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The Most Influential Fashion Designers Of All Time

Updated October 26, 2019 6.4k votes 459 voters 10.9k views69 items

List RulesVote up the designers who have influenced the world of fashion the most with their body of work

This is a list of the most influential fashion designers. Throughout history, fashion designers have influenced the simple things we wear every day, even if we don't realize it or see their work on the catwalk.

From names most associated with shoes or underwear like Jimmy Choo or Calvin Klein, or names that dressed the stars like Edith Head, these influential fashion designers have woven their way into our closets over the decades. Some designers' names are synonymous with their brand and style, like Giorgio Armani, Marc Jacobs, and Vivienne Westwood.

All of these fashion designers have created amazing bodies of work and influenced what we wear every day, but it's more difficult to determine who has truly left their mark. Even if some of the names are new to you, their brands and designs are familiar. It’s up to you to help determine which designers have made, or are making, the most influence on fashion.

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  • 1

    Christian Dior

    Granville, France
    167
    53

    AgeDec. at 52 (1905-1957)

    Christian Dior (French pronunciation: ​[kʁistjɑ̃ djɔːʁ]; 21 January 1905 – 24 October 1957) was a French fashion designer, best known as the founder of one of the world's top fashion houses, also...  more
  • 2

    Coco Chanel

    Saumur, France
    175
    64

    AgeDec. at 87 (1883-1971)

    Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel (19 August 1883 – 10 January 1971) was a French fashion designer, businesswoman, and Nazi collaborator. The founder and namesake of the Chanel brand, she was credited...  more
  • 3

    Yves Saint Laurent

    Oran, Algeria
    145
    47

    AgeDec. at 71 (1936-2008)

    Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent (French: [iv sɛ̃ lɔʁɑ̃]; 1 August 1936 – 1 June 2008), professionally known as Yves Saint-Laurent, was a French fashion designer who, in 1961, founded his...  more
  • 4

    Alexander McQueen

    London Borough of Lewisham, London
    158
    72

    AgeDec. at 40 (1969-2010)

    Lee Alexander McQueen, CBE (17 March 1969 – 11 February 2010) was a British fashion designer and couturier. He worked as chief designer at Givenchy from 1996 to 2001, and founded his own fort...  more
  • 5

    Gianni Versace

    Reggio Calabria, Italy
    144
    66

    AgeDec. at 50 (1946-1997)

    Giovanni Versace (Italian: [ˈdʒovanni verˈsaːtʃe]; 2 December 1946 – 15 July 1997) was an Italian fashion designer and founder of Versace, an international fashion house that produces accessories,...  more
  • 6

    Hubert de Givenchy

    Beauvais, France
    101
    42

    Age94

    Count Hubert James Marcel Taffin de Givenchy (pronounced [ybɛʁ də ʒivɑ̃ʃi]; 20 February 1927 – 10 March 2018) was a French fashion designer who founded the house of Givenchy in 1952. He was famous...  more
  • 7

    Karl Lagerfeld

    Hamburg, Germany
    112
    52

    Age88

    Karl Otto Lagerfeld (German: [kaɐ̯l ˈlaːɡɐˌfɛlt]; 10 September 1933 – 19 February 2019) was a German creative director, fashion designer, artist, photographer, and caricaturist who lived in Paris.He...  more
  • 8

    Giorgio Armani

    Piacenza, Italy
    104
    47

    Age87

    Giorgio Armani (Italian pronunciation: [ˈdʒordʒo arˈmaːni]; born 11 July 1934) is an Italian fashion designer. He is known today for his clean, tailored lines. He formed his company, Armani, in 1975,...  more
  • 9

    Cristóbal Balenciaga

    Getaria, Gipuzkoa
    96
    41

    AgeDec. at 77 (1895-1972)

    Cristóbal Balenciaga Eizaguirre was a Spanish Basque fashion designer and the founder of the Balenciaga fashion house....  more
  • 10

    Miuccia Prada

    Milan, Italy
    90
    38

    Age72

    Miuccia Bianchi Prada (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmjuttʃa ˈpraːda]; born Maria Bianchi Italian pronunciation: [maˈriːa ˈbjaŋki]; 10 May 1949) is an Italian billionaire fashion designer and ...  more
  • 11

    Valentino

    Voghera, Italy
    91
    40

    Age89

    Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani (Italian pronunciation: [valenˈtiːno ɡaraˈvaːni]; born 11 May 1932), best known as just Valentino, is an Italian fashion designer, the founder of the Valentino...  more
  • 12

    Ralph Lauren

    New York City, New York
    110
    60

    Age81

    Ralph Lauren, KBE (né Lifshitz; born October 14, 1939) is an American fashion designer, philanthropist, and business executive, best known for the Ralph Lauren Corporation, a global...  more
  • 13

    Kate Spade

    Kansas City, Missouri
    98
    52

    Age58

    Kate Brosnahan Spade was the co-founder and namesake of the designer brand, Kate Spade New York....  more
  • 14

    Oscar de la Renta

    Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo
    85
    43

    Age89

    Óscar Arístides Renta Fiallo (22 July 1932 – 20 October 2014), known professionally as Oscar de la Renta, was a Dominican-American fashion designer. Born in Santo Domingo, he was trained by Cristóbal...  more
  • 15

    Calvin Klein

    New York City, New York
    100
    65

    Age78

    Calvin Richard Klein is an American fashion designer who launched the company that would later become Calvin Klein Inc., in 1968. In addition to clothing, Klein also has given his name to a range of...  more
  • 16

    Tom Ford

    Austin, Texas
    97
    64

    Age60

    Thomas Carlyle Ford (born August 27, 1961) is an American fashion designer and filmmaker. He launched his eponymous luxury brand in 2006, having previously served as the Creative Director at luxury...  more
  • 17

    Thierry Mugler

    Strasbourg, France
    57
    25

    Age72

    Manfred Thierry Mugler (French pronunciation: ​[tjɛʁi myɡle]; born 21 December 1948) is a French fashion designer....  more
  • 18

    Azzedine Alaia

    Tunis, Tunisia
    58
    27

    Age81

    Azzedine Alaïa (French: [azedin alaja]; Arabic: عز الدين عليّة‎, romanized: ʿIzz ad-Dīn ʿAlayya, pronounced [ʕizz adˈdiːn ʕaˈlajja]; 26 February 1935 – 18 November 2017) was a Tunisian-born couturier...  more
  • 19

    Donatella Versace

    Reggio Calabria, Italy
    82
    53

    Age66

    Donatella Francesca Versace (born 2 May 1955) is an Italian fashion designer and the current chief creative officer of Versace, a division of Capri Holdings. Versace was founded by her brother,...  more
  • 20

    Vivienne Westwood

    Tintwistle, United Kingdom
    65
    37

    Age80

    Dame Vivienne Isabel Westwood (née Swire; born 8 April 1941) is a British fashion designer and businesswoman, largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the...  more
  • 21

    Christian Louboutin

    Paris, France
    71
    46

    Age58

    Christian Louboutin (French: [kʁis.tjɑ̃ lu.bu.tɛ̃]; born 7 January 1964) is a French fashion designer whose high-end stiletto footwear incorporates shiny, red-lacquered soles that have become his...  more
  • 22

    Thomas Burberry

    Surrey, United Kingdom
    64
    39

    AgeDec. at 90 (1835-1926)

    Thomas Burberry (27 August 1835 – 4 April 1926) was an English gentlemen's outfitter, and the founder of international chain Burberry, one of Britain's largest branded clothing businesses. He is also...  more
  • 23

    Valentina

    Kiev, Ukrainian SSR
    49
    26

    AgeDec. at 90 (1899-1989)

    Valentina Nicholaevna Sanina Schlee (1 May 1899 – 14 September 1989), simply known as Valentina, was a Ukrainian émigrée fashion designer and theatrical costume designer active from 1928 to the...  more
  • 24

    Jean Paul Gaultier

    Arcueil, France
    60
    39

    Age69

    Jean-Paul Gaultier (French: [ʒɑ̃ pɔl ɡotje]; born 24 April 1952) is a French haute couture and prêt-à-porter fashion designer who, in 1982, founded his eponymous fashion label. From 2003 to 2010 he...  more
  • 25

    Pierre Balmain

    Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, France
    57
    37

    AgeDec. at 68 (1914-1982)

    Pierre Alexandre Claudius Balmain (French pronunciation: [pjɛʁ balmɛ̃], 18 May 1914, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, Savoie – 29 June 1982, Paris) was a French fashion designer and founder of leading...  more
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List Rules: Vote up the designers who have influenced the world of fashion the most with their body of work