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15 Famous Designers Everyone Knows By Name But May Not Recognize In Public

I didn’t know #6 is a woman.

Whether you’re interested in fashion or not, you probably know the names of some of the biggest fashion brands out there. However, few of us can imagine what the masterminds behind the brands look like.

In fact, most of these famous designers are camera-shy and steer clear of media attention to focus on their craft. Well just in case you ever wondered what the faces behind those madly expensive designs looked like, here are 15 of them.

1. Marc Jacobs

At the age of 23, Jacobs designed his first collection with the label, Marc Jacobs with the support of sponsors . At the age of 24, he was recognized as the youngest designer who has ever gotten a prestigious award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

2. Christian Louboutin

Since he was young, Christian has been creating women’s footwear for Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Maud Frizon as a freelance designer. At the age of 27, he decided to establish his own company and open a store. Soon after that, he started to make shoes for royals and Hollywood celebrities, while his famous red sole became one of the most recognizable fashion trends in the world.

3. Michael Kors

As a teenager, Kors started to design clothes and sell them from his parents’ basement. At the age of 17, he entered the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, but he dropped out after nine months and started to work in a fashion boutique. Four years later, he started his own label of women’s wear in the same store.

4. Tommy Hilfiger

At the age of 20, Hilfiger opened his own clothing store but unfortunately, he went bankrupt after five years. After that, he moved to New York where he worked for several labels.

By the age of 28, he created his own clothing design company called “Tommy Hill.” Six years later, with the help of sponsors, he established the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation, which soon became one of the most famous clothing brands in the world.

5. Christian Lacroix

Initially, Christian was planning to become a museum curator. At the age of 22, he moved to Paris where he started to study Art History at Sorbonne, as well as at the École du Louvre. However, soon after that, his affinity for clothing design awoke a bigger passion. By the age of 24, he had already established his own haute couture house.

6. Miuccia Prada

The youngest granddaughter of Mario Prada started to run their family business designing luxury items when she was 29. However, in her youth, she had dreamed of becoming a mime in the Teatro Piccolo. She has even performed there for several years.

At the age of 40, she designed and released her first women’s collection. Five years later, she released a men’s collection as well. In 2014, Miuccia Prada was included on the list of the most influential women according to Forbes.

7. Jimmy Choo

Choo designed his first pair of footwear when he was 11. He moved from Malaysia to Great Britain to study at Cordwainers Technical College in London. After graduating, Choo started to work at a design company and soon after he opened his own shoe shop. His skills and designs were soon noticed at London Fashion Week and he soon became world famous.

8. Yohji Yamamoto

Yamamoto refused a promising career as a lawyer in order to help his mother with her sewing business where he perfected his tailoring skills. After that, he decided to study design at a fashion college. Yamamoto debuted his collection in Paris in 1981 and got world famous almost instantly.

9. Calvin Klein

Calvin used to work in various fashion houses in New York in his youth. He also worked as a street artist from time to time. At the age of 26, he established the “Calvin Klein Inc.” company together in New York with his friend Barry K. Schwartz. Initially, the company specialized in menswear, but later he included womenswear in his production line too.

10. Manolo Blahnik

Manolo’s career started at the age of 28 in London where he started to write a column about footwear in Vogue magazine. One year later, he decided to open a footwear boutique with his own label. At the age of 32, Blahnik became the second man in history who has ever appeared on the cover of Vogue. His shoes were called the fifth character on the Sex and the City series (after the four main heroines).

11. Roberto Cavalli

Roberto studied weaving techniques on a manual loom that soon fascinated him. He decided to drop out of his studies and open his own textile printing business, that started to become more famous slowly. At the age of 32, Cavalli successfully released his first collection at the Salon for Prêt-à-Porter in Paris. Soon after that, he opened his fashion boutique in Saint-Tropez and started his namesake clothing collection.

12. Kenzō Takada

After graduating from Tokyo’s Bunka Fashion College, Kenzō decided to move to Paris. After six years, he held his first exhibition at the Vivienne Gallery, and one of his models appeared on the cover of Elle magazine. His first men’s collection was released when Takada turned 44. Five years later, he released a women’s perfume line called Kenzo.

13. Luciano Benetton

Luciano’s father had a small business, but after his death, the 14-year-old boy had to drop out of school and start working at a clothing store. Soon he saved enough money to buy a knitting machine and created his first collection of colorful sweaters that had commercial success. At the age of 30, Luciano, together with his sister Giuliana and two brothers Carlo and Gilberto, established Benetton Group.

14. Paco Rabanne

Paco started his career in the fashion world by designing jewelry for Givenchy, Dior, and Balenciaga. At the age of 32, Rabanne presented his first collection made of paper, plastic, and metal in Paris. It drew the attention of the world press. By the age of 34, he had established his own fashion house.

15. Pierre Cardin

Since the age of 14, Pierre had been working as a clothier’s apprentice, studying the basics of clothing design. Soon afterward, he left parents house to start working as a tailor in the city of Vichy, where he began to design clothes for women. At the age of 24, Cardin became the head of Christian Dior’s atelier, and three years later, he established his own fashion house that soon became world famous.


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