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Best Fashion Designers in the World

Updated on March 30, 2019
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Brianna is a full time writer, blogger, and editor. She also is licensed in master makeup artistry and loves sharing her passion with others

Walk That Runway...

You see them on billboards, the red carpet, 5th Avenue, and all over the runways. Their designs make statements and aspiring designers want to be them. These days, it is tremendously hard to make it at anything, especially something as competitive and talented as fashion and design. What better inspiration than of those who are world renowned. Those inspiring to become a fashion designer, my only piece of advice is to follow your dreams and never give up!

Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable...

— Coco Chanel
Versace 2017 Runway Top Fashion Designers
Versace 2017 Runway Top Fashion Designers


As one of the worlds most leading fashion houses, Versace has as a total of 82 boutiques all over the world. The faces of the line are often famous ones, and you can find anything Versace from watches, clothes, shoes to even a Lamborghini and a $6,000 cell phone. Incredible! Founder and creator Gianni Versace, born in Reggio Calabria, Italy in 1946, began apprenticing at a very young age before moving to Milan to start his fashion designing phenomena. He was said to have been influenced by Andy Warhol, Ancient Roman and Greek art, and modern abstract art.

Versace made an incredible, inspirational foot in this world with his fashion, but his life was another story. On July 15th, 1997, Gianni Versace was returning from his morning walk and was shot to death on his Miami Beach house steps. The killer was Andrew Cunanan, who a few days later committed suicide on a boat. As to the reason of his murder, many questions are left unanswered. According to Giuseppe Di Bella, a member of the Italian Mafia Gang 'Ndrangheta, Versace was killed for debts owed to them. In 1997, it was announced that Versace's brother Santo was to takeover as CEO, and his sister Donatella would serve as head of design. He left 50% of his fashion empire to his niece Allegra Versace, daughter of Donatella, which she received upon turning 18 in 2004. The inheritance? Half a billion!

Versace Spring 2018 Top Fashion Designers
Versace Spring 2018 Top Fashion Designers
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabana. Top Fashion Designers
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabana. Top Fashion Designers

Dolce & Gabbana

Another luxury Italian fashion house remains at the top of the list. Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana created this line in Milan of formal and absolute timeless pieces. They also have created the second line of D&G which is a more casual approach with an urban twist. Their classic and signature "DG" adorns many of their products. From sunglasses, perfume, handbags, and even makeup, Dolce&Gabbana just about has it all. Although, I am not quite sure if they have a Lamborghini...yet.

Founded in 1982, Dolce & Gabbana introduced the world to their women's collection in 1985. It was a widespread fame and they opened their first boutique in Tokyo in 1989. Soon after, they came out with their first line of a men's clothes before expanding to what they have now. In 2010, they celebrated twenty years in menswear and it was a tearful moment. Their fame as a young fashion designing couple spreads throughout the whole world, and I guarantee you will still see this line for many more years to come. Their Light Blue perfume has been my all time favorite for quite some time now. For a classy and elegant style, Dolce & Gabbana can fulfill all your style needs.

Dolce & Gabbana 2017 Backstage Top Fashion Designers
Dolce & Gabbana 2017 Backstage Top Fashion Designers
Roberto Cavalli Top Fashion Designers
Roberto Cavalli Top Fashion Designers


Here comes another famous Italian fashion designer, Roberto Cavalli. Anybody see a trend here? These Italians know what they're doing. He was born and raised in Florence, Tuscany and went to the local Art Institute where he first caught the attention of fashion buyers. Cavalli's series of flower print knits were loved by major Italian hosiery factories. It wasn't until the early 1970's that he became revolutionary in invention with his patent of printing on leather. He then began to make patchworks of different materials and brought them to Paris where he gained fame with other designers like Hermes and Pierre Cardin. After presenting his first collection of printed denim, wild prints, and leathers, he opened his first boutique in St. Tropez in 1972.

Cavalli got married to Eva Duringer in 1980, and she has been his business partner ever since. His line specializes in menswear, womenswear, accessories, watches, sunglasses, perfumes, underwear, children's line, home designs and even beachwear. The signature of Cavalli has always been his famous animal prints which are perfect for the club scene. Don't get it twisted with Jersey Shore animal prints, though, as his line does it up with a perfect, elegant flair. He's flamboyant, glam, colorful and over-the-top, with some rock mixed in, and all of this shows through with his sexy, erotic designs. Cavalli tried to sell his business in 2008, but no one was brave enough to take it on.

Roberto Cavalli Top Fashion Designers
Roberto Cavalli Top Fashion Designers

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Vera Wang Fall 2016 Wedding Top Fashion DesignersVera Wang Spring/Summer 2016 Top Fashion DesignersVera Wang Top Fashion Designers
Vera Wang Fall 2016 Wedding Top Fashion Designers
Vera Wang Fall 2016 Wedding Top Fashion Designers
Vera Wang Spring/Summer 2016 Top Fashion Designers
Vera Wang Spring/Summer 2016 Top Fashion Designers
Vera Wang Top Fashion Designers
Vera Wang Top Fashion Designers

Vera Wang

Vera Wang is a Chinese fashion designer based in New York City. You can see most of her work accentuating the body of a bride, as she is most famous for her collection of wedding and bridesmaids gowns. Wang is considered an American fashion designer because she was born here in New York.

After attending an all-girls school, The Chapin School, in Manhattan, she went on to study at the University of Paris but then came back to Sarah Lawrence College in New York where she earned her degree in art history. But her astounding career in fashion was not always what Wang had in mind. She was actually a figure skater and competed in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and was also featured in Sports Illustrated in 1968. Because she failed to make the U.S. Olympics Team, she then joined the fashion industry. She got married in 1989 and lives in Manhattan with her husband and two daughters.

After being the senior fashion editor for Vogue for sixteen years, she joined fellow designer Ralph Lauren as a design director for another two years. Finally, in 1990 she opened her own design salon at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City. The salon featured Wang's signature bridal gowns. Among the celebrity list of bridal clients that wore her dresses include: Chelsea Clinton, Ivanka Trump, Victoria Beckham, Jennifer Lopez, Sharon Stone, Uma Thurman, and most recently Kim Kardashian. Keeping the figure skating dream alive, she also designs costumes for figure skaters. She also designed the two-piece cheerleader uniforms worn by the Philadelphia Eagles NFL team. Vera Wang has expanded her line to now include jewelry, eye wear, perfume, shoes, and housewares. She also has a modestly priced line called Simply Vera which you can find at Kohl's.

Karl Lagerfeld Presents CHANEL Fall/Winter 2017 Top Fashion Designers
Karl Lagerfeld Presents CHANEL Fall/Winter 2017 Top Fashion Designers


Karl Lagerfeld is a German fashion designer based out of Paris. You can also see his beautiful work on another famous line, Italian fashion house Fendi. He was born in 1933 in Hamburg, Germany and has been known for being head designer and creative director for Chanel.

After moving to Paris in 1953, Lagerfeld had originally worked as a draftsman among fashion houses. In 1955, he won second place in an apprenticeship with Pierre Balmain, as Yves Saint-Laurent was first. He worked three years for Balmain before moving to Jean Patou where he created and introduced his first two haute couture lines, but they were not well-received. In fact, his first line was booed by the press and reporters gasped with his wide-open, short cocktail dresses. Lagerfeld decided it was time to take a break and became a freelance designer working with Valentino, Tiziani, and Chloe where he ended up designing the whole collection in 1964. In 1972, he combined his talent with Italian fashion house Fendi designing furs and clothing. He also occasionally worked as a costume designer for theatre.

Lagerfeld is also known for collaborating with H&M, designing shoes for Charles Jourdan, being a fashion adviser for Trevira, and designing outfits for Madonna's Re-Invention tour. Lagerfeld is also a photographer and has photographed celebrities such as Mariah Carey. In 2006, he introduced his K Karl Lagerfeld collection of fitted T-shirts and jeans. Lagerfeld is quite different when compared to the world of other fashion designers. He designed a teddy bear which have sold for $1500 each.

Interesting Fact

In the popular video game Grand Theft Auto IV, Karl Lagerfeld is the host of fictional radio station "K109 - The Studio."

Karl Who? Karl Lagerfeld Top Fashion Designers
Karl Who? Karl Lagerfeld Top Fashion Designers
Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 2017 Top Fashion Designers
Giorgio Armani Spring/Summer 2017 Top Fashion Designers


Giorgio Armani, yet another Italian fashion house and designer of haute couture, is known as one of the most prestigious in the fashion industry. In addition to his Giorgio Armani brand, he has several sub labels which include: Armani Collezioni, Emporio Armani, AJ Armani Jeans AX, Armani Exchange, Armani Junior, Armani Prive and Armani/Casa. As one of the most high end fashion labels around, the company sales and annual turnover is estimated around $1.6 billion at the end of 2005. Holy Armani!

This high end label and sub labels specializes in clothing, leather goods, shoes accessories, glasses, fragrances for men and women, as well as cosmetics. The label has a signature logo which consists of a curved G completing a curved A in a forming circle. Famous faces of the Emporio Armani brand have included soccer stud Cristiano Ronaldo and sultry actress Megan Fox. Emporio Armani has also recently teamed up with Reebok to create some high-end fashion shoes under the name of EA7.

Giorgio Armani was originally known for his menswear and clean, tailored lines on his suits. By 2001, he was named as the most successful fashion designer out of Italy, and as of 2011, he has a personal fortune of $7 billion dollars. Armani actually studied to be a doctor but after two years, he was called to serve military duties in a hospital and his experience made him realize that he was not cut out for medicine. He has went from a window dresser, to a draftsman, to a freelance designer, to the most successful designer out there. His hard work paid off tremendously. He is an innovator as well, and was the first designer to ban models with a BMI (body mass index) of under 18 after a model starved herself to death due to anorexia. He also teamed with Samsung to create a Giorgio Armani phone. He is the President of the Olimpia Milano basketball team as well as being chosen to design Italy's Olympic uniforms in the 2012 Summer Olympics. In addition to his fashion empire, he is planning a collaboration with a chain of luxury hotels and resorts called Emaar Properties.

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Valentino Top Fashion DesignersValentino Top Fashion Designers
Valentino Top Fashion Designers
Valentino Top Fashion Designers
Valentino Top Fashion Designers
Valentino Top Fashion Designers


Italian fashion designer Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani is the founder of this posh line. Valentino's interest in fashion developed early while in primary school in his native Lombardy of Northern Italy. He became an apprentice to his Aunt Rosa and a local designer Ernestina Salvadeo. To pursue more of his interest in the fashion industry, Valentino moved to Paris and studied fashion where he took an apprenticeship to Jacques Fath and then Balenciaga. His final apprenticeship was with Jean Desses where he took up practicing his sketching. Elizabeth Taylor herself admired his style of white pleat layers and animal prints.

After some controversy with Jean Desses, Valentino returned back to Italy in 1959 and set up in Rome. He soon met his longtime business and romantic partner Giancarlo Giammetti. His first international debut breakthrough took place in Florence in 1962. His first show rewarded him with a great revelation with the press and eager foreign buyers. Soon, he was becoming a god of Italian couture while receiving prestigious awards and famous clients and customers. His confidence brought him back to Rome where he created his greatest collection of all time. His famous all-white collection earned him fame and introduced the world to his now signature "V" logo.

His main lines included: Valentino, Valentino Garavani, Valentino Roma, and R.E.D. Valentino. Valentino retired from the fashion industry world in 2008 but not before his big Haute-Couture show in Paris where he received an admired standing ovation from the entire audience of notable names.

Legendary Paris Fashion Week Top Fashion Designers
Legendary Paris Fashion Week Top Fashion Designers

It's Fashion, Darling

The biggest names in fashion and trends will continuously change overtime, but I dare to say that these names will be a legacy. They will go down in history for their life changing creativity. These are designers who commit to making the best out there for you. The competition is fierce and trends are always changing. I cannot wait to see who the next big name will be. If you feel another designer deserves to be on the list, please feel free to comment down below.

Let Me Know!

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Brianna W


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