celebrities of the fashion industry. They channel their visions into namesake lines, revive old houses, and build total lifestyle brands.
- The ultimate classic designer, Coco Chanel defined the notion of staples that would last a lifetime. The little black dress. The tweed jacket. The statement cocktail necklace. But it was jersey fabric that would put the French designer on the map. Starting her career during World War I, she was the first mainstream designer to use the material, typically reserved for underwear, throughout her collection. She was also one of the first fashion designers to create boxy, shorter and easy to move in pieces, freeing women from their tight corsets and Poiret-inspired skirts. She expanded her brand throughout the years, and her well-loved perfumes (including the famous No. 5) remain the go-tos of every girl in search of glamour.
Carolina Herrera epitomizes effortless elegance. She first appeared on the International Best Dressed List in 1972, then was elected to its Hall of Fame in 1980. In 1981, her friend Diana Vreeland, then Editor-in-Chief of Vogue suggested that Carolina design a clothing line. She did just that, having samples made in Caracas, and debuted her collection at Manhattan's Metropolitan Club to critical acclaim. Her designs have been worn by A-list celebrities and socialites for decades, and her iconic look of a white button down and taffeta skirt has become an evening standard—changing the way women "dress up."
Diane Von Furstenberg
DVF's knitted jersey wrap dresses made waves in the international fashion world when they first launched in 1974. BAZAAR's own Diana Vreeland was a fan, and many declared DVF's success as revolutionary as Coco Chanel's creation of the little black dress. Since then, she has continued to grow her brand on a global level.