In the August issue of Vogue, our colleague Sarah Mower writes passionately about the women designers leading fashion today. Their achievement, she argues, “amounts to a reshaping of the industry—not by fitting in with male-led corporate rules but by steadily ignoring them, trusting their own instincts, living how they wish, and opening wide the creative space for a whole generation to thrive.” It sounds like a manifesto for the 2020s, doesn’t it?
We conceived of this as a companion piece to Sarah’s persuasive essay. It’s an examination and a celebration of designers who’ve changed the way we dress, from Rei Kawakubo and Miuccia Prada, both of whom rejected the pretty in favor of the beautiful; to Stella McCartney and Eileen Fisher, our designer environmentalists; to Phoebe Philo and Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy, who embody opposite ends of the minimal-maximal divide. Iconoclasm comes in many forms.