Over the years, fashion has expanded from exclusively haute couture to more ready-to-wear styles that every woman can enjoy. We get to see these new styles hit the shelves but rarely do we get to appreciate the inspiring women who helped bring these revolutions to the industry. Fashion is about expressing our personalities, and these six ladies have poured their personalities into fashion and design that have changed the game for maintaining style at any age.
1. Lesley Lawson Aka. Twiggy
Popularly known as Twiggy, Lesley Lawson has been an iconic face of fashion from her early beginnings as a model for the “swinging sixties” fashions of London to her own collection Twiggy London today. From her flower child beginnings at age 16, Twiggy has launched highly successful careers in acting, singing, producing, hosting her own TV show, and of course fashion design. How did she reach these heights and then maintain her status? In an interview with HSN a few years ago, Twiggy remarked that her ever-changing sense of style has been her secret to staying contemporary. She’s not afraid of getting older and believes that style should be accessible at any age. Twiggy’s own Colorblock Swing Tee is a fun and comfortable top in the modern trend of colorblocking. It’s easygoing and a tad bit bold, just like its creator.
2. Diane Gilman
Diane Gilman is another veteran fashionista with the line DG2 by Diane Gilman where age isn’t a deciding factor for style. Gilman has had her hand in the fashion industry since the 60’s, first starting with her own clothing store in California and then hand-designing for such celebrities as Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Gracie Slick & the Jefferson Airplane, and Jim Morrison & the Doors. From there, Gilman climbed to produce her first full collection for Bloomingdale’s in NYC, and she is credited as the first designer to introduce washable silk in the U.S. By far though, her greatest achievement came later in life when she decided to design a stretch-fit denim for the “baby boomers” like herself. Comfortable, sexy, and close-fitting this SuperStretch Denim Boot-Cut Jean has given women of any age the opportunity to feel great about how they look.
3. Giuliana Rancic
Giuliana Rancic is an entertainment journalist, author, fashion and beauty expert and television personality. Most of us first got to know her as a correspondent on the television program E! where she joined in 2002, but what we don’t know is that within 3 years Giuliana rose to solo anchor and managing editor for the show, turning it into the #1 rated show on the network. In her personal life Rancic has also created created “Fab-U-Wish,” a program to grant fashion, beauty and celebrity-themed wishes to women battling breast cancer. Her line, G by Giuliana, showcases runway-worthy looks like this Faux Suede Cascade Jacket that any busy entrepreneur, mom, or student can wear to stay stylish while chasing her dreams.
4. Nikki Poulos
There’s a quote that reads “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” and when referring to Nikki Poulos those words can’t be more on point. Poulos grew up in the Australian Outback on a 54,000 acre cattle ranch, living off the grid and unplugged. From such rugged beginnings Poulos developed a love of nature and took inspiration in her fashion from what she saw around her. As a result her line, Nikki by Nikki Poulos, has a wild and playful air with outfits that are full of graphic prints, bold colors, and vintage-inspired styles. Poulos’ style is modern boho-chic that can be worn from morning until night in complete comfort. Custom-designed prints like her Lace Kimono with Fringe have made Poulos a household name, and go to show the end reward of staying true to oneself in life and fashion.
5. Danielle DeFerdinando
Apple founder, Steve Jobs, used to brainstorm and fine tune products out of his home garage, and for Danielle DeFerdinando her first design space was her college dorm room at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Danielle DeFerdinando is the founder and creative director of Danielle Nicole, a highly successful line of couture handbags and now jewelry too. It was during an internship with Bergdorf Goodman that DeFerdinando’s personal handbag designs caught the eye of one of Goodman’s executive buyers. By 2008, Danielle Nicole was officially founded, became part of the Artisan House company in 2010, and in that same year had a handbag selected by O, The Oprah Magazine, for Oprah’s O You! event. Those early dorm room designs were born from a want to combine couture fashions with affordability, and that’s still the driving force behind DeFerdinando’s handbags like this “Georgette” Satchel today.
6. Fern Mallis
Have you ever heard of a little thing called “New York Fashion Week”? It technically started with the name “7th on Sixth” in 1993 and the woman behind the wheel of this revolutionary runway show was Fern Mallis. For the first time in history, American designers had an outlet to come together and showcase their designs on such a level that could compete with the runways of Europe. Mallis truly changed the global fashion industry with her innovation, and it doesn’t stop there. She also served as the Senior Vice President of IMG Fashion for roughly a decade and is the President of her own internationally-known fashion and design consultancy business. Mallis keeps the wheels of the fashion industry oiled and spinning and now her stories and unparalleled insight into the business are available in her memoir “Fashion Lives: Fashion Icons with Fern Mallis.”
Who is someone you look up to for how they followed their dreams?