15 Iconic Designers Behind Legendary Brands Who Are Impossible to Recognize on the Street
These people garner admiration. Hollywood stars and famous film directors dream of becoming their friends. Clothing under their brands is considered the symbol of luxury and good taste. These people are world-famous fashion designers. And we’ve decided to find out what they look like in real life.
1. Tom Ford, 60 y.o.
Ford joined the fashion industry after getting a degree in architecture. He dreamed of becoming a fashion designer so much that he concealed his degree, and would get any random job as long as it was connected to fashion.
In 1994, Tom Ford was appointed Creative Director of Gucci which had been almost insolvent when Ford joined. In the first half of 1995, the fashion house sales increased by 87%. In 2005, Tom Ford launched his own line of menswear, eyewear, and accessories. Nowadays, there are 49 Tom Ford boutiques all over the world.
2. John Galliano, 61 y.o.
British fashion designer John Galliano is known for his bodacious behavior. For example, he poured water on the models before letting them walk the runway during one his first fashion shows. The fashion designer used to work for Givenchy and Dior. In 2018, Galliano introduced his first perfume for the fashion house Maison Margiela where he works as Creative Director.
3. Christian Louboutin, 59 y.o.
In his teen years, Christian worked as a freelance footwear designer for Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Maud Frizon. At the age of 27, he founded his own company and opened a store. Soon, Louboutin had royals and Hollywood stars among his customers, while stiletto footwear with red-lacquered soles became one of the most recognizable fashion trends.
4. Tommy Hilfiger, 70 y.o.
When Hilfiger was 20, he opened a clothing store, but 5 years later, it went bankrupt. After that, he moved to New York where he worked for several different labels. And at the age of 28, he set up a company called Tommy Hill. And 6 years later, he founded the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation with support from sponsors, which soon became one of the most famous clothing brands in the world.
5. Jimmy Choo, 73 y.o.
Jimmy Choo made his first pair of shoes when he was 11 years old. He moved from Malaysia to Great Britain to study at Cordwainers Technical College in London. After graduation, Choo started working at a design firm and soon opened his own shoe store. His craftsmanship and designs were soon noticed at London Fashion Week, which made him a world-famous designer.
6. Marc Jacobs, 58 y.o.
At the age of 23, Jacobs developed his first collection under his own label Marc Jacobs. And at 24, he was the youngest designer to have ever been awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Perry Ellis Award for “New Fashion Talent.”
7. Christian Lacroix, 70 y.o.
Christian planned to become a museum curator, and at 22, he moved to Paris where he enrolled at the Sorbonne and the École du Louvre. But soon, he realized that he was more interested in fashion design, and at 24, Lacroix opened his own haute couture house.
8. Miuccia Prada, 72 y.o.
The youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada took over the family-owned luxury goods manufacturer when she was 29. However, as a teen, she dreamed of becoming a mime and even performed at the Teatro Piccolo for a few years. At 40, she developed and introduced her first women’s ready-to-wear collection, and 5 years later, she launched her first menswear line. In 2014, Miuccia Prada was among most powerful women, selected by Forbes.
9. Yohji Yamamoto, 78 y.o.
Yohji Yamamoto gave up a prospective legal career to assist his mother in her dressmaking business. This was where he learned his tailoring skills. After that, Yohji decided to study fashion design at a fashion college. Yamamoto introduced his debut collection in Paris in 1981 and gained international recognition almost immediately.
10. Manolo Blahnik, 79 y.o.
Manolo Blahnik started his career in London when he was 28: he wrote for an Italian men’s version of Vogue. A year later, he decided to open a footwear boutique under his own label. At 32, Blahnik became the second man ever to be featured on the cover of U.K. Vogue. His shoes were named the fifth star of the TV show Sex and the City (where first 4 stars were the main characters of the show.)
11. Calvin Klein, 79 y.o.
As a teen, Calvin worked for different New York fashion houses while freelancing as a street artist. At 26, he and his childhood friend Barry K. Schwartz founded Calvin Klein (the company) in New York, which specialized in menswear. Later, he began to design women’s clothing too.
12. Luciano Benetton, 86 y.o.
Luciano Benetton’s father had a small business, but after his death, 14-year-old Luciano dropped out of school to work in a clothing shop. Soon, he saved enough money to buy a knitting machine and produced a collection of colorful sweaters that was commercially successful. At 30, Luciano founded Benetton Group together with his siblings Giuliana, Carlo, and Gilberto.
13. Roberto Cavalli, 81 y.o.
As a teen, Roberto studied textiles, and he got so carried away with it that he dropped out of school and opened his own business focusing on prints on knits. At 32, Cavalli presented his first collection at the Salon for Prêt-à-Porter in Paris. And soon, he opened a fashion boutique in Saint-Tropez and launched his own fashion label.
14. Paco Rabanne, 87 y.o.
Paco started his career in fashion by creating jewelry for Givenchy, Dior, and Balenciaga. At 32, Rabanne presented his first collection made from paper, plastic and metal which attracted attention of the world press. At 34, he founded his own fashion house.
15. Valentino, 89 y.o.
Elizabeth Taylor was one of the first celebrities who noticed the work of the young fashion designer. Soon, Jacqueline Kennedy also became his client. They both walked down the aisle wearing a Valentino wedding dress. Other celebrities who followed suit were Courteney Cox and Jennifer Lopez. Nowadays, Valentino’s haute couture and prêt-a-porter collections have become a symbol of luxury. His last fashion show took place in 2008.
Do you think fashion helps people realize their fantasies in clothing, or does it limit their imagination? Share your opinion in the comments below.