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FASHION - EDITORIAL

Top Fashion Designers of All Time

Behind every successful fashion brand is a talented fashion designer. Some of the top fashion designers create their own label, and others add strength to the top fashion brands.

Thursday, January 30, 2020
 updated by Meryem Aksoy
Top Fashion Designers of All Time

Top Fashion Designers of All Time

We see that many of the world-famous fashion brands bear the names of their founders. It is not misleading to assume that the person who established a brand in the fashion world is also a fashion designer. From this perspective, the fashion world consists of brands established by fashion designers who have succeeded or preferred to brand their own name.

From Chanel founded by Coco Chanel to Gucci founded by Guccio Gucci, the brands bearing their surname are among the most valuable brands in the world. These brands, whose founders are among the top fashion designers, have been continuing their success as a fashion brand with the right foundations. However, the secret of these successes is the design culture transferred from generation to generation and fashion designers who shape the brand in specific periods. For example, Yves Saint Laurent was a fashion designer who worked for Christian Dior for many years before establishing his own brand and contributed greatly to the success of the Dior brand. Famous German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld has set the vision for both brands during his years at both Fendi and Chanel.

In this context, many examples can be given; in fact, these fashion designers are considered top fashion designers. Especially in the second half of the 20th century, many of the top fashion designers have become world-renowned for their designs while working in the world's leading fashion brands before establishing their own brands. As a natural consequence of the master apprentice relationship, when the top fashion designers felt that their time had come, they established their own brands but managed to remember their roots and keep their relationships warm.

Each of the top fashion designers is a trendsetter. Their sketches give direction to fashion. There are times when top fashion brands are guided by different designers, and the charm of the fashion world and the talented designers do not allow time gaps between these ages and new designers fill the spaces and gain experience in the kitchen of fashion.

When we look back, we see many fashion designers who have marked the world fashion. Many more fashion designers have contributed to fashion, but only a few have achieved an unforgettable reputation and respect in the fashion world for years with their talents, visions, insights, and passion. We focused directly on fashion designers, not on fashion brands, and we have selected and brought together some of the best fashion designers who have shaped the fashion world and are still guiding it.

Table of Contents
Top Fashion Designers of All Time
Top Fashion Designers of All Time
Coco Chanel
Coco Chanel
Born : August 19, 1883, Saumur, France
Died : January 10, 1971, Hôtel Ritz Paris, Paris, France
Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel was a fashion designer who became one of the biggest icons of the fashion world with her vision, idealism, and unique design approach. After her mother passed away while Gabrielle was 12, Coco Chanel went to the convent of Aubazine, an orphanage, where she learned how to sew and tackle challenges. After six years, Coco Chanel found work as a seamstress. When she was not sewing, she sang in a cabaret and became famous. Gabrielle also took the nickname "Coco" during these years, but after years of living in Vichy, she realized it would not be her future. Coco Chanel's life changed when she met Étienne Balsan. Her relationship with Balsan's friend Captain Arthur Edward 'Boy' Capel started in 1908 and continued for nine years. Coco Chanel became a licensed milliner in 1910 and opened her first store called Chanel Modes. Coco Chanel gained recognition after the famous theater actress Gabrielle Dorziat wore one of her design hat in Bel Ami. The Chanel brand, which has become the choice of celebrities, has continued to move forward confidently and opened stores one after another, designed dresses and accessories, and expanded its product range to offer jewelry and fragrance. The signature product Chanel 5 perfume has been one of the cornerstones of the brand's growth process in the 1920s and is still one of the most famous fragrances of today. Coco Chanel, one of the top fashion designers of all time, designed the brand's interlocked-CC monogram, which is still in use. Coco Chanel laid the foundations for the luxury fashion brand that bears her name and created the philosophy that kept Chanel successful for years. Coco Chanel has lead Parisian haute couture throughout her career.
Guccio Gucci
Guccio Gucci
Born : March 26, 1881, Florence, Italy
Died : January 2, 1953, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Guccio Gucci is one of the top fashion designers who shaped fashion. Born in Florence, Guccio Gucci worked as a lift boy in high-end hotels in Paris and London before discovering his interest in fashion. During his time at the Savoy Hotel in London, luxury suitcases used by wealthy guests inspired him, and he decided to return to his hometown, Florence, and he began making travel bags and accessories. In 1921 he laid the foundations for Gucci, one of the world's leading fashion brands, and founded the House of Gucci. Born as a small family company selling fine leather goods, Gucci was able to rise thanks to Guccio Gucci's production philosophy and quality concept. Guccio Gucci, taking care to produce its products using the highest quality materials, hired the most talented leather and sewing craftsmen of the Florence region and established an industrial production line while maintaining traditional methods. One of the top fashion designers of all time, Guccio Gucci, as a fashion designer who managed to adapt to the requirements of the period, designed his products by using canvas during the war period when it was difficult to find high-quality leather, and with his success he proved that the important thing was not only the material but the fashion designer's ability to shape it. Guccio Gucci opened a store in Rome in 1938, and his sons Aldo, Vasco, Ugo, and Rodolfo joined the company and passed on their knowledge to them and created the legacy that will last for generations. Guccio Gucci, one of the top fashion designers of all time, has become a great inspiration for every creative person by proving that a lift boy in the hotel can be one of the best-known people in the world.
Christian Dior
Christian Dior
Born : January 21, 1905, Granville, France
Died : October 24, 1957, Montecatini Terme, Italy
Christian Dior was born into a wealthy family. His parents wanted him to be a diplomat, but the love of art within Christian Dior led him to pursue a different career, and in 1928, he left school and opened a small art gallery with the financial support of his father. Three years later, Christian Dior had to close the gallery, which sold works of famous artists such as Pablo Picasso. However, this situation was a big gain for the fashion world. Christian Dior began working with world-renowned fashion designer Robert Piguet and had the opportunity to demonstrate his talents. Christian Dior, who also worked with Pierre Balmain, learned from the masters the experience needed for his own label. After completing his military service in 1942, he started working with Lucien Lelong. He became one of the primary designers of Lelong, who worked to keep French fashion alive during the war years. One of the top fashion designers of all time, Christian Dior founded his own fashion house in 1946 with the backing of successful entrepreneur Marcel Boussac, France's richest businessman, and one of the world's most famous luxury fashion brands was born. Christian Dior unveils his first collection in 1947, and called it Corolle, but the collection was described as the New Look by the editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar. Christian Dior's groundbreaking new design approach has led to discussions that divide the fashion world. However, this new fashion approach, which stood out from all the discussions, made Paris the capital of the fashion world again. The designer who created one of the best luxury fashion brands in the world, Christian Dior, has directed fashion for years. Christian Dior, who creates elegant designs that embellishes the dreams, has become one of the top fashion designers of all time thanks to his passion for art.
Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren
Born : October 14, 1939, The Bronx, New York, NY
Ralph Lauren was born in The Bronx, New York City as the fourth child of Frieda and Frank Lifshitz. He started to work as a sales assistant at Brooks Brothers and took the first step in the fashion world. Ralph Lauren, who gained experience working at tie manufacturer Beau Brummell, founded The Ralph Lauren Corporation in 1967. His great interest in sports determined the future of the Ralph Lauren brand and named his first collection 'Polo' in 1968. In the future, 'Polo' will become one of the most well-known brands in the world. The Polo Player emblem was first used in the tailored shirts for women line, which he launched in 1971. The same year, he made a groundbreaking venture in the fashion world and opened a store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California. This store was the first freestanding store opened by an American designer. In 1972, he began to embed the polo player logo on the chest of his designs. Ralph Lauren, who showed his passion for fashion in all lanes, was highly appreciated for his fragrances in 1978 and became one of the most preferred fragrance brands. Ralph Lauren, one of the fashion designers who has been leading the fashion world and trends for more than 40 years, has been able to add different tastes to his life besides fashion. Ralph Lauren is a well-known collector with his unique automobile collection of over 100 rare cars. Rare cars that have been exhibited in museums and events on numerous occasions have also been awarded many special prizes. The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, the 1996 McLaren F1, the 1929 Bentley 4½ Liters, the Bugatti Veyron, and the 1938 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Mille Miglia are just a few of them. Ralph Lauren is a philanthropist who makes a difference, although he does not like to be described as such. Ralph Lauren, who has won many awards throughout his career, is considered one of the top fashion designers of all time for his creativity and design approach.
Karl Lagerfeld
Karl Lagerfeld
Born : September 10, 1933, Hamburg, Germany
Died : February 19, 2019, American Hospital of Paris, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
It is indisputable that Karl Lagerfeld is one of the top fashion designers of all time. Karl Otto Lagerfeld, a fashion designer who saved one of the world's most famous fashion brands from extinction, was born to a wealthy family. Karl Lagerfeld, whose date of birth was not clear for a long time, was considered to be born in 1933 after documents obtained after his death and interviews with his teachers and friends during childhood. With her white hair, black sunglasses, fingerless gloves, and high shirt collars, Karl Lagerfeld has guided the fashion world for many years. The famous fashion designer, whose career changed with a design competition he entered in 1955, won both the coat category design award and met Yves Saint Laurent in this competition. Hired by Pierre Balmain, Karl Lagerfeld worked with the legendary fashion designer for three years and developed himself. In 1958 he started to work as an artistic director for Jean Patou. In 1967, the event that took Karl Lagerfeld under the spotlight of the fashion scene took place, and Fendi hired the renowned fashion designer to modernize and redesign the fur collection. Karl Lagerfeld and the Fendi brand have been identified, and Karl Lagerfeld has been a Fendi designer until his last day. The second track in his career was opened in 1983, when he started working at Chanel as a creative director. Karl Lagerfeld, one of the top fashion designers of all time, ended the bad trend of the Chanel brand and put the brand back among the top brands again. The first step was to start using Chanel's legendary logo remarkably in the most visible parts of the products. The third track in his career was his own brand. The legendary fashion designer, who started his own Karl Lagerfeld brand in 1984, has signed many memorable designs and has reached the top in the fashion world. Karl Lagerfeld, one of the top fashion designers of all time, has shed light on the future of the fashion world with both his creative director career in Fendi and Chanel, as well as his own brand.
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent
Born : August 1, 1936, Oran, Algeria
Died : June 1, 2008, Paris, France
Jean Paul Gaultier
Jean Paul Gaultier
Born : April 24, 1952, Bagneux, France
Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs
Born : April 9, 1963, New York, NY
Tom Ford
Tom Ford
Born : August 27, 1961, Austin, TX
Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani
Born : July 11, 1934, Piacenza, Italy
Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta
Born : July 22, 1932, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Died : October 20, 2014, Kent, CT
John Galliano
John Galliano
Born : November 28, 1960, Gibraltar
Carolina Herrera
Carolina Herrera
Born : January 8, 1939, Caracas, Venezuela
Donna Karan
Donna Karan
Born : October 2, 1948, Queens, New York, NY
Michael Kors
Michael Kors
Born : August 9, 1959, Long Island, NY