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*Designers of the Industry *

Updated on December 19, 2015

Coco Chanel

#1 - Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel - She is perhaps the most worldwide known designer in history. Gabrielle Chanel is the most influential fashion designer of the 20th century, despite no formal training in fashion or design. She was born into poverty in Samur, France, on the 20th of Aug,1883. When she was six years old, her mother died, and her father left her in a convent orphanage. There the nuns taught her to sew. During the years that she spent there, she was very influenced by the designs and colors of the school uniforms and the nun's dresses and her preference for black, white and beige. After she left the convent at the age of eighteen, Gabrielle worked as a seamstress and cabaret singer, and adopted the nickname “Coco.” Chanel was first known for her earliest successes which was a jersey dress; she always claimed that she made the first version by cutting down the front of one of her lover’s sweaters and adding a collar and bow. Jersey remained one of her signature fabrics to the end of her life.

Chanel’s use of machine-made wool jersey was inspired, but made partly out of necessity, because it was readily available and inexpensive. Previously used in men’s underwear, its softness and drape was the ideal stuff for Chanel’s designs. She designed costume jewelry inspired by her own pieces, and promoted wearing genuine and costume pieces, particularly chains and brooches, together. Chanel launched her debut perfume well known as No.5 in 1921, it changed the whole world of fragrance. With every day passing by, No.5 has since gone on to become the most recognized names in perfumery, worldwide. What does actually set this perfume apart from all the other ones is that scent of mostly flowery swirling with jasmine, lilac and rose – was its more ‘abstract’ construction, and the generous use of aldehydes, which have become known for giving fragrance a champagne-like sparkle when you smell them. From the very famous suit or a handbag its still a huge purchase, for countless women around the world, and the interlocking Cs of Coco Chanel have become the ultimate, spot-it-at-100 paces brand. During the year 1996, then in 2001, Coco Mademoiselle hit stores every where, which in the US (among other countries) has become even more widely worn than the iconic No. 5. Today the face of Coco Mademoiselle is the one and only Keira Knightley who has promoted the Coco Mademoiselle perfume in her commercial.

As we all know the color black has been reserved for mourning, but in 1926, Chanel introduced her “little black dress.” The American edition of Vogue magazine, comparing it to the Model T, called it the “Ford of dresses,” and everyone was anticipating its universal popularity.

But during the depression Chanel’s business declined, and she faced labor problems in 1936 when her employees struck for higher wages. In 1939, at the outbreak of World War II Chanel closed her couture house and fired her workers. Years after exile and interrogation, she returned to Paris and started a whole new design again. Jacqueline Kennedy was one of Chanel’s most prominent customers in the 1960’s, but not always publicly. Mrs. Kennedy had frequented the couture houses of Paris.

Days before her death, Chanel spent several hours working on her new couture collection . Gabrielle Chanel died in her apartment at the Ritz Hotel in Paris on January 10, 1971, at the age of eighty-seven.

Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Parfum Spray 3.4 fl oz - HOLIDAY SPECIAL

Coco Mademoiselle Commercial

Donatella Versace

Donatella Versace
Donatella Versace

#2 - Donatella Versace

Donatella Versace - The world's leading designer, Donatella Versace was born in the Italian city of Reggio Calabria as the daughter of a personal financier to the Italian aristocracy. Being the younger sister of the famous designer Gianni Versace she was his adviser and inspiration while he was a well known designer. When Gianni started his own fashion company in Milan, she was right there by his side and organized many fashion shows and advertising campaigns. He awarded her with her own diffusion label, ‘Versus’ which produces clothes even till today. But after his tragic murder, the ‘Versace’ Empire fell upon hard times and she became creative director of the ‘Versace Group’. It was during the rebuilding process that Donatella showed her other talents - public relations, in which she was really good at performing. Using such celebrity friends as Madonna, Demi Moore, Elton John and others, she began to equate the ‘Versace’ name with celebrity in the public eye.


In the year 1998, she put together her first couture show that was held in the Hotel Ritz Paris, the runway was built over the hotel's swimming pool, like her brother, but this time it was made out of sheer glass. Her first collection, attended by a host of celebrities, was a triumph. But Donatella fashion, she credited its success to the models and dedicated the show to her late brother in the honor of his memory.


During the time of her late brother Gianni, there was a mansion built "The Versace Mansion" that was built in the 1930s was commissioned by Alden Freeman. It is currently located in Miami and holds 10 suites and 3 floors, it was sold for 41.5 million dollars which was once listed as 125 million dollars on the market.

The show became an annual event, with regular famous guests including Catherine Zeta Jones, Liz Hurley, Elton John and even HRH Prince Charles. She began to use well-known models for the catwalk shows, to generate press coverage (What she exactly wanted.) During the year 2002, Gianni and Donatella's most famously designed Versace clothing was at a special exhibit at the historical Victoria and Albert Museum in London, this is was to show the beautiful creativity and symbolism in her work.

Today the current CEO is Santo Versace who is the brother of Donatella and Gianni, not only that but 50% of the company's share is left for Allegra Versace (Donatella's daughter) in which she claimed on ther 18th birthday.

Michael Kors

Michael Kors - CEO and Founder
Michael Kors - CEO and Founder

#3 - Michael Kors

Michael Kors - With a current net worth of one billion dollars, this fashion designer now 56-year-old and the CEO of the MK brand is the founder of the luxury goods company back in 1981, he dropped out of the fashion school to achieve his dreams. He was born Karl Anderson Jr. in the year 1959 in NYC to Joan Hamburg, a former model and now currently 80 years old and a Radio personality host in NYC, and her first husband, Karl Anderson, Sr, a college student back then and now he status is unknown since of course his parents got a divorce when he was young.

He's now a billionaire and a well-known designer. He developed a celebrity fan base at a very young age and that was through many celebrities like Julia Roberts and Demi Moore. In the year 1983 Michael Kors is awarded the First American Original Award from Dupont and again in the year 1995 he gets the Elle/Cadillac Fashion Award for Excellence. In the year 2001 accessories were added to the huge Michael Kors empire. And why stop there actually? That same year, the label also launches their first men’s fragrance not to mention that the previous year in 2000 they had just launched the first line of women's perfumes. Kors, who also did a worked as the creative director of Céline from 1999 to 2003, was, of course, already well established as a designer when he began his run on Project Runway in 2004.

Michael Kors is nominated for the Accessories Designer of the year from the CFDA. Today Michael Kors accessories include handbags, eyewear, and belts. These lines are launched in 350 stores and different location throughout the US and are made up of ready-to-wear, handbags, swimwear, jeans, footwear and other accessories. The company partnered with the label Fossil to create and launch the Michael Kors watch line.

Awesome fact! -- Did you know that the KORS line includes shoes and Jeans while the MICHAEL line is made up of handbags, accessories, and shoes? (Yes each part of the name contains its own design.)

Some of the greatest celebrity fans of MK include:

  • Michelle Obama
  • Catherine Zeta-Jones
  • Natalie Portman
  • Jennifer Lopez

Bags, Perfumes and Colognes

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© 2015 Mahsa S

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    • profile image

      Mandy 19 months ago

      I like all these designers you mentioned I'm also I huge fan of LV and Tiffanni's

    • mahsa setareh profile image
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      Mahsa S 20 months ago

      I'm glad that this article helped you. Although there are many other fashion designers these were the top three that are very famous for their name

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      Lindy 20 months ago

      thank you very much for this article, it was a good read and I enjoyed knowing these designers.