How Fashion Has Empowered Women

Madonna singer 1990 jean paul gauthier cone bra Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)

Oppression is a daily matter for women – at work, on social media, and even in our daily lives. Nowadays, just the act of getting dressed becomes impossibly bearable sometimes. But it should never feel this way. So, it’s always important to remember how Fashion has empowered women in the past (and how it still does so today!).

The History of Fashion and How It Has Empowered Women In the Past

The creation of clothing is not the same thing as Fashion, since the second one is an art form. We believe it all started with Charles Frederick Worth, the first person to become famous overseas in the Fashion field. In his opinion, Fashion must be celebrated, and as for the clothes, they weren’t just to be worn. His designs were authentic masterpieces.

WWII

During the second world war, Fashion changed the world. The fact that women started wearing pants to work at the factories inspired a revolution and empowered women to rebel. They didn’t need a man to succeed and work for them.

Rosie the Riveter Poster 1942-43 (Photo via The U.S. National Archives)
Rosie the Riveter’ Poster from WWII ca. 1942-43 (Photo via The U.S. National Archives)

The 1970s

During the 70s, Fashion was continuously used as a statement. Its purpose was to show the disapproval of the nation towards the government’s attitudes. Although bras and corsets were invented as another oppressive instrument, the way we took power from it and used it as a tool for revolution only shows that true Fashion always had our back. Fashion is not about the multimillionaire old man that still believes that women’s place is in the kitchen. It is about the creative minds. Those who come up with amazing new designs that give us confidence and improve our self-love every day.

fashion empowered women The Three Degrees (Sheila Ferguson, Valerie Holiday, Fayette Pickney), an American female singing group pictured in a London street.   (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)
The Three Degrees (Sheila Ferguson, Valerie Holiday, Fayette Pickney), an American female singing group pictured in a London street. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

The 1990s

Later, in the 90s, women embraced Fashion as a way to express their sexuality and sensuality. This was fundamental for the change that was just then beginning. The fact that women stopped dressing accordingly to what men thought was “classy and glamorous” and began to dress for themselves and how they saw as fashionable and trendy really speaks for itself.

fashion empowered women Madonna, vocal performs at the Feijenoord Stadium with Blonde ambition tour in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on 24th July 1990. (Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)
Madonna performs at the Feijenoord Stadium with Blonde ambition tour in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on 24th July 1990 wearing an iconic pink conical bra designed by Jean Paul Gaultier. Madonna personally requested to create the costumes for the tour (she even handwrote him a letter to express her admiration for his humorous take on fashion), the look was the product of many months of collaboration, with fittings taking place both in New York and Gaultier’s ateliers in Paris. (Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)

Dress the Part: Using Fashion to Amplify Your Message


The Statistics

Fashion is also one of the biggest female-driven industries, employing more than 28 million women around the world. When talking about fashion schools, only 15% of fashion majors are male. Furthermore, female representation among incoming chief executive officers in the fashion industry went up by almost 100 percent, “More than 100 individuals were hired for CEO roles overall in the [apparel] industry during 2020”.

A Few Women That Rule Fashion

Coco Chanel

She was the inventor of pants for women in the 1920s. Introducing men’s clothing elements into women’s wear in order to accentuate comfort for all women.

fashion empowered women coco chanel tweed suit on stairs
French fashion designer and a businesswoman Coco Chanel (1883 – 1971) in Paris, France, 29th January 1963. (Photo by Michael Hardy/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Stella McCartney

Being Stella McCartney of the greatest women in the fashion industry to this day, she truly is a name to remember. She inspired, and still does, numerous women entrepreneurs by changing the rules of business, adapting them to females.

stella mcartney hand bag paris fashion week 2019 2020 fall winter
A model, bag detail, walks the runway during the Stella McCartney show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020 on March 04, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Anna Wintour

By being the first female and the longest running editor chief of Vogue, she revolutionized the Fashion industry forever. In a world where men would always lead, she was brave enough to fight for her place on the table.

fashion empowered women Anna Wintour attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
Anna Wintour attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

And so many more….!

Honoring Leading Ladies of Fashion We Love

6 Women Leading Changes In Fashion

The Future for Women In Fashion

In a near future, we hope to achieve a world all industries represent inclusivity and diversity. The goal is also to keep increasing the female power in Fashion and inspire more women to lead.

Words by Mariana Silva



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