These iconic designers have not only left their mark on the world of accessories, but their brands have stood the test of time
To this day Thierry Mugler insists that his clothing is not futuristic but modernistic and that “intellect is the servant of the spirit.” In 1973, when he presented his first personal collection named Café de Paris, the public held it in the highest regard; a collection that represented women in a sophisticated, strong and urbane way. The eccentric designer became famous for breaking taboos and made headlines with his power suits, leather masks and daring, sometimes painful designs. During the ‘90s at the height of his success he designed pieces for movies, musicals and celebrities. The most famous video was probably George Michael’s “Too Funky” featuring some of the most iconic Mugler designs, which included the motorcycle dress. Time never stood still for him as he turned his attention to art and photography and published Fashion Fetish Fantasy in 1999. In 2004, he moved away from his brand but to this day his influence can be seen around the world from the Cirque du Soleil to Beyonce’s Formation World Tour.
Not many are strangers to the LV logo plastered across handbags (fake and authentic) all over the world. Over 150 years ago the French box maker and packer Louis Vuitton founded the luxury brand. Combining hard work, innovative ideas and determination he quickly saw his signature trunks coveted by the world’s elite. Born in 1821 in Anchay, Vuitton left home for Paris when he was 16 and soon became the most successful trunk producer in France. As a result his next client was none other than the Empress of France, Eugenie de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III. He designed trunk after trunk and rose to the top of his field with the introduction of the famous red and beige canvas trunk in 1872. The LV logo, on the other hand, was created 20 years later as a response to widespread copying, which is a problem that plagues the brand to this day. Thanks to the inspired designs by Marc Jacobs, who introduced the brand to today’s urban youth, and Nicolas Ghesquière, the current creative director, Louis Vuitton will likely continue to make travel beautiful for generations to come.
YVES SAINT LAURENT
He said one of the most famous lines in fashion history: “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” The French style icon was born in 1936 and began his career designing dresses for his mother and sister. At age 17, his love of fashion took him to the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris (part of the governing body for the French fashion industry). During his education he won several awards where he outshone his competition, including Karl Lagerfeld himself. Recommended by the editor in chief of French Vogue, Christian Dior hired him on the spot and soon his sketches turned heads in each year’s collection. After the tragic death of Christian Dior, Saint Laurent found himself the head designer of the house at the age of 21 and saved the brand from financial ruin a year later, catapulting himself to international stardom. But his time at Dior was short lived. After an ugly battle with the brand that fired him while he was doing military service, he founded YSL with his partner, industrialist Pierre Berge. In 1966, as his designs were flourishing throughout the fashion world, he introduced the now famous le smoking – the first tuxedo for women. Through his work he has continued to push the boundaries of trends and fashion, redefining beauty standards for generations of women.