10 Fashion Designers for 2010
Here is a compilation of 10 fashion designers that have contributed greatly to the last decade, and are poised to continue to impact the fashion landscape for the next 10. Their contributions vary greatly, some seasoned and some newcomers, but all full of intrigue--that's fashion.
1. Marc Jacobs (Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Marc by Marc Jacobs)
Marc embodies the very essence of the American spirit. He is the most influential American designer of the last ten years, and will be for another ten. In addition to his self-titled label, Marc is the creative director for Louis Vuitton. He is responsible for the signature bags that were (and admittedly still are) all the rage, triggering other competitors to release their own signature logo bags. He sparked such a strong influence, Japanese artist, Murakami, got involved with several special edition bags. The real genius of Marc, though, is how across several channels (haute couture to ready-to-wear) he manages to influence fashion, beauty, accessories, and cosmetics by providing pure, raw, creative energy that we can all tap into.
2. Gwen Stefani (L.A.M.B.)
Gwen's unique style combines high fashion with a street sensibility. Branching out onto some solo albums and her fashion label, we have seen Gwen morph into a strong, independent, yet stylish woman. One of her most influential moves was her work with Harajuku girls and bringing their quirky underground style mainstream. Even more admirable is her stable family life: a husband and two kids. I think she'll continuing blazing blazing the trail in the next decade for all fabulous, fearless women in and out of the fashion industry.
3. Monique Lhuillier (Monique Lhuillier)
Although she started bridal in 1996, it wasn't until the 2000's where her influence on the fashion industry really began. Although a favorite among editors since the formation of her company, designing Britney Spears' wedding gown in 2004 really put Monique into mainstream consciousness. Her work has become a fixture on the red carpet as she has transitioned away from bridal into ready-to-wear and evening wear. She will definitely be around for the next ten years as a strong designer because she is always feminine and knows how to dress the female body so beautifully. Perhaps the added fact that she is Filipina really cements her role in understanding the international fashion landscape and why her designs appeal to many people.
4. Miuccia Prada (Prada, Miu Miu)
Prada, known for her unique silhouettes and quirky details, is synonymous with high fashion and luxury leather goods. Her influence is wide-spread through her diffused ready-to-wear pieces and pop culture fixtures like the blockbuster "The Devil Wear's Prada" with Meryl Streep. Prada is also known most recently for launching the careers of several super models by casting them exclusively in her runway shows and print media (Daria Werbowy, Gemma Ward). The company had a rough start in the 21st century after a failed attempt to create a luxury conglomerate a la LVMH, and had to sell Jil Sander, Helmut Lang, and it's share in Fendi, but looking ahead Prada has an even keel and continues to expand stores worldwide. Her work is so unique because of her point of view that always adds something fresh to the season that customers can't seem to get enough.
5. Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough (Proenza Schouler)
Founded in 2002, named after their mother's maiden names, graduates from Parsons founded the label in 2002 , these guys are quickly rising as fashion superstars. The garments are high end and sold in the likes Barney's New York and Bergdorf Goodman, but in 2007 they designed a collection for Target's GO International line, reaching an entirely new segment of America. They are also a favorite of celebrities like Emma Watson (can you say major Harry Potter exposure?), but most recently on Whitney Houston while filming a video for her comeback album "I Look To You." I think they've proved their worth, and so does the CFDA with their Perry Ellis award, so it's safe to say that the best is yet to come from this new talent.
6. Stefani Germanotta aka Lady Gaga (Haus of Gaga)
Although Gaga's unique outfits are not available for purchase anywhere, her updated glam rock image and sound is sending shock waves around the world. In fact, Gaga started Haus of Gaga to reinstate the super-fan that would thrive on a barrage of the senses from all things Gaga...including fashion. Her biggest statement to date was inspired by the sex appeal of Versace: not wearing pants. With a chart-topping album, "The Fame," in 2008 she has reached millions of people and the potential to reach them for many more years. While the future of her launch of a fashion label is unclear, I think Gaga will continue to turn out hit albums and continue to influence fashion, even if she never does form a retail label much in the same way artists like Michael Jackson and Madonna have done in the past.
7. Kate and Laura Mulleavy (Rodarte)
Another young, dynamic duo on the start of a major fashion career, these sisters already have the support of the CFDA and an all-important nod from Anna Wintour (editor-in-chief of US Vogue). While the label is only 4 years old, they have already dressed Cate Blanchett, Reese Witherspoon, Kirsten Dunst, and even the First Lady Michelle Obama. This upcoming December they are set to launch a line for Target's GO International. It is rare for young designers to find success so early, but with their talent (meticulously detailed, romantic dresses), there's no denying that they'll have a lot to contribute over the next 10 years.
8. Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel, Fendi, Karl Lagerfeld, K Karl Lagerfeld)
Karl has certainly created a legacy. He's iconic prowess as a designer is legendary. The last ten years have linked him to wardrobe for Madonna and Kylie Minogue, a collection for H&M, a Sundance Documentary, and a lucrative deal with Dubai Infinity Holdings. That is, in addition to his work at powerhouses Chanel and Fendi. Lagerfeld lives and breathes fashion, so I think we've got another exciting and innovative 10 years ahead. You know Lagerfeld.
9. Tom Ford (Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, TOM FORD)
A favorite in the fashion industry is definitely Tom Ford. He is best known for turning Gucci around and his excellent work at YSL, as well as his dramatic departure from the fashion scene in April 2004. However, one year later he came back launching a breadth of womenswear, menswear, accessories and beauty products under a self-named brand that relies heavily on sex appeal and sophistication. He is currently expanding his brand and plans on 100 additional retail locations over the next 10 years. In addition to fashion, Tom has demonstrated an interest in directing films and architecture. I think he'll continue to impact the world be in on the runway or otherwise.
10. Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren (Viktor & Rolf)
Rounding out my top ten are my absolute favorite designers, Viktor and Rolf. They are best known for their distinctively Dutch avante-garde point of view that accompanies their highly conceptual, artistic runway shows like their Fall 2007 show where each of the looks included a scaffolding and lights worn by each model. They are so important because they provide great analysis and commentary on the fashion industry itself. While much of their success is based on a select group of a cult following from fashionistas, they are making some progress with reaching the masses through a fragrance deal with L'Oreal Paris (Flowerbomb, Antidote, and as of October 2009, Eau Mega). They have also designed a mini collection for H&M and carry several accessory licenses around the world. They are design rich and will continue to push to boundaries of fashion for many years to come.