Quickly profiling some of the key women who were featured in Harper's Bazaar's Women Who Changed Fashion: Celebrating the Women Who Left Their Mark on Fashion.
Highlighting a number of categories from the designers, icons, models, writers / editors and more, this is truly a great installment of some of the industry's greatest. Below, you'll find a few individuals from each category. To learn more or read the rest of the feature, visit Harper's Bazaar.
The public relations maven founded the first-ever New York Fashion Week and the International Best Dressed List in the 1940s, defining the first serious fashion networks in the United States. Prior to that, editors, buyers and the fashion industry considered Paris the capital of fashion. In 1962, she cemented her legacy by organizing Council of Fashion Designers in America ( the CFDA), the most important fashion authority for decades.
In 1946, Eileen Ford co-founded Ford models with her husband. Ford is now known as one of the most internationally successful fashion modeling agencies in the world. She began her career as a secretary for models during the early '40s and built her business from the ground up. By the 50s, Ford represented top models such as Carmen Dell'Orefice, Jean Patchett and Dovima. The success of her company continues today as Ford has represented everyone from Christy Turlington to Brooke Shields.
Fern Mallis has been credited with elevating the status of New York Fashion Week to be as big a player as the fashion weeks in London, Milan and Paris. As executive director of the CFDA from 1991-2001, she made NYFW a centralized, modern event. She stewarded NYFW's original move to Bryant Park and helped IMG develop fashion weeks in other cities such as Los Angeles, Miami and Melbourne. Her Fashion Icons talks at the 92nd Street Y in NYC—with everyone from Donna Karan to Marc Jacobs— have also become legendary.
Prior to Valerie Steele, fashion curation and history in museums were virtually nonexistent. The historian, curator and director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology brought fashion to the forefront of cultural and academic conversations through exhibitions and books. "When I began, nobody was studying fashion as a scholarly topic. There was fashion journalism and a kind of antiquarian costume history, but nobody was looking at the cultural history of fashion or what fashion means today," she once told Harper's Bazaar.
The face of shopping for luxury fashion online changed when Natalie Massenet, a former journalist, launched Net-a-Porter in 2000. Prior to Net-a-Porter, luxury fashion had never before been sold online in such an extensive way. Massenet was inspired to bring the idea of a fashion magazine into the 21st century - by recreating editorial fashion and making it shoppable with Porter. Since 2013, Massenet has also been chairwoman of the British Fashion Council.
Working her way up from assistant designer fresh out of Parsons, Jenna Lyons was named Vice President of womenswear at J.Crew in 2003. In the short time that followed, Lyons tripled profits and turned J.Crew into a cult brand. In 2008, she was named the Creative Director, and in 2010 she was named President of the influential company.
Lauren Santo Domingo
Besides playing muse to designers and photographers ranging from Nina Ricci to Proenza Schouler and Annie Leibovitz, Lauren Santo Domingo has carved out a ground-breaking shopping experience by founding her company, Moda Operandi, in 2010. The trunk show format allows anyone to buy current designer looks right off the runway, six months before it would traditionally arrive to retail stores.
Famous for her dreamlike black and white images during the 40s and 50s, Lillian Bassman was a rarity in the male-dominated fashion photography field. Her unique aesthetic earned her the title of art director of Harper's BAZAAR's erstwhile mini magazine, Junior BAZAAR. Bassman used tissues and gauzes to create a dark, romantic quality that hadn't been seen in fashion imagery before.
Costume designer Edith Head has won a record eight Academy Awards: more than any other woman alive. She defined new eras of elegance and grace on film, dressing everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Audrey Hepburn. She collaborated with big-name designers such as Hubert de Givenchy to create fashion icons. Without her, the Holly Golightly we know from Breakfast at Tiffany's would not have existed. From the '20s through the '80s, Head worked on more than 1,000 films.
Known for her stunning portraiture, Annie Leibovitz has brought the fashion world alive with her photography. Working in an especially male-dominated field, Leibovitz began her career in the 80s shooting rock and roll stars for Rolling Stone—where she snapped the iconic image of a naked John Lennon embracing Yoko Ono. Her work has now been published everywhere from Harper's BAZAAR UK to Vogue and Vanity Fair.
She ushered in a new era of the celebrity stylist with her reality television show, The Rachel Zoe Project in 2008. Though she's worked in the industry for nearly two decades, Zoe also brought the concept of boho chic and high-end vintage to a new audience in fashion through styling Nicole Richie and popularizing vintage shopping on her TV show.
With Mad Men, costume designer Janie Bryant upped the ante on the connection between television and fashion, inspiring an obsession with 1950s style. Her influence is widespread, and runway fashion (Prada, Michael Kors and more) seemed to follow the ebb and flow of the styles on the show. A big part of her job was research—she once told BAZAAR, "I would go and look at Sears and JC Penney and Montgomery Ward to see more everyday references. And then, I also watched a lot of vintage films, classic movies from the period as well."
She's proof that the face of a brand matters in today's social media-driven world. Aliza Licht, formerly known as DKNY PR Girl, created community, conversation, and inspiration surrounding the DKNY brand on Twitter and Instagram for six years. Her posts were witty and intelligent, creating a likeable, lifestyle-driven persona that engaged thousands of followers. This year, Licht's own best-selling book, Leave Your Mark, was published based on these principles, and set new standards for other fashion brands on social media.
Equal parts businesswoman and blogger, Chiara Ferragni founded The Blonde Salad in 2009. A native Italian, her influence is both widespread and global, and her success ushered in a new era for bloggers in the form of designer collaborations, street style star personas, and awards. Ferragni currently has over 4.7 million followers and has collaborated with designers ranging from Chanel to Christian Dior and Guess. She was named 2015's most influential blogger by Fashionista, as well as Blogger of the Year by Bloglovin'.
Hillary Kerr & Katherine Power
When Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power founded Who What Wear in 2006, they began with one post per day related to celebrity fashion news. While other blogs centered on personal style or street shots, Who What Wear provided all the details when it came to what Nicole Richie or Kate Moss were wearing. Kerr and Power seamlessly mixed editorial and shopping content before many other blogs and websites, and continue to publish celebrity-based fashion content today.
The fashion influencer capitalized on the power of social media early on, responding to readers' questions directly through Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram. Her prestigious editorial background as a Beauty Director at Teen Vogue and Editor-in-Chief at Lucky primed her to break down the walls between the pages of glossy fashion magazines and their readers, setting an example for future publications. Now serving as Instagram's Head of Fashion Partnerships, Chen has made the platform all the more stylish.
One of the most inspiring things about Garance Doré is the fact that she's completely self-taught in HTML, coding, photography, and illustration. She founded her namesake blog in 2006 to showcase her illustrations and gradually moved into photography, writing, and video. Perhaps what's most captivating are her New York and Parisian street style photos, shot through the eyes of a woman, a rare lens within an industry dominated by male photographers.
Leandra Medine started Man Repeller in 2010 based off the notion that great fashion is about pleasing women, not men. Since then, she has developed her trademark humorous voice, which not only proved to the industry that fashion could be funny, but also introduced writers cover everything from politics to think pieces. Women around the globe have started using the term "Man Repelling" as a verb, further proving Medine's widespread influence.
At the height of her fame in the '50s, Dovima was said to be the highest paid model in the world. She ushered in a new era of elegance, working with iconic photographers like Irving Penn and Richard Avedon to create unforgettable images. "Dovima with Elephants," taken in 1955 by Richard Avedon, remains an industry legend. It has everything the future of fashion photography would seek to encompass: beauty, grace, elegance, drama, and controversy.
With an unconventional look and a wide-toothed grin, Lauren Hutton changed the modeling world. Her unique beauty is still celebrated today. She has appeared on the cover of Vogue 41 times since her career took off in the early 1970s. She also had a high-profile contract for Revlon campaigns for more than 10 years.
Born in Sweden in 1911, Lisa Fonssagrives is widely regarded as the world's first supermodel. Her appearances on magazine covers including Town & Country, Life, Time, Vanity Fair, and Vogue gave her worldwide exposure. Her startlingly beautiful work with well-established photographers such as Man Ray, Irving Penn, and Erwin Blumenfeld would set a higher standard for a new generation of models.
Twiggy broke the mold of beauty in the '60s with her pixie haircut and massive doe-eyes. She was declared one of the first supermodels in 1968, along with Jean Shrimpton and Veruschka. She is also one of the first models to portray an androgynous look. Considered an original model, Twiggy had her own talk show entitled Twiggy's People.
One of the earliest female entrepreneurs in fashion, Jeanne Lanvin, opened a millinery house in 1889. Later inspired by her daughter, Marguerite Marie-Blanche di Pietro, Lanvin began creating lavish dresses for little girls using delicate silks and gorgeous embroidery. Lanvin's matching childrenswear and adult ensembles flew off the shelves, and her department store strategy was ahead of her time —by the 1920s, her line expanded into sportswear, furs, home décor, lingerie, menswear, swimwear and fragrance.
Considered the "architect among dressmakers," Vionnet changed fashion forever when she launched her fashion house in 1912. She quickly became known for her sculptural approach to clothing design. Her gowns mimicked classic Greek statues, with excessively beautiful draping and pleating. Ladies fell in love with the comfort and fluidity of her pieces. As she once said, "When a woman smiles, then her dress should smile too."
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.
Schiaparelli's signature hand-knit trompe l'oeil sweater began her career in fashion in 1927. It was an instant best-seller and defined her style: high-end, well-fitting pieces with a twist of the unexpected. She was the first to use zippers as a visible statement piece, and she made her mark collaborating with fine artists such as Salvador Dali and Meret Oppenheim. Her unique style landed her a cover for TIME magazine, the first female fashion designer to ever earn the honor.
In 1978, as the youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada, Miuccia took over the company's esteemed leatherworking brand and transformed it into a modern fashion powerhouse. With a Ph. D. in political science, Miuccia has spearheaded the vision of intellectual and complicated references in fashion while also leading a thoroughly successful international fashion house. In 1992, she launched Miu Miu.
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.
Climbing up the ranks at Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton went from head of womenswear design to Creative Director of the entire Alexander McQueen brand, and worked alongside McQueen for more than 14 years. In April 2011, she received global recognition as the designer of the royal wedding dress for the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. Since her appointment as the brand's Creative Director, Burton has produced collections with a focus on handcraft, establishing herself as an accomplished designer. Burton was also named one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people in 2012, and was awarded an Order of the British Empire for her services to the British fashion industry.
In 2008, Phoebe Philo was named creative director of Céline. Heading the storied house, she brought new life into an age-old luxury company and set the aesthetic many designers would follow in the coming seasons: well-tailored pieces with a hint of minimalistic chic. And Philo's own following is huge; she's an icon with or without the brand.
With their line, The Row, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have proven they are more than just a celebrity name. The twins have a knack for creating lust-worthy, luxe pieces every woman wants to own. In the early 2000's, the sisters became boho-chic style icons—their more accessible Elizabeth&James line takes inspiration from their vintage style. In 2015, CFDA named The Olsens womenswear designers of the year.
Carmel Snow & Diane Vreeland
Carmel Snow: From 1934 to 1958, Carmel Snow served as Harper's BAZAAR's editor. She redefined the meaning of fashion magazine by allocating space for photography, art, homes, and fiction writing in the magazine's pages—in addition to regular fashion stories. Her motto was "Elegance is good taste plus a dash of daring," and its influence can still be seen in BAZAAR's pages today.
Diana Vreeland: Harper's BAZAAR's own Diana Vreeland has often been referred to as The Empress of Fashion. She was a tastemaker, defining fashion through her exploration and constant determination of the next big thing. During her tenure at BAZAAR(1936-62), she propelled Lauren Bacall into fame by making her the cover girl of the March 1943 issue, and her infamous "Why Don't You?" column still resonates today.
From 1992 to 1999, Editor-in-Chief Liz Tilberis transformed Harper's BAZAAR, making it a major, unique voice in the fashion space. Tilberis' goal was to make the magazine the most beautiful in the world, and in doing so she inspired competitors to rethink their visuals. She hired top-notch stylists and the legendary art director Fabien Baron. BAZAAR's first issue under Tilberis, September 1992, featured a stunning Linda Evangelista on the cover, photographed by Patrick Demarchelier. There was only one coverline: ''Enter the Era of Elegance."
Since 1988, Franca Sozzani has been the groundbreaking editor of Vogue Italia. As a huge supporter of the democratization of fashion, she regularly styles fast fashion with luxury on her pages. She has also been instrumental in supporting all ethnicities and sizes when it comes to models: Sozzani has featured multiple plus-sized models on covers, devoted an entire issue to all-black models and an issue of L'Uomo Vogue to African culture.
As Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour transformed the magazine into a cultural phenomenon. She popularized high fashion for a new generation of women when she was brought in as editor in 1987—her first cover pictured a carefree pregnant woman mixing high and low fashion with lots of costume jewelry. Wintour shifted the whole culture of fashion into something young women were inspired by, making Vogue a mainstay for a new demographic. Her focus has always been on fashion as a lifestyle.
For the past 10 years, Robin Givhan's smart, sharp fashion criticism has had a home at The Washington Post. She's the only writer to ever win a Pulitzer Prize (2006) for fashion criticism, opening serious conversations within the field. Her writing is witty and challenging, and her coverage ofter touches on the social impact of style, race in fashion, and the political sphere.
The original style chameleon , Marlene Dietrich frequently transformed her style under the spotlight. She was one of the first women to be photographed wearing a full tuxedo in the '30s, which contrasted her blonde, wavy locks. Other photographs show her wearing ties, bulky blazers, feminine midi skirts and lush furs. She opened the public eye to ever-changing fashion and the fact that women can wear mens' pieces too—and still be elegant.
At the height of her fame in the '50s, socialite Babe Paley inspired scores of women with her approach to mixing high and low fashion. An iconic image of her with a scarf tied around her handbag sparked a trend that remains popular today. She dressed purely for own pleasure, embracing Fulco di Verdura jewels with luxe sable coats and chic, cheap costume jewelry.
The chic actress was a major fashion influencer—particularly when she partnered with Hubert de Givenchy and Edith Head for films like Funny Face and Sabrina. She popularized straight, black-cropped pants, boatneck tops, and comfortable slip-on loafers designed by none other than Ferragamo. She made Holly Golightly an icon in the film Breakfast at Tiffany's, a fashion favorite forever.
Jackie Kennedy Onasis
When Jackie O became the First Lady of Fashion in the '60s, she influenced millions of women with her style. The simple shifts, pillbox hats, elegant scarves worn over her hair, oversized sunglasses, and peacoats inspired all generations of women to take note. Women everywhere still sport the "Jackie O" look today.
She was a socialite who helped redefine what a "lady" could wear. In the '60s, while dining at New York City's La Cote Basque, Nan Kempner was forbidden entrance when she appeared in a pantsuit—the dress code forbade women to wear pants. So Kempner yanked off her pants and walked in the restaurant wearing just her top. She was an avid collector of couture by Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino, and Oscar de le Renta, and was the original clotheshorse, rumored to never have missed a show in Paris over the span of four decades.
Jane Birkin defined a new era of fall-on gamine chic, mixed with a touch of insouciance, wearing flared jeans, simple knits, delicate jewelry, white tees and short minis. Her style has always been proof that casual can and always will be stylish when done in the right way. In 1984, Hermes created the now iconic Birkin bag in her honor.
The Duchess of Cambridge shaped fashion in an unexpected way when she came into the spotlight, mixing high fashion with cheap picks. She has championed British labels such as Alexander McQueen, Alice Temperley, and Jenny Packham, but also wears reasonably priced pieces by Zara, Whistles, and Reiss, making her a style icon for the masses. When Kate Middleton wears High Street fashion, it's almost sure to sell out.