fashionstories

The first queen of french haute couture, Jeanne Paquin

Jeanne Paquin (1869-1936): The First Queen of French Haute Couture

Jeanne Paquin Background: Jeanne Paquin was born Jeanne Marie Charlotte Beckers in 1869, to a physician father. She was one of five children. When she was a young teenager, she trained at a dressmaker on Boulevard Haussman, where she quickly rose through the ranks to become in charge of the atelier. Even early on, she …

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Fashion designer Miuccia Prada known for being a genius of fashion

Miuccia Prada (1949-): The Genius of Fashion

Miuccia Prada  Background: Born Maria Bianchion 10 May 1949 in Milan, she took the name Miuccia Prada in the 1980s, after being adopted by an aunt.  Her biological parents were Luigi Bianchi and his wife, Luisa Prada. She has two older siblings, Albert and Marina. She attended Liceo Classico Berchet high school in Milan and …

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Donna Karan the master of simplicity

Donna Karan (1948-): The Master of Simplicity

Donna Karan  Background: Karan was born Donna Ivy Faske to mother Helen “Queenie” Faske and father Gabriel “Gabby” Faske (born Faskowitz in Queens, New York. Karan’s mother had been a model and had also worked in designer Chester Weinberg’s showroom. Her father was a tailor who died when Karan was only three years old. Karan …

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Fashion designer Gianni Versace is the breaker of rules and barriers.

Gianni Versace (1946-1997): The Creator Who Broke Rules and Barriers

Gianni Versace Background: Versace was born in the city of Reggio Calabria on 2 December 1946, and grew up with his elder brother Santo Versace and younger sister Donatella Versace, along with their father and dressmaker mother, Francesca. An older sister, Tina, died at age 12 because of an improperly treated tetanus infection. Versace was …

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Fashion designer Calvin Klein is the ultimate fashion ad-man

Calvin Klein (1942-): Fashion’s Ultimate Ad-man

Calvin Klein Background: Calvin Klein was born in the Bronx to a family of immigrants (his father was Hungarian, and his mother Ukrainian). He was one of the fashion designers to be raised in the Jewish community of the Bronx, which included Ralph Lauren. Although he went to the Fashion Institute of Technology, he never …

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Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood is the Queen of Punk

Vivienne Westwood (1941-): The Queen of Punk

Vivienne Westwood  Background: Vivienne Westwood started off as a primary school teacher to become a renowned fashion designer. She was born in 1941 in Derbyshire and moved to London as a teenager when her parents relocated due to work. She married an airline steward Derek Westwood, and a year later, her son was born. It …

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Fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa standing against the tide and always taking the time to respect the proces

Azzedine Alaïa (1940-2017): The King of Cling

Azzedine Alaïa Background: Alaïa was born in Tunisia on 26 February 1935. His parents were wheat farmers, but his glamorous twin sister, Hafida, inspired his love for fashion and haute couture. A French friend of his mother, Mrs. Pineau, fed Alaïa’s instinctive creativity with copies of Vogue magazine. He lied about his age to get …

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Fashion designer Ralph Lauren was a master storyteller

Ralph Lauren (1939-): The King of American Prep

Ralph Lauren Background: Born Ralph Lifshitz in the Bronx to a family of Belarussian and Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants, he is the youngest of four siblings. He grew up wanting to become either an artist or a basketball player. He attended day school followed by the Manhattan Talmudical Academy and went to Baruch College at the …

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Fashion designer Issey Miyake, the disruptor of fashion

Issey Miyake (1938-): The Disruptor of Fashion

Issey Miyake  Background: Issey Miyake was born in Hiroshima and was seven years old when the atomic bomb was dropped. He lost most of his family, including his mother, to radiation exposure. This tragedy would not, however, come to define him, as he was adamant to not be labeled by his past and be known …

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Giorgio Armani revolutionized the fashion industry with his minimalist style and keeping it wearable, but chic

Giorgio Armani (1934-): The Master of Elegance

Giorgio Armani Background: Giorgio Armani was born in Piacenza, a small town outside of Milan, to a poor family (his father was a shipping manager). Giorgio and his two siblings experienced the hardships of the Second World War as children. He lived through difficult and challenging times, and years later, would say that the cinema …

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