There is no doubt that fashion is the ultimate form of self-expression. It’s a universal art form, in that an individual can appreciate different elements of fashion, and create a look, without having to be an artist. But, those that are behind the designs are incredibly artistic minded people. Taking an idea for a design and putting it to paper and turning it into an actual piece of clothing or an accessory is a skill that only a true artist can perfect.
So, who are the 7 best fashion designers in the world, right now? Considering notoriety, quality and wearability of designs, and the overall size and reach of the brand, these are the names on that list:
If you’re interested in how each of these designers earned a spot on their list, then this article is for you. We’ll dive into these designers, as well as who gets the title of the overall best designer. Also, on our to do list is name the most famous female designer and find out who is the richest designer. Keep reading to be in the know on the latest and greatest names in fashion.
Who is the Best Fashion Designer in the World?
This answer depends on a few different factors. There’s of course the best, as in most well-known, or the best as in sells the most designs. Of course, the best could also be the designer that has the most sought after designs, and the biggest celebrity following. When we consider each of these characteristics, one designer comes to mind: Ralph Lauren.
Ralph Lauren has been a standout name in fashion for over fifty years. His designs are consistently classic, with updated styles to suit the latest trends. He was also one of the first designers to make an affordable label that allowed regular people, not just the rich and famous, to sport his clothing.
The 7 Best Fashion Designers in the World
If you fancy yourself a fashion guru, then any of these names on the list come as no surprise to you. But what exactly went into deciding who made the cut for the top seven? We briefly mentioned a few things earlier that were important factors, but here’s the complete list:
- Notoriety outside of the fashion world
- Accessibility to the public
- Quality of designs
- Size of the brand
- Influence on the industry overall and of course fashion trends
1. Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs is known for merging the worlds of pop culture with fashion. One of his first popular collections featured “grunge” looks from the early 90s, although at the time he was working for a designer that found this to be a stretch from their traditional clothing.
Jacobs’ designs are the perfect combination of classic looks with a hint of cutting edge design. There’s never an entirely outrageous outfit, as a whole, but it’s not uncommon to find an outrageous piece in the mix.
Marc by Marc Jacobs was an affordable offshoot production of women’s clothing and accessories, but recently, was discontinued. Jacobs’ still serves as a creative director for another well-known brand, as well as managing his own label, so he’s continuing to heavily influence fashion trends.
2. Christian Louboutin
Louboutin’s might be the most sought after shoe in all of women’s fashion. The brand itself isn’t hard to find, but the price tag makes them a little less easy to come by. Initially, the designs were mostly really high heels.
Louboutins today have strayed a little from just stilettos. They come in all kinds of different styles, anything from boots to sandals. He’s one of few designers that’s been able to command luxury prices consistently.
It’s also unique that a designer has been so successful with just one specialty area. Many others have had to branch out and offer more variety. But Christian Louboutin’s entire foundation rests on shoes. And, even though Christian Louboutin’s a footwear designer, he’s managed to leave his red-soled imprint on the entire world of fashion.
3. Tom Ford
The design genius of Tom Ford is thought to be single-handedly responsible for bringing one very well-known fashion brand back from the dead. Ford’s an artist in the truest sense of the word. Along with fashion design, he’s also an Academy-Award nominated director.
Ford was originally in school to be an architect, but soon realized that he was much more interested in fashion. Before he launched his own brand, he was the creative director for a couple of other major fashion houses, and still has a major impact on the fashion industry.
While many of Ford’s designs have pieces that are full of bling and inspired by his younger days when he’d frequent Studio 54, the majority of his collections are founded on classic pieces. Ford himself has only a few trusty garments in his own wardrobe. But, when it comes to making clothes for celebs, he knows that they’re after the glitz and glamor, so they can dazzle on the red carpet.
4. Donna Karan
Perhaps best known for her own brands, Donna Karan and DKNY, she’s still designing today despite selling both. She began creating for women, first with her own version of the power suit, aiming to provide a more comfortable design that didn’t compromise in style.
DK then added sportswear and eventually clothes for the whole family to her repertoire. Her empire continued to grow and eventually Donna Karan and DKNY were household names.
Even though she sold the companies in 2015, they still have plenty of brand notoriety. And, DK is still designing within her newest venture, a sustainable, environmentally conscious line of clothing. She continues to influence the fashion community with her designs today.
5. Donatella Versace
The Versace name has been in fashion for a long, long time. Donatella followed in the footsteps of her late brother, Gianni. In fact, it was supposedly her brother that convinced her to dye her hair the blonde color that it is now, which has become her signature look.
Versace’s designs feature a lot of bright, bold patterns, and a lot of silk. And, plenty of gold. It’s a rarity to find a Versace piece that doesn’t have any gold. Versace is almost synonymous with fashion. But, the Versace designs have also spread beyond fashion and have found their way into decor as well.
The Versace brand has a few sister companies, one of which was given to Donatella by her brother before he passed. She’s continued to run the Versace label and all of the companies under its umbrella… even though she doesn’t actual sew or make the clothes herself. Donatella has a brilliant design oriented mind, but she’s the first to admit, sewing is not her thing.
6. Giorgio Armani
Even at 85 years old, Armani is still a prominent figure in fashion.. and beyond. He’s built an empire, including fashion, cosmetics, fragrances… even confections and hotels! Each one of Armani’s ventures is just as classy as the next.
The Italian designer found his way into fashion after studying medicine and having a military career. His interest in sports also plays an important role in his designs. He was chosen to create Italy’s uniforms for the Opening Ceremonies at the 2006 and 2012 Olympics.
Armani has two major clothing brands; one features high end collections with an equally high end price tag. But his second brand is geared toward being an affordable luxury. Managing both has made Armani a well-known name in fashion.
7. Calvin Klein
When you hear the name, it’s hard to not picture the early Calvin Klein underwear ads, but since then, the designer and brand has achieved notoriety in fashion design for clothing… not just what’s underneath.
Shortly after the underwear came jeans… and then basically everything else. The scope of his reach is quite amazing, when you consider it all began with what was at the time, a very risqué ad campaign.
Fast forward to today, and you can find Calvin Klein labels on anything from clothing for the entire family, makeup and perfume, and even things for the home. He’s not considered a couture designer, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t managed to put his cK stamp all over fashion.
Who is the Most Famous Female Fashion Designer?
The most famous female designer indicates that this person is well known and her name is recognized by more people than other female fashion designers. For this reason, Vera Wang has this title.
Vera Wang was once strictly a dress designer, creating couture pieces that were only seen on the red carpet. She also made wedding dresses that most brides could only dream of. But, thanks to a deal with a national department store, Wang’s designs are now more widely available to women that love fashion with a lower price tag.
Who is the Richest Clothing Designer?
This name might surprise you… it’s not a well-known designer outside of the fashion community, mainly because she only has two brands attached to her own name, while she works behind the scenes of many other designers’ brands.
Miuccia Prada is the richest fashion designer, with a reported wealth of over 11 billion dollars. Her last name is one that probably rings a bell, since she’s part of the Prada family. Prada is a label that’s been around for many years. She took over the family business and started her own label of Miu Miu.
After attending the University of Milan and getting her PhD in political science, Miuccia continued learning, but not in the political science, fashion or even business industries. Instead, she spent nearly five years training to become a mime; not exactly what you’d expect or even close to a fashion design job (unless you’re into black and white!)
Clearly, Miuccia appreciated the arts. So, when her family named business started losing steam, she started creating her own designs to revamp the line, bringing in updated styles that were more on trend.
Prada has continued to put her own spin on everything she touches, including new brands she acquires. Her designs are always original and she’s unafraid to veer off the tracks of what’s trending at the moment. Whatever she’s doing, she’s doing right.
And there you have it. The seven best fashion designers in the world, as of right now. These particular designers are the ones that have the biggest influence over the fashion industry, but the scope of their impact isn’t just limited to high fashion and couture.
The best designers are the ones that are able to communicate their style and share with others, as well as influencing the creations of fellow fashion creators. It’s the overall development of the brand, as well as longevity of being in the industry that makes someone one of the best. This is true of any business, so fashion is no different.