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Anna Wintour

She obviously needs no introduction from us. Wintour’s power and influence in the fashion industry–in the U.S. and globally–cannot be overstated. Vogue is known as the fashion bible for good reason–it’s the definitive word on fashion.

Cathy Horyn

Feared and revered: As the New York Times‘ straight-talking, hard-hitting, fashion critic, her reviews are the most respected and the most feared. Armani famously banned Horyn from his show for a few seasons after she wrote something he didn’t like.

Natalie Massenet

Massenet revolutionized the world of online shopping. The first site to bring luxury and a finely curated selection of high fashion to the world of e-tail, Net-A-Porter is still the leader and trendsetter in the ever-expanding world of online shopping.

Miuccia Prada

Miuccia Prada built her family’s luxury leather bag business into a fashion empire. Her designs are consistently among the most directional, and subsequently imitated, season after season.

Pat McGrath

The go-to makeup artist every season: McGrath’s deft use of color and statement-making beauty looks on various runways set a standard and ultimately led to work on multiple ad campaigns as a celebrity makeup artist and as a consultant for various beauty brands. She continues to create beauty looks on multiple international runways every fashion season.

Angela Ahrendts

Ahrendts took English heritage brand Burberry into the 21st century. Under Ahrendt’s guidance, Burberry has evolved into one of the most recognizable luxury names in fashion. The brand’s digital initiatives within the industry have been groundbreaking, and it boasts nearly 13 million fans on Facebook

Diane von Furstenberg

Her iconic wrap dress is immortalized in the Smithsonian, and she works tirelessly for the rights of designers (and models!) as the president of the CFDA. Through it all she remains professional and inspirational–her dedication to the empowerment of women is legendary.

Delphine Arnault

Yes, she’s LVMH chief Bernard Arnault’s daughter, but she’s a businesswoman in her own right. Arnault has the potential to be France’s most prominent businesswoman. She has proven herself to be more than just an heiress by working her way up the ranks at the world’s largest luxury goods company. She now sits on the Board of Directors at both Dior and LVMH, and could one day inherit it all.

Franca Sozzani

Sozzani has been a pioneer in bringing VogueItalia into the digital age, democratizing fashion, and making a point to feature plus-size and non-white models. While some of her decisions have been met with controversy, they’ve always encouraged important discussions.

Phoebe Philo;

Philo’s consistent and critically acclaimed collections for Celine have successfully reinvigorated the previously stalwart brand, catapulting it onto everyone’s must-have list. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Philo’s relaxed, easy, slightly boxy, ’70s chic is the look everyone wants right now.



When considering influence in fashion, you may first consider magazine editors, successful fashion designers, or the edgiest trendsetters. Let us not forget the business of the fashion world; without which, there would be no monetary incentive for the creative side of the industry. Listed at #45 on Forbes’ list of Power Women, Ahrendts became the CEO of Burberry in 2006 and has since helped launch the brand into significant success. Before Burberry, Ahrendts was the Executive Vice President at Liz Clairborne and President of Donna Karan International. As a fashion house past its 100th birthday, Burberry was falling behind financially and in stylistic relevance. Ahrendts helped make the brand new again, and with the help of technical savviness, she helped boost sales 25%. Burberry has now scaled their social media platforms, and is making an astounding amount of money with the help of designer Christopher Bailey. All in a day’s work for Angela… also a mother of three!


Named the most influential celebrity online for driving consumer traffic to advertiser’s sites, Lauren Conrad has demonstrated that not only does she have a following, but that they also do her bidding. In addition, Conrad has her own clothing linebooks, and crafty website. Her days of The Hills are behind her, and at age 26, she is already a millionaire. ‘Nuff said


Daphne Guiness is the Heiress of the Guinness Beer fortune; a patron saint of the fashion world; a style icon, and an artist. Her influence runs deeply in many directions. Her perfume, Daphne, is one of Oprah’s favorites; her collection for MAC did very well, and she has been a muse for several designers (including Karl Lagerfeld and Tom Ford.) After losing close friend Isabella Blow, Guinness bought her entire closet and plans to showcase it at Central Saint Martin’s, the school that Blow and Alexander McQueen (another good friend of Guinness’s who committed suicide) both attended. Her own wardrobe (which spans multiple closets), was recently on display atFIT museum in New York.


At the tender age of 14, Kate Moss was “discovered” by a model scouting agent in the JFK airport. With her waifish figure that contrasted with the tall, busty supermodel figures of the time, she helped launch fashion into the heroin-chic scene it became in the nineties. Though she spent time battling drug use and controversy, Moss also served as a muse for numerous designers, brands, photographers, and the grunge fashion movement. Though in modeling standards she is well past her prime, she is still affecting the fashion community with her style influence and social life. She is the 99th richest woman in the UK, the second-highest earning model in history, and has won several prizes for her fashion sense, including the CFDA’s fashion influence award. Since the grunge movement, Moss has also helped define the style movement of boho-chic. She’s one of those unforgettable faces who will always have a place in fashion history.


Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Olsen Twins maintain a massive reach of influence across the fashion world. While some can’t help but adore the cute twins who rose from child stardom to genuine careers in the fashion world with their fashion line and style icon status, some feel that their talent is without substance. However, with the creation of The Row in 2006, Mary-Kate & Ashley now have their petite fingers in eyewear, ready-to-wear, and handbags, in addition to the beauty lines they had already created for young girls. You have to hand it to them–they created a whole new kind of boho (“homeless chic”) during their time at New York University, joined the ranks of the wealthiest women in the entertainment industry at a very early age, and even look out for worker’s rights at their factory in Bangladesh.


Who hasn’t been styled by Rachel Zoe? For the last couple decades, everybody who is anybody has been dressed by this New York Native, from the Backstreet Boys to Lindsay Lohan to Keira Knightley to Anne Hathaway, to name only a few. This styling powerhouse also has no one but herself to thank for her success–she has never received any professional training. The woman is self-taught. In addition, she has her own TV show through Bravo called The Rachel Zoe Project. Thanks for keeping the celebrities we know and love looking so fabulous, Rachel!


ince day one, Nina Garcia has demonstrated her discerning eye. Though she may currently be most well-known for her participation on Project Runway as a judge, she has also been the Fashion Director at Marie Claire and Elle Magazines. She started out working at Perry Ellis, where Marc Jacobs was designing at the time, but quickly ascended the fashion media ladder to Elle Magazine. We think it’s fitting that Nina is scoping out future talents on Project Runway–the woman has paved her own road to success organically, not as some fashion prodigy or “discovery” someone made at a tender age. Power on, Nina!


Tory was born into a remarkable family; her mother was an actress, her father a wealthy investor. While she could have coasted on the abundance of money she was born into, Tory chose instead to build a billion dollar empire of her own. Gaining popularity through Gossip Girl, on which her designs were shown, Burch’s reach stretched worldwide and she soon opened 68 stores internationally. She won the CFDA Accessories Designer of the Year award in 2008, as well as the Rising Star Award from Fashion Group International in 2005. Finally, Tory has used her influence for the good of others with the establishment of the Tory Burch Foundation, which helps women and their families economically.


Now 64 years old, Donna Karan sits comfortably on her eponymous brand that has designed “modern clothes for modern people” since 1985. Before creating Donna Karan New York and DKNY, the less expensive brand for younger women, Karan was head designer for ten years with Louis Dell’Olio at Anne Klein. They won the Coty American Fashion Critics’ Award twice in this span of time, and once she left to establish her own brand, she was inducted into the Coty Hall of Fame in 1984. Since then, Karan has won the Menswear Designer of the Year award from the CFDA in 1992, the Womenswear Designer of the year in 1990 and 1996, and the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the CFDA in 2004, among many others. She is #12 on our influential women of fashion list because she is a talented artist, has worked hard for her career, and even in her sixties is still designing for her brand. This woman never rests!


If Anna Wintour was Diana Ross, then Lauren Santo Domingo would be one of the Supremes at Vogue. Though she has downsized her role there, Domingo is still a Contributing Editor, and in 2005, she was asked by Anna Wintour to “save” the dance after-party for the Met Costume Institute Gala, according to New York Magazine. Domingo is the co-creator of Moda Operandi, a website that allows impatient fashionistas (with money) to order clothes two days after they show on the runway, and the business is already in the process of partnering with Vogue for online shopping. Keep an eye on this lady, because not only is she making marks in the fashion world, but it seems unlikely that she has even reached her full trajectory. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Lauren Santo Domingo.


Dame Viv gets a place in the top ten because she is the queen of youth. Her fashion influence started in the seventies when she dated Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren; they not only dressed the Pistols to their liking, but also opened a shop called Let it Rock, now renamed World’s End, to dress the young masses. She has seen every youth movement through ever since, especially the punk movement of the 80′s. Westwood received the gong for Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Design by the British Fashion Awards in 2007, and has also received British Fashion Designer of the Year in 1990, 1991, and 2006. Famously, when receiving her OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) from the Queen in 1992, she was found to be “knickerless” when photographed from a lower angle as she twirled her skirt. When she received her title of Dame in 2006, she proudly announced that she was knickerless that day too. We love Dame Viv for her free spirit, her connection with youth culture (at age 71, she still designs clothes for a young market), and her deep roots in fashion and rock’n'roll.


Where won’t you find Victoria Beckham in the world of fashion? Though she made her debut as Posh Spice, she has quickly established herself as someone seriously invested in her fashion pursuits, whether as a designer, model, or style icon. Her face has adorned all major fashion magazine covers, served as Marc Jacobs’ muse in 2008, and her brand has spanned the markets of handbags, shoes, and eyewear. With the debut of her own line four years ago, not a few were surprised to see the strong collection she put together. She may have started out as a personality in a girl group, but it turned out to be only one tool in her toolbelt. Her latest collection for Spring 2013 continues to garner positive reviews, her biography and style books were met with success, and all this while being one-half of the most famous couple in the UK and mother of four? Influence, wealth, style; this woman’s got it.


These California sisters arrived in New York with a suitcase of meticulously dressed paper dolls in 2005, and shortly thereafter, they found themselves seated in front of Anna Wintour herself. “Anna could tell that what we were doing was very personal, and she told us to keep it that way,” says Kate. “Personal is the heart and soul of what Laura and I do, and everything we’ve done since has come from that viewpoint.” Their brand Rodarte, though still relatively new, is a powerhouse in the fashion world. After designing seven of the costumes for Black Swan (and spurring a ballet-inspired style wave that we still feel the effects of), the sisters moved on to the “dramatic, couture-like” costumes for Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni at none other than Wintour’s suggestion, according to Time. Their barely 8-year-old label has won them numerous awards, including the CFDA Swarovski Emerging Womenswear Designer in June 2008, the CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year Award in June 2009, and the Star Honoree Award in 2011 from FGI. The Mulleavy sisters are also the first women to win the Swiss Textiles Award, which, at 100,000 euros, is one of fashion’s biggest monetary awards. They assist Tavi from time to time with her online magazine Rookie, have guest-edited Francis Ford Coppola’s quarterly publication Zoetrope, and have even released lower-priced collections at Target and The Gap. We’re breathless to see where these young women will forage next!


She’s restyling Stephen Colbert, teaching Jimmy Fallon bitchface, editing her second successful website–this one called Rookie–which achieved one million views its first week, and she has spoken on TED as a feminist about female role models. She has attended the best fashion shows at every fashion week (front row of course), is onForbe’s 30 under 30 list for the second year in a row, and has voiced characters in two animated films. OH, and she’s SIXTEEN. Sixteen years old! Tavi has redefined the media and used these strongholds to make a difference in the world, spreading word about things that matter, and channeling her interest in fashion and style to a form that young women everywhere can relate to with her online magazine. She built her empire five years ago at age 11; who knows where she will be in 5 more years?


In 1996, Tyra Banks was the first African American woman to be featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. To get there, Banks applied to and was rejected from five modeling agencies– the final and sixth attempt was at Elite Modeling Management, and there they recognized her potential and sent her to Europe. Though she was a newcomer, Banks was hired to walk at 25 big-name shows in Paris Fashion Week, and as a result, she cut her teeth on the runways of Chanel and Christian Dior, to name a couple. At an intimidating 5’11”, she demanded attention. These days Tyra is known less for her role as a woman-of-color model that pushed the limits of the times, but as the Hostess, Judge, and Executive Producer of her television show, America’s Next Top Model. Now, with her daytime talk show in addition to ANTM, she is ruling the airwaves in Oprah’s footsteps. Banks has been named one of People Magazine’s 100 Most Beautiful People twice, was one of the original Victoria’s Secret Angels, and is repeatedly one of four African Americans and seven women to appear on Time’s list of the world’s Most Influential People. She has made fashion history as a talented model, as a teacher, and a woman of color.


With the uncanny power to predict what the masses will want to wear next, Miuccia Prada has become a leader and stronghold in the industry. Born in Milan, Prada grew to earn a PhD in Political Science, establish herself as a feminist, fight for women’s rights…and then inherit her Grandfather’s luxury leather bag business. She was less than thrilled at first, but thankfully, she turned her intelligent mind to the company and created a billion dollar business that also acquired Jil Sander and Helmut Lang. Today her net worth stands at 6.8 billion. The countless awards she has won, the offshoots she has created (such as Miu Miu), and the reputation she has built (Anna Wintour calls Miuccia the “lifeblood” of Milan)… it’s overwhelming to consider the influence Prada carries. She is the fourth-richest person in all of Italy, and she still strives to make clothes “not for women’s bodies, but for their brains.”


Brazil-born Gisele Bundchen is the definition of a supermodel. She sits at the top of Forbe’s highest-earning model list, and is the 16th richest woman in the entertainment industry with an estimated $250 million to her name. After appearing on more than 600 magazine covers worldwide, only Princess Diana has seen more front-page attention. She ended the heroin-chic era of the nineties in 1999 when Vogue heralded Gisele as “the return of the sexy model.” But Gisele’s influence runs deeper than her wealth or popularity. She is an ambassador for the U.N. Environmental Program, through which she is responsible for the planting of 50,000 trees in Brazil in 2012 alone. In addition, Gisele herself donated $1 million to Japanese Red Cross Hurricane Relief. Finally, she has launched a model search in the most impoverished slums of Brazil. The supermodel is out there making a difference with what she has earned, and we think that’s amazing.


here have been a few women on this list whose money, efforts, and time have gone to further women’s rights, but only Diane Von Furstenberg can say that her work is synonymous with women’s liberation. When she sold five million wrap dresses in the 1970s, Furstenberg gave women everywhere a dress they could feel beautiful in without showcasing every contour of their body. DvF was formerly a Princess of the German princely House of Furstenberg, but she divorced the Prince in 1972 and set her mind to making something, and what she made was the wrap dress. Forty years later, DvF not only received the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award, but also became their President shortly thereafter. Trading the title of Princess for Ms. President? We think it was a good move. These days DvF is still celebrating women: in 2001, she created the annual DVF Awards, in which four women who display leadership skills and vision are chosen to receive a $50,000 reward to further their goals. Girl power!


In a terrible moment, Sarah Burton was told that not only had her longtime friend and mentor passed away, but that she was to replace him. The immense pressure she inherited with this information, and with the whole world watching, must have been overwhelming. But Sarah Burton has done it. She was Alexander McQueen‘s right hand woman for a reason. In the last two years, Burton has won an overwhelming amount of awards while designing at McQueen:

  • Quintessentially Excellence Award

  • The Walpole Award for British Luxury Design Talent

  • Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year Award (UK)

  • Glamour Designer of the Year

  • Designer of the Year Award, British Fashion Awards

  • International Designer of the Year Award, Elle UK

  • Included in Time 100: The Most Influential People in the World for 2012

  • An OBE from the Queen for her services to the British fashion industry

And I think the world is not just eager to give her awards for her talent as a designer, but also because the job that was passed to her, and that house, and that brand, and that name, was immense, and we were all holding our breath with her. But she has done it. She has captured the essence of McQueen’s style and carried it forward. We are all so proud of her, and amazed, and in awe. Kate Middleton’s wedding dress was another achievement that, quite frankly, the skeptical world was ready to find fault in— and it could not. For standing up in the face of pressure, grief, and a whole lot of skeptics, Burton takes the silver. After all this, we’re pretty sure she can handle the twins she is currently carrying.


Is it too obvious? There’s no getting around it–at this time in fashion history, someone’s running the show, and she has an impeccable bob and famously high standards. Anna Wintour is the superhighway that brings up-and-coming talent to the right connections, the coach that pulls the best work out of people, and the editor that maintains fashion’s most important magazine. Everyone in the fashion industry recently has been discovered, mentored, assisted, or in some way affected by Anna Wintour. She touches all the pieces, and thank goodness she can. In many ways, she is like the keeper of fashion. When the recession hit hard and stores and designers alike were feeling the strain, she invented Fashion’s Night Out. When the talent pools of young fresh faces dry out, Anna has Vogue team up with the CFDA for a fashion fund. If the fashion industry is a beautiful lush garden, it’s only because Anna is its diligent gardener.

Anna’s influence extends intricately through the fashion industry, but also beyond. She is currently being considered by the Obama administration to be an ambassador to the UK or France after raising a great deal of money for the Obama campaign. We’re pretty sure if astronauts needed another crewmember, she would qualify for that, too.Finally, the wonderful thing about Anna’s success is that it stands up no matter what list she is on. The world’s most influential? The fashion world’s most influential? Women, or men too? No matter the qualifications, Anna tops our lists. She is the Diana Vreeland of our time, and we are so lucky to have her.

The 2013 Forbes World's Most Powerful Women list has arrived, and not surprisingly, some of the fashion industry's most influential females have made the cut, alongside Michelle Obama, Beyoncé Knowles, and Hillary Clinton. With some faces ranking for the second year in a row — Anna Wintour, Tory Burch, and Gisele Bündchen among the returning lineup — and a self-made billionaire moonlighting as the newcomer in the fold, the most powerful women in fashion supply an incredible résumé of fashion-forward thinking, savvy business ventures, fearless brand expansion, and general fashion-world domination.

95. Gisele Bündchen;

Having made the list last year at spot No. 83, Gisele Bündchen is (still) the world's most powerful supermodel, philanthropist, savvy businesswoman, wife, and mother of two. She was just announced as the face of the H&M Fall 2013 campaign, owns her own skin care line called Sejaa, receives a cut on Ipanema sandals that bear her name, and is a United Nations Environmental Programme ambassador. Bündchen can do it all — and she's only 32

90. Sara Blakely;

This marks Spanx founder Sara Blakely's first time on the Forbes Most Powerful Women list, and most deservingly so. The revolutionary shapewear, named one of Oprah's Favorite Things, brings in over $250 million in annual revenue, and get this — Blakely owns 100 percent of the private company and has never received outside investment. Thus, she also holds a place on the billionaires list, and is a self-made one at that.

74. Diane von Furstenberg;

Diane von Furstenberg continues her reign on the Powerful Women list, after ranking No. 33 last year. Her collections are sold in more than 55 countries, and her dresses can be seen on the red carpet and on the first lady. She's currently serving her fourth term as president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and is always one step ahead. Case in point: she dressed her models in Google Glasses at her Spring '13 fashion show

69. Tory Burch;

Tory Burch was last seen on the Most Powerful Women list in 2010, ranking at No. 88. Since then, she's joined the newest batch of Forbes-ranked billionaires, thanks to her eponymous womenswear brand. Burch may be most closely associated with her monogrammed ballet flats, but she has grown her company into a $800-million-in-revenue brand, as of 2012. The entire company is currently valued at more than $3 billion, making Burch the second youngest self-made female billionaire in America. She's also involved with two different philanthropic projects: the Tory Burch Foundation and There Is No Limit Foundation's Association of Women Tie-Dyers From Guinea.

66. Rosalia Mera;

Rosalia Mera is no stranger to a Forbes list — she clocked in at No. 54 on last year's Power list and is currently ranked No. 195 on the magazine's billionaire list. Mera is the wealthiest self-made woman in the world, thanks to Inditex (best known for Zara), the fashion retailer she cofounded with ex-husband Amancio Ortega. Business success aside, she's also a very strategic and successful investor, with investments made in a marine fish farming group and London's BulgariHotel.

58. Miuccia Prada;

Miuccia Prada is the lead designer of her grandfather's luxury goods and clothing company, working in tandem with husband and Prada CEO Patrizio Bertelli. Not only has she played a heavy hand in the continued success of the brand — just look to her cool designs season after season — she also presided over the company's major expansion in 2012, opening stores in Abu Dhabi and Kuwait. Both she and Bertelli are billionaires and have doubled their net worth from 2011 to 2012, and to top it all off, she just created 40 bespoke dresses for Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby.

53. Angela Ahrendts;

Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts is in her seventh year as the head of the fashion group, and in her time at the top, she has tripled revenue to more than $3 billion annually. She's known for her social-media-focused business strategy and is responsible for growing the brand's presence on Facebook and Twitter, with over 15 million fans and 2 million followers, respectively. With revenue up in every sector of the label, Ahrendts has revitalized the heritage fashion house with a new era of cool.

41. Anna Wintour;

Anna Wintour may be the world's most famous fashion editor, and she's certainly the most powerful. After coming in at No. 51 last year, she's increased her power position in a big way. In addition to her role as editor in chief at Vogue, a title she's held for 25 years, she was namedartistic director at Condé Nast in March. Vogue currently has a readership of 11.4 million in print and 1.2 million in monthly visitors online.

The Top 35 Fashion Insiders Under 35 (Plus, Their Tips on How to Make It in the Industry);

1. Tomoko Ogura, 30;

Fashion director, Barney’s New York
Gone are the days when cigar-chomping men ran the stores where women shopped. Since starting her career at Barneys in 2005, Ogura has sped to the top of the department responsible for finding new trends and talent for the company’s 22 stores. How huge is her influence? Time magazine calls her one of six women “who rule the fashion world.” Says Ogura: “In the beginning it was less about knowing everything and more about having a positive attitude. If you’re uninspired, it’s up to you to change that.”

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