In the very selective world of fashion, key female figures in fashion have been able to stand out. Today, we present to you 5 portraits of women who dared, created, innovated and worked hard to establish themselves in this environment. Indeed, fashion was their means of expression.

Vivienne Westwood 

The pioneer of committed and provocative fashion

Vivienne Westwood was the first fashion designer committed to sending strong environmental and social messages through her collections.

The brand is inspired by the punk movement of the time, from the 1960s in London, with an underground, eccentric and rebellious spirit. In addition, she notably dressed the famous London punk group: the Sex Pistols.

Vivienne Westwood is a pioneer of ethical fashion. According to her, reduce, reuse, rethink are her watchwords. Its collections are notably made from fabric scraps or unsold stocks. She has always been an activist and humanist, and this is reflected in her creations.

Committed to the environment and human rights, the designer characterizes herself as being “ on a crusade for vegetarianism ”, notably supporting the PETA association ( People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals ).

Fashion is a way for her to embody strong and impactful ethical and moral values, while taking a bold and innovative approach.

Mary Quant

The inventor of the mini skirt

Mary Quant is the inventor of the famous mini skirt. Created in the mid-1960s, the mini skirt created a shock wave among men of the time. It was notably judged as being too short, and thus showing the bare legs of young women.

According to a passage from Mary Quant's autobiography, she explains that the gentlemen in bowler hats were banging on our windows with their umbrellas, shouting “Immoral and disgusting! “ at the sight of our mini skirts on the tights, but customers flocked to buy .

Indeed, the mini skirt was a symbol of emancipation for these young women at the time and a means of expression, in order to assert their independence and their femininity. It will also become popular and cross borders thanks to Brigitte Bardot in particular.

The British Mary Quant is also a figure of " Swinging London " (an expression which reflects the cultural life of young Londoners in the 1960s, between modernity, hedonism, and pop culture and fashion). In addition, the designer has always taken care to view current fashion and the condition of women with an enthusiastic and caring eye.


Coco Chanel

The symbol of French elegance and chic

Liberating women's bodies, then constrained in corsets and long dresses, was Coco Chanel's ambition. Fashion according to her can be summed up in two words: simplicity and elegance. Marked firstly by the history of its creator, but also by the context of the two world wars, the creations of its lines have, first of all, sought to liberate women and make them much freer in their movements.

Symbol of French chic, it is a whole philosophy that we adopt when wearing Chanel clothes: independence, comfort, elegance. Being yourself and being true to yourself is what Gabrielle Chanel wanted to convey.

In addition, Coco Chanel was also the inventor of the little black dress, which has today become an essential and timeless piece to have in your wardrobe. According to her, the color black is no longer synonymous with mourning, but with elegance.

Thus, the designer Coco Chanel definitively revolutionized the world of fashion, the freedom of women, their behavior and their vision of fashion.

Elsa Schiaparelli

The eccentric and avant-garde figure of fashion

Elsa Schiaparelli is a leading fashion designer of the 1930s. Indeed, she is the emblem of surrealist fashion and views fashion as an art, which is why she very often associated with artists such as Salvador Dali.

This Italian designer has created many legendary creations, such as the iconic lobster dress in collaboration with Salvador Dalì (this piece, designed by Elsa Schiaparelli, is inspired by Salvador Dalì's “Lobster Telephone” and was painted by Dalì himself ), the long black coat inspired by Jean Cocteau, or even the iconic Phoebus cape which highlights his artistic genius.

She was the first fashion designer to give themes to her shows. In addition, she also invented shoking pink , a very pigmented pink, and it was from there that fuchsia gradually made its appearance in the world of fashion. Elsa Schiaparelli was able to bring a more eccentric and artistic touch through technical fashion of the time.

Thanks to her, fashion and art have joined forces to produce an extraordinary artistic mix.

Rose Bertin

The “Minister of Fashion”

Rose Bertin is known for being the very first fashion designer. In the 18th century, there were no female fashion designers. In fact, all the nobles called on tailors and explained to them what they wanted to have. The trends did not come from couturiers, but from rumors in the corridors through the different “courts”.

However, Robe Bertin was a creative at heart, gifted and ambitious. This is why she will begin to imagine her own creations, have them produced by seamstresses and subsequently open her first boutique.

Faced with growing success, she was introduced to Marie-Antoinette, who at the time was a fashion icon. Thus, Rose Bertin was Marie-Antoinette's official seamstress. She offered him sections of fabric (especially with flowers), ribbons, lace...

Marie-Antoinette will also name her Minister of Fashion. Together they will offer eccentric and exuberant fashion, with lots of volume and colors. Thus, Rose Bertin was able to impose her creativity and determination and make people talk about her, at a time when clothes were only made by performers.


To discover the world and history of designer Louise Marcaud and to learn more about her inspirations, passions and ambitions, go here.

The Louise Marcaud Team

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