Top 10 Best Fashion Designers of All Time

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Fashion designers possess an array of talents, from advanced knowledge of textiles and fabrics to design techniques and production processes. Additionally, they possess strong business acumen to successfully navigate the highly-competitive fashion industry.

Betsey Johnson draws her creative energy from dance classes to create daring, one-of-a-kind designs. The Connecticut designer is widely recognized for her iconic wrap dress collection that has empowered women since the 1970s.

1. Virgil Abloh

His work exudes urgency and an undeniable dedication to craft that makes it undeniable. This was clear when Abloh released furniture featuring industrial prints as well as homeware items with “receipt” branding nodding to pop art for IKEA collaboration in 2019.

Abloh first made an impactful entrance into fashion in 2012 through his streetwear-influenced brand Pyrex Vision. Here he established key motifs like quotation marks, arrows and construction-themed diagonal stripes which would later be utilized by his subsequent luxury label Off-White.

As part of Kanye West’s team, Abloh pioneered the intersection of high fashion and hip hop culture, curating cool by connecting designers like Heron Preston, Matthew Williams and Justin Saunders (of #BEENTRILL# DJ collective) with athletes like tennis star Serena Williams. Abloh would often push boundaries – from building mountain stages for West’s “Yeezus Tour” to working with Mercedes-Benz chief designer Gorden Wagener to redesign their G-Wagon with no indicators or outside mirrors reimagined as white shell without indicators or outside mirrors.

2. Tom Ford

Texan designer Jason Wu has rejuvenated European fashion houses such as Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent before establishing his own label in 2005. Now one of the world’s renowned designers for both ready-to-wear and made-to-measure menswear and womenswear collections.

Thomas Carlyle Ford was born in Austin on the 27th of August 1961. To save money for tuition at New York University he first studied art history before shifting his studies and enrolling at Parsons School of Design – Paris campus instead.

After graduating he worked for fashion designers Cathy Hardwick and Perry Ellis before eventually becoming women’s wear designer at Gucci and also going on to direct movies.

3. John Galliano

John Galliano has become one of the most acclaimed fashion designers ever since his over-the-top runway shows and outrageous designs made him one of the most acclaimed figures in high fashion history. Known for his groundbreaking creations and dramatic fashion shows, Galliano’s dramatic flair has cemented him a place as one of the greatest iconic fashion designers ever.

Born to British parents and Spanish mother, Galliano attended Central Saint Martins college of art in London – home of other fashion greats such as Alexander McQueen and Mary Karantzou. Browns bought his 1984 graduate collection Les Incroyables on sight for its clientele which included Kylie Minogue, Nicole Kidman, Princess Diana and many others.

Galliano was appointed head designer at Christian Dior in 1996 despite experiencing financial challenges at his namesake label, returning it to its classic roots while rejuvenating it as well as reinvigorating it as a brand.

4. Marc Jacobs

Jacobs stands apart from designers by not trying to mimic current trends or change the mood of an era; instead he finds inspiration from what excites him. Since launching his Marc by Marc Jacobs line in 1984 and serving as creative director for Louis Vuitton from 1997-2013, Jacobs has become an international star renowned as one of fashion’s premier figures; even being profiled in a documentary by Loic Prigent himself.

While drawing inspiration from all sorts of sources (his Spring 2015 collection was inspired by Penn State blue band and Sonic Youth), his eponymous label exudes playful luxury that speaks to each generation’s sensibilities – channeling Halston, Courreges, Saint Laurent, Chanel into its designs.

5. Rei Kawakubo

Kawakubo challenged traditional definitions of femininity by designing clothes that were functional and self-sufficient. Influenced by Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto but preferring deconstruction and experimentation over simply copying them; her black palette and oversized silhouettes became known as the “postatomic look”, “Hiroshima chic” or even the “bag lady style”.

Kawakubo, known as the mother of minimalism, has had a profound influence on many designers from Helmut Lang to Junya Watanabe – she even once taught him herself! – as well as graphic designers, store interior designers, publishers, store interiors and publishing firms. Her style genius can be found everywhere from Helmut Lang’s clothes to her one-time apprentice Junya Watanabe’s. She often speaks of being thankful she forewent fashion school or apprenticeships because it gave her freedom of exploration without preconceived notions; her work combines post-punk energy with crisp Japanese aesthetic rewriting rules each season; her work combines post-punk energy with crisp Japanese aesthetic, creating one season after another! She is involved with graphic design store interiors publishing as all aspects are interlinked and she believes all pieces belong together in one.

6. Martin Margiela

Martin Margiela, one of the world’s most revered designers, is best known for establishing a revolutionary approach to fashion by deconstructing garments to reveal inner parts such as linings and seams. Using this method he was able to refashion dresses into new silhouettes while creating new aesthetics and silhouettes.

Margiela pioneered an eco-friendly fashion aesthetic, using recycled fabric and oversized silhouettes – now widespread trends – but she pioneered them and their social implications.

Reiner Holzemer released a documentary film by him, premiering at Doc NYC 2019 and available for streaming now, to shed more light on his mysterious personality and groundbreaking works which continue to impact fashion today.

7. Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen (born Lee), known as the rebellious young designer of British fashion, combined art and history in his daring designs and provocative shows. His dark themes often polarized audiences, including his 1995 show Highland Rape which featured blood-splattered models and torn lace dresses. McQueen earned many celebrity fans including dressing musicians such as David Bowie and Bjork.

McQueen was best known for his signature bumster trousers and skull-closure clutches – both bold yet feminine designs featuring inventive storytelling and impeccable construction. Nature inspired many of his pieces; one such example can be seen in his Voss collection from asylum-themed Voss featuring models adorned with red feathers and glass microscope slides for corsetry made out of red feathers and microscope slides! Unfortunately he passed away at 40, click through this gallery above to view some of his most renowned creations!

8. Herve Leger

Herve Leger made waves in the 1990s with his revolutionary bandage dress design that featured strips of heat-sensitive fabric that conformed to the female form and earned international acclaim. Celebrities and fashion enthusiasts alike flocked to him, which quickly earned his brand celebrity status and admirers across fashion world.

Leger had an intuitive understanding of shaping cloth to display and flatter female anatomy, using stretchy fibres widely found in lingerie and exercise clothing to fashion his tight, seductive dresses that he first used on an angel.

Under Christian Juul Nielsen’s creative direction, Herve Leger is taking a new approach to its signature style while staying true to its core DNA. We cannot wait to see what comes next from this iconic brand!

9. Elie Saab

Elie Saab, a Lebanese fashion designer, gained international recognition through the sheer crimson gown worn by Halle Berry to receive her Oscar. This award represented a landmark moment both for Berry and Saab; Saab made history by becoming the first Lebanese designer ever to dress an Oscar winner.

Born to a Maronite Catholic family in Damour, Beirut Lebanon on 4 July 1964. A self-taught professional since age nine; using newspapers to cut patterns and searching his mother’s cabinets for extra laces to start stitching at that young age.

In 1997 he became the first non-Italian haute couture member of Camera Nazionale della Moda and held his debut ready-to-wear fashion show in Rome. Additionally he opened boutiques in Paris and collaborated with London College of Fashion to launch a bachelor’s degree program in fashion design. Nicole Kidman, Eva Green, Beyonce, Priyanka Chopra Christina Aguilera and Catherine Zeta-Jones have all worn designs by him over time.

10. Gianni Versace

Gianni Versace, who passed away in 1997, was one of the most influential fashion designers ever. His signature aesthetic brought luxury and glamour into fashion while his bold prints and vibrant colors brought celebrity supermodels into the limelight. He even brought them closer together by dressing them up in his creations.

Versace became widely recognized for his innovative use of Greek symbols, such as the Medusa head which would come to represent their brand. They designed for high-profile clients like Madonna and Elton John as well as expanding their fashion line to include jewelry, shoes and fine china products.

Versace was a visionary designer, incorporating elements of art and architecture into his designs. From his signature black dresses adorned with golden safety pins to full-skirted couture gowns perfect for debutantes – his work was ahead of its time.