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On Trend: By Women, For Women

On Trend: By Women, For Women

Take notice: it's International Women's Day on Sunday 8th March, so FLANNELS wanted to highlight some of the fashion industry's phenomenal women (shout-out Maya Angelou). That meant shining a light on the women that work within the industry, that have helped push forward design in countless ways. Hopefully this helps you understand what makes these designers tick a little more; perhaps it will inspire you to explore what other amazing female creatives we have working out in the world. Okay, enough earnestness: let the list begin!

Photograph of male Ditte Reffstrup


It might not be a name you recognise in the first instance, but we guarantee that Ditte Reffstrup's brand Ganni is one you know (and love!). A Copenhagen-based buyer back in 2009, her impeccable style brought her to the label's founder, Frans Truelsen, who asked for a helping hand. Reffstrup stepped in, and a decade-plus later, her vision for the brand — romantic, ruffled, unafraid of quirkiness — has made Ganni a womenswear world-beater.


If you've looked at fashion news lately, you may have seen that Raf Simons has taken his talents to a certain Italian megabrand. However, it speaks volumes that he willingly enters Prada as a co-creative director alongside Miuccia Prada — regardless of her familial ties to the house, Miuccia is Prada. Since joining the family business in 1978, she took her grandfather's company from a single shop in Milan to the whole world. You love the Prada style of nylon? Miuccia originated that with her accessories in the 80s, forever redefining the idea of luxury, making it more practical. And she's still doing it.

Photograph of Miuccia Prada
Photograph of Donatella Versace


Originally head designer for Versus, Donatella stepped into the Versace design position after the death of her brother Gianni. Despite the tragic nature of entering the role, she's certainly has pulled success from the jaws of defeat, becoming the longest-reigning designer at the helm of the label. She has also evolved the brand's aesthetic from the hedonistic and provocative towards something she calls "more realistic". The Versace woman now, Donatella told SSENSE, is "a multitasker with a job and a family" — we've grown up with her as well.


An icon of French style, Isabel Marant practically took the unbothered Parisienne aesthetic across the world, thanks to her simple, effortless designs. A lot of this focus on functionality came from her time as a fashion school student, when she got asked "are you going to wear what you're designing?" Not long afterwards, she set up her eponymous label, followed by her Étoile line, with both keeping to the ideal of making her creations wearable... and our wardrobes have never been the same since.

 Photograph of Isabel Marant
Photo of Vivienne Westwood


And we conclude on a true icon: Dame Vivienne Isabel Westwood. An icon! Shall we list her accomplishments, which at this point probably get told in schools (and hopefully to bright-eyed children everywhere)? Captured the zeitgeist of punk style. Emphasised the relationship between activism and fashion. Kept alive the techniques of centuries past (she calls herself a "plunderer"). We could go on, but this little text box only has so much space.