GETTING INSPIRED BY SUCCESSFUL STORIES OF ENTREPRENEURS AND GIANT BRANDS IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY
It’s never too late and it’s not impossible to achieve success, no matter where you start from and no matter which are your previous experience.
If you dream of being a fashion designer, you’d better look to the key players in the industry and draw inspiration from their stories.
The plot of these success stories is more or less always the same. Our hero is a talented designer, that needs to find his way in the fashion industry. It’s not an easy journey: some of them come from a poor family, some others need time to understand their true vocation. But when they finally enter the fashion world, all of them create something that addresses the needs and exigencies of their time. In some cases, they disrupt the whole industry, in others, they introduce a new distinctive style.
It doesn’t take long for their talent to be noticed by a few major personalities in the industry and shortly after their products also reach the celebrities of their time, who want to wear them, get endorsed and, in some cases, become the iconic faces of these brands. Obviously, this represents an incredible PR boost: the success spreads all around the world turning the brand into a global phenomenon. Through time, these designers succeed in creating not just a brand, but a whole universe and they keep on developing it through their distinctive products and an incredible communication strategy. Some of these brands are strictly linked to the founder’s image, as the natural embodiment of their identity, some others are identified with the most iconic products and symbols of theirs.
French luxury powerhouses Some of the most important French designers have shaped fashion to the form it exists today. For instance, Chanel brought her sleek, functional designs and introduced pants for women; Dior created the shapes and silhouettes of the so-called “New look”; Saint Laurent propelled both the rise of couture and ready-to-wear, inventing the tuxedo suit for women. It’s incredible how these designs still represent some of the distinctive characteristics of the huge brands these designers have founded.
Italian family heritage The Italian most important fashion houses somehow rely on their family heritage and tradition that are passed through generations. For example, Guccio Gucci founded his legendary company drawing on his father know-how as leather goods maker. Miuccia Prada took over his father’s company and reinvented it with her minimalist style. Lastly, Versace was founded and brought to success by Gianni Versace in the ‘90s, thanks to his powerful imaginary and the endorsement of the beautiful models of the time; then, after his murder, the empire was inherited by his sister, Donatella, who has turned the brand into a lifestyle one.
American self-made designers. Some of the most popular American designers started their businesses completely relying on their own strength. In particular, they have carried out impressive PR and communication strategies mainly linked to their own personal image. Ralph Lauren, for example, was born in an immigrant family in the Bronx and started his own company having only a few business classes. Little by little he developed a high-class brand and became popular for his clothing fit for movie stars. Seemingly, Michael Kors struggled to make the brand successful and even filed for bankruptcy along the way, but thanks to his celebrity fans and to his appearance in Project Runway, he’s become a mainstream household name. Likewise, Tom Ford started his career as an actor, eventually dropping out of university. After a lot of efforts, he made his way to Gucci. He became famous for turning around the brand with a series of smoldering advertising campaigns, before setting up his namesake brand.