Top Women’s Wear Designers of All Time

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

March is women’s month and Love Happens is celebrating! Here we have gathered the best womens wear designers throughout history. These master fashion designers created some of the most stunning clothing perfectly tailored to the female form. Accentuating, following curves, helping women look and feel like their most beautiful and powerful selves! While runway fashion once became a bit body shaming, this is old news. Nowadays there is room for the most varied types of bodies on the catwalks. And age remains less and less of a factor in choosing models. Womens wear designers’ creations increasingly serve to empower women, a way to express and value themselves, and we love it!


20 Top Womens Wear Designers of All Time to Love


Alexander McQueen

The stylist’s recognition by the media took place with the launch of a pair of pants that redefined the traditional cut of the piece, which he called “bumster”. Their audacious designs drew attention for their darkly romantic qualities and flashy elements. Hourglass-shaped dresses, long dresses with components as varied as embroidery, and flowers defined a style. McQueen had a talent for drama, so his shows touched the audience. The designer worked at several fashion houses, such as Givenchy.

A model presents a creation by British designer Alexander McQueen as part of his Spring/Summer 2008 ready-to-wear fashion collection in Paris, Photo by Benoit Tessier / REUTERS / Adobe Stock
A model presents a creation by British designer Alexander McQueen as part of his Spring/Summer 2008 ready-to-wear fashion collection in Paris (Photo by Benoit Tessier / REUTERS / Adobe Stock)

Christian Dior

A legend when it comes to womens wear designers, Christian Dior will forever mark Parisian fashion, because his designs, in a way, had come to defy the restrictions that were felt with the war. Similarly, femininity and luxury were reintroduced into the pieces women wore. Many women wanted to wear this style, which was considered by many to be “way ahead of its time”.

famous womens wear designers Italian actress Sophia Loren tries on a Christian Dior 'New Line' dress made by Battilocchi of Rome, in a store in Rome, Italy, 6th February 1956. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Italian actress Sophia Loren tries on a Christian Dior ‘New Line’ dress made by Battilocchi of Rome, in a store in Rome, Italy, 6th February 1956 (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Coco Chanel

It is impossible for us to talk about noble womens wear designers and not mention the name of Coco Chanel. In other words, the importance of this woman in the history of fashion is undeniable. Creator of one of the most valuable fashion brands in the world, this woman has always been far ahead and a visionary. There are pieces that have endured years and years, going through major wars and economic crises. Even so, there were people and so many famous women who wore Chanel from head to toe. For instance, tweed, Little Black Dress, 2.55 Bag, revolutionized the fashion world.

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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)

In addition to fashion pieces, the brand owns the world’s best-selling perfume, Chanel No. 5! Although not created by Chanel, the name of the perfume is said to refer to Coco’s superstitions, because 5 was her lucky number.

Domenico Dolce e Stefano Gabbana

From the beginning, Dolce & Gabbana attracted the influence of a particular group of strong, confident, and stylish women—Sicilian women. From this inspiration, the duo had several muses to base that influence on. There has always been a contrast between beautiful and sensual underwear with masculine stripes and daring ties always combined with high heels. Further, Dolce & Gabbana has become iconically synonymous with elaborate animal prints, stripes, detailed embroidery, black lace, and flowers.

Exhibits in NYC - Heavenly Bodies - Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana for Dolce & Gabbana. Wedding ensemble, spring/summer 2013 alta moda. Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana. Digital composite scan by Katerina Jebb - metropolitan museum of art - art exhibits nyc - fashion and religion
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana for Dolce & Gabbana. Wedding ensemble, spring/summer 2013 Alta Moda. (Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana. Digital composite scan by Katerina Jebb. Image Courtesy of The Met)
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Elsa Schiaparelli

womens wear designers Elsa Schiaparelli, Legacy, The House of Schiaparelli, Schiaparelli, Female Fashion Designer, Italian Design, Luxury Designers, Haute Couture
Elsa Schiaparelli (Photo Courtesy of The House of Schiaparelli)

Surrealism and a lot of creativity! There is no other way to name Elsa Schiaparelli‘s work. Her creations were known for their great extravagance, whether in clothes or accessories. She always had a very artistic spirit, which was not immediately understood by everyone. Nor was any woman who had the courage to use her creations. This woman was truly a visionary and left her mark on fashion history to this day. In addition, she was a great businesswoman.

Gianni Versace

The Italian designer grew up watching his mother sew and very early on he gained a special taste for fashion. After launching his proposed brand, no one was indifferent to his pieces. Boldness, sensuality, and sexuality are the keywords to define his creations. Many people called these looks “vulgar”, but it was actually a celebration of the female body and proof that every woman can wear whatever she wants without being judged for it.

Elizabeth Hurley wearing Gianni Versace with actor Hugh Grant at his film premiere for 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' in London, 11th May 1994. (Photo by Gareth Davies/Mission Pictures/Getty Images)
Elizabeth Hurley wearing Gianni Versace with actor Hugh Grant at his film premiere for ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ in London, 11th May 1994. (Photo by Gareth Davies/Mission Pictures/Getty Images)

Giorgio Armani

Since 1975, the year it launched, the brand has never stopped evolving. What started out as menswear very quickly grew into a luxury fashion empire, including different lines of clothing, accessories, footwear, and cosmetics. Giorgio Armani has become one of the most respected well-known brands in the fashion industry, attracting high-profile names to be their faces, such as Victoria Beckham who is a symbol of elegance.

Gianni Armani Spring Summer 2020 Collection show held in the brand’s historic headquarters at Via Borgonuovo 11
Gianni Armani with models wearing his Spring Summer 2020 Collection during a show held in the brand’s historic headquarters at Via Borgonuovo 11

Hubert de Givenchy

Parisian chic design has become its hallmark. Elegant evening dresses, women’s hats, and tailored suits stand out. One day Audrey Hepburn mentioned that Givenchy’s creations went far beyond simple fashion creations, but personality creations.

womens wear designers givenchy little black dress audrey hepburn breakfast at tiffanys (Photo by Paramount Pictures/Getty Images)
Actress Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s wearing the iconic little black dress by Givenchy (Photo by Paramount Pictures/Getty Images)

Jean Paul Gaultier

Throughout his career, the Frenchman strove to draw attention to the role that fashion played. Gaultier was known for his consistency of style. Initially, he loved red, navy blue, deep purple, and black. He later added salmon, bronze, beige, and turquoise. Further, attire included wide-shouldered jackets, trench coats, baggy pants, and flowing skirts.

Madonna singer 1990 jean paul gauthier cone bra Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)
Madonna wears Jean Paul Gaultier’s iconic Cone Bra design during her performance at the Feijenoord Stadium with Blonde ambition tour in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on 24th July 1990. (Photo by Frans Schellekens/Redferns)

Karl Lagerfeld

First, Karl Lagerfeld became known for working at Chanel. Then he collaborated with Silvia Fendi to create great pieces for Fendi. He then gained a lot of notoriety for his great intelligence and ability to project culture into his projects making him perhaps one of the most beloved womens designers.

womens wear designers - Karl Lagerfeld after winning the coats category in a design competition sponsored by the International Wool Secretariat, Paris, 14th December 1954. With him is a model wearing his design. The competition win led to Lagerfeld being hired as assistant to Pierre Balmain. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Karl Lagerfeld after winning the coats category in a design competition sponsored by the International Wool Secretariat, Paris, 14th December 1954. With him is a model wearing his design. The competition win led to Lagerfeld being hired as assistant to Pierre Balmain. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Manolo Blahnik

Founded in the 1940s by noted Spanish designer Manolo Blahnik, elegance is the word that defines these luxury shoes. Shoes often have applications and finishes that make them as unique as gems. Consequently, these shoes delight so many women, due to their unique design and femininity. Manolo Blahnik keeps iconic pairs in his collection. However, there is a lot of innovation, adapting to various tastes.

Manolo Blahnik Barcelona shop designed by In Out Studio
Manolo Blahnik Barcelona shop designed by In Out Studio

Much of the success of these much-desired pairs of shoes is due to Sarah Jessica Parker and her character in Sex and The City. So many women fell in love with these shoes and the reasons are plain to see.

HANGISI Black Satin Jewel Buckle Pumps, Available at Manolo Blahnik
HANGISI Black Satin Jewel Buckle Pumps, Available at Manolo Blahnik

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Marc Jacobs

After helping to transform Louis Vuitton from a luggage tag into one of the most valuable fashion brands in the world, while he was creative director, Marc Jacobs focused on his own brand, also launching a makeup line. As one of the top womens wear designers he continually delights his female loyalists around the world.

Marc Jacobs Fall 2020 (Photo Courtesy of Marc Jacobs)
Marc Jacobs Fall 2020 (Photo Courtesy of Marc Jacobs)

Miuccia Prada

The designer has always had the celebration of women very present in her mind. Very recently, Prada launched a collection whose objective was to look at and reflect on the “history of women”. At Milan Fashion Week, Prada wanted to redefine our idea of ​​beauty and rethink what this concept really means. For example, the sheer dresses and the unobtrusive coats stood out. This says a lot about the designer’s story!

womens wear designers Prada Spring Summer 2022 - Women's Collection (Photo Courtesy of Prada)
Prada Spring-Summer 2022 – Women’s Collection, Available at Prada

Oscar de la Renta

Oscar de la Renta’s brand quickly came to represent casual luxury for society women. His collections have always been modern, but with a romantic and elegant touch. Vibrant colors certainly stood out in haute couture, as did the most delicate silk prints and softer silhouettes. Moreover, evening pieces have become a must-have in many women’s wardrobes. Celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Michelle Obama made a point of wearing Oscar de la Renta creations.

womens wear designers NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 09:  Designer Oscar de la Renta (C) and model Karlie Kloss (L) walk the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 on September 9, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
Oscar de la Renta (C) and model Karlie Kloss (L) walk the runway at the Oscar De La Renta fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2015 on September 9, 2014, in NYC (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Pierre Cardin

He started by working in different fashion houses such as Paquin and Christian Dior, but it was with his own brand that Pierre Cardin achieved the most recognition among womens wear designers. His preference for geometric shapes and unisex and prêt-à-porter fashion made him one of the first to license his name to mark haute couture in a distinctive way.

Pierre Cardin Haute Couture (Photo Courtesy of Pierre Cardin)
Pierre Cardin Haute Couture (Photo Courtesy of Pierre Cardin)

Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli marked history because his dresses are highly decorative and extravagant. Remorseless glamour applied fluidly to the female form with the sensibility of the Italian. In addition, there are those who define this style as “more exotic”.

Freedom-Print Silk Wrap Skirt (Photo Courtesy of Roberto Cavalli)
Freedom-Print Silk Wrap Skirt, Available at Roberto Cavalli

Stella McCartney

This amazing woman was mainly responsible for the success that the Chloé brand was able to achieve because she managed to achieve remarkable levels of sales. Her first collection contained skirts, silk pants with tops, tight jeans paired with tunics or jackets, and faux fur coats. Interestingly, Madonna’s wedding dress was designed by the stylist.

womens wear designers stella mcartney hand bag paris fashion week
Stella McCartney runway show at Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2019/2020 on March 04, 2019 (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Valentino Garavani

The Italian has always liked to work with soft materials and was not taken in by the criticism that was leveled at his originality. Throughout his career, Valentino Garavani’s designs using the color red stood out a lot at a time when it was difficult to dare and use too much color, as black was the predominant color in luxurious looks. Valentino has always made a point of integrating this color into his shows. The designer considered this to be his lucky color and that it suits any woman well.

Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2022 (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)
Valentino Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2022 (Photo by Peter White/Getty Images)

Tom Ford

Before launching his own luxury brand, Tom Ford worked at Gucci, replacing the minimalism of the early 1990s with updated retro looks that showed off sex appeal. He then went on to found his own fashion company, creating menswear and beauty products. Ford has won numerous fashion awards for his work with Gucci and his own Tom Ford brand.

womens wear designers Black and Silver Flocked Leopard Lame' Peak Lapel Cocktail Jacket Available at Tom Ford
Black and Silver Flocked Leopard Lame’ Peak Lapel Cocktail Jacket, Available at Tom Ford

Yves Saint Laurent

Some of the big changes in women’s clothing came from this designer, as well as some female attitudes because they were a result of his bolder approaches to fashion. Much of its success is due to the notorious rise of pop culture and a great yearning for new designs that were more original. He dressed women in blazers and tuxedos, which was unusual, with see-through blouses and overalls.

womens wear designers Yves Saint Laurent, Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent, 1971, La collection du scandal (Photo Courtesy of Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent)

Words by Sílvia Oliveira


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