MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY
HERE'S HOW DESIGNERS RESPONDED WHEN ASKED THESE TWO QUESTIONS:
1. WHO ARE THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT DESIGNERS OF THE PAST 90 YEARS?
2. WHO ARE THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT DESIGNERS SINCE 1980?

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: 1. Charles Worth: The first Englishman to take Paris on, and the first male designer to impact female clothes, before Poiret. Christian Dior: For creating the New Look, and because he was prolific in the way he saw women. Rei Kawakubo: A visionary. She transcends fashion and the times. 2. Gianni Versace: During my adolescence he intrigued me with the way he used fashion to show the power of women; women could look powerful coming from a working class background. Karl Lagerfeld: Turned a house around better than anyone else. Azzedine Alaia: For the pure technical side and for his sensitivity to women.

ANGELA MISSONI: 1. Christian Dior, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent: They radically changed the face of fashion and they were revolutionary in their own way. 2. Giorgio Armani and Gianni Versace: It goes without saying -- just looking at the empires they built and at the celebrities that wear their clothes.

ANNA MOLINARI: 1.Chanel, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. 2. To answer with only three names would be unfair. Giorgio Armani, Gianni Versace and Ferre, followed by Gucci and Prada, then Dolce & Gabbana and Blumarine, all deserve attention for their sensibility ability to increase turnover year by year.

ANNA SUI: 1. Chanel: Ushered us into modern day dress. Yves Saint Laurent: He revolutionized sportswear. So much of his work so infiltrated everyday life, we forget how revolutionary it was. 2. Nike, Fruit of the Loom and Levi's: Before the Fifties, T-shirts were taboo, but they became the thing to wear as an outer garment. Karl Lagerfeld: He sets a standard for what a lot of people are trying to do today. Ralph Lauren: He reinvented classics, that WASP-y American look. Calvin Klein:He took fashion in a more casual direction with his jeans.

MARK BADGLEY AND JAMES MISCHKA OF BADGLEY MISCHKA: 1. Chanel: She was the walking, talking epitome of the style that she espoused. And of course, because of The Suit. Christian Dior: Mr. Dior got fashion moving again after all those years of deprivation during WWII. The New Look galvanized the world. Yves Saint Laurent: Mr. Saint Laurent was first with so many things -- in taking fashion from the street, in positioning the designer-as-celebrity. 2. Karl Lagerfeld: The most prolific, most enigmatic persona in the last 20 years of fashion. Ralph Lauren: Nobody has spread the doctrine of fashion as lifestyle like Ralph. Giorgio Armani: He literally changed the way women thought about clothes and about themselves.BETSEY JOHNSON: 1. Rudi Gernreich: The first modern new clothes to exist. Artistic, body conscience and timeless. Claire McCardell: The best in all categories... "Dancer" knit stretch, FUN bloomer +wrap things, unexpected use of fabric. Vionnet: TIMELESS. Inventor of "all things bias." 2. Vivienne Westwood: "Street" + "punk." Provocative, decadent, outrageous, FUN! Jean Paul Gaultier: Personally love his "twists" on things -- unexpected details, FAR OUT political concepts great prints + detailing + Sexy. Norma Kamali: TIMELESS, gorgeous, seductive clothes.

BILL BLASS: 1. Chanel: More than even her creativity, she developed such a lasting style. She became mythic, which has nothing to do with hype. Balenciaga: He did clothes not for publicity but for women to wear. Yves Saint Laurent: He brought couture into a modern age, to younger, modern people.

CAROLINA HERRERA: 1. Chanel: A big revolution with all the women dressed in a different way. Christian Dior: The New Look. Balenciaga: He developed new lines, wonderful cuts, an elegance and simplicity. 2. Yves Saint Laurent: He connected fashion with art. Karl Lagerfeld: Fendi, Chloe, Chanel -- he is always influencing fashion in the world. Calvin Klein: He put the world in jeans.

CHRISTIAN LACROIX: 1. Chanel: For her casual, transgressive and highly elegant approach to fashion. Her style is modern forever. Yves Saint Laurent: Her spiritual son. Balenciaga: Her spiritual father. Claire McCardell: Invented American fashion that is now worldwide. Courreges: Did the same in France, even more radically without any inspiration from the past or exotic lands. This influence is still in the air. Jeans makers, jogging and sportswear manufacturers: Even more important as those above in their influence on our lives. 2. Rei Kawakubo: She created a new way of constructing/constructing clothes with an arty/poetic mood that is still magic. "Queen" Vivienne Westwood: The fashion world is unfair to her, forgetting that so many stars nowadays haven stolen her work since "World's End." The Antwerp school, mixing the Dutch and the Belgian. It's difficult to choose among Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf or Walter van Beirendonck.SUZANNE CLEMENTS AND INACIO RIBEIRO OF CLEMENTS RIBEIRO: 1. Chanel: Without Chanel, there would be no minimalism. Christian Dior: He reinvented the past for the 20th century. Yves Saint Laurent: He was not afraid of playing with extravagance, volume and transparency. 2. Vivienne Westwood: Single-handedly created what we know today as "British Style." Rei Kawakubo: Broke all the rules with her conceptual fashion and perennial reinvention. Miuccia Prada: Her contemporary way of appropriating vintage, made it look modern.

DARYL KERRIGAN: 1. Chanel: Of course, her influence being monumental. Madeleine Vionnet: A genius in her bias cutting and new developments in fabric usage. Levi Strauss: Probably the name with the most constant worldwide influence. 2. Vivienne Westwood: For her radical and anarchic ideas that are more and more relevant as time goes by. Rudi Gernreich: For his new ways of seeing the human form and introducing the modern ideal of androgyny. Azzedine Alaia: For his unflinching adherence to the beauty of the voluptuous female form. Helmut Lang: Classic minimalism that is now understood the world over.

DIANE VON FURSTENBERG: 1. Yves Saint Laurent: He turned elegance into seduction and sexiness. Kenzo: For bringing ethnic design to fashion. John Galliano: For bringing back the magic of the bias cut. 2. Karl Lagerfeld: With his talent and intelligence, he re-invented Chanel while designing for Fendi, Chloe, K.L. and of course taking wonderful pictures. Tom Ford: For taking an industrial approach to fashion.

DOMENICO DOLCE AND STEFANO GABBANA OF DOLCE & GABBANA: 1. Nike: More than any designer, Nike and the style that it represents has influenced and changed street wear and therefore costume in the past decade. 2. Gianni Versace and Giorgio Armani: They have been able to convey the best of ready-to-wear worldwide. Rei Kawakubo: She completely changed the rules of fashion and the construction of clothing.

DONATELLA VERSACE: 1. Chanel: A revolutionary designer who completely changed the way women dress and think about fashion. Yves Saint Laurent: He represents glamour. He was the first designer to show androgynous dressing. He had a sense of color that was revolutionary. Gianni Versace: He was my brother and he was a genius. 2. Karl Lagerfeld: A revolutionary designer, especially when he was designing Chloe. I remember the gorgeous evening dresses with sneakers. That was genius; this image has stayed in my mind forever. Azzedine Alaia: Women who wear Alaia appear extremely sexy, aggressive and dressed to kill. Jean Paul Gaultier: One of the most fantasy-invoking, creative designers. He is responsible for the pointage look with the pointy bra.DONNA KARAN: 1. Chanel, Armani and Saint Laurent: They shifted the course of fashion.

DRIES VAN NOTEN: 1. Chanel: For a radical new look for women's garments. Vionnet: For the use of bias cut. Yves Saint Laurent: Invented fashion. 2. Rei Kawakubo: For the Japanese way of fashion. Giorgio Armani: For the Italian way. Martin Margiela: For the Belgian way.

EMANUEL UNGARO: 1. Balenciaga: For his rigor and austerity. Schiaparelli: For surrealism and "la liberte." Chanel: She transformed the body of a woman. 2. The Japanese: The most interesting, the most shocking. They are not imposters of modernity.

GIANFRANCO FERRE: 1. Coco Chanel: She set off the elegance revolution. Mlle. Chanel made [fashion and elegance] compatible with 20th century life. Christian Dior: For having reestablished and modernized the logic of an exquisitely feminine elegance. Yves Saint Laurent: For having reformulated the lexicon of elegance in "new" and versatile terms. 2. Karl Lagerfeld: For projecting an unmistakable and timeless style into the future. Giorgio Armani: He created a parameter of reference for everyday elegance. Myself: For the reasons, I refer to three sources. [He then cites accolades from Anna Wintour, Lagerfeld and Rose Marie Bravo.]

GIORGIO ARMANI: 1. Coco Chanel: Because she provided women with a new way of dressing. Yves Saint Laurent: For introducing a new concept of elegance for women. Jean Paul Gaultier: For his ability to make fashion ironic. 2. Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Gianni Versace: For their lasting influence and global reach. If I am allowed to choose four I would have to include myself!

GIOVANNA FERRAGAMO: 1. Coco Chanel: Reinvented luxury and created a new liberated attitude for women. Christian Dior: Brought back elegance to an international level and was the precursor of the business of licenses. Yves Saint Laurent:An icon who understands that "style is eternal" and goes beyond fashion. 2. Giorgio Armani: A pioneer of Italian fashion and a leader as well as an innovator. Ralph Lauren: Gave American style and U.S. fashion international credibility. Karl Lagerfeld: The ultimate master in revamping major luxury brands and turning them into huge businesses.HUSSEIN CHALAYAN: 1. Vionnet: She inspired a way of thinking, in cutting principles that are still visible today. Yves Saint Laurent: Revolutionary fashion. Comme des Garcons: Influences of Rei's own culture in her work. 2. Jean Paul Gaultier: References of deconstruction of broader popular culture and ethnic culture. Martin Margiela: Established after Gaultier, he has in some way inspired the current generation more visibly. Comme des Garcons: See above.

JEREMY SCOTT: 1. Pierre Cardin: Pushed the envelope of the space age culture. Adrian: Created immortal images of glamour that last forever on film. Karl Lagerfeld: Karl personifies the idea of the designer. He is more like a super hero designer, designing for fashion houses posing as damsels in distress. 2. Gianni Versace: Versace's Italian haute prostitute glamour became the ultimate symbol of late Eighties and early Nineties excess. Nolan Miller: Fashion's unsung hero. He delivered to a generation of TV-spoon-fed viewers the Hollywood dream. Evening gowns to dine with the captain on the Love Boat. Then Dynasty!

JOHN GALLIANO: 1. Worth: The first couturier. Poiret: Liberated women -- out of the corset. Vionnet: For her sensuous sense. Dior: For changing the force of fashion -- because rtw would not be what it is today. 2. It's too difficult to comment on the near past -- those working today. Three is too little.

JULIEN MACDONALD: 1. Karl Lagerfeld: He redefined style for a modern woman at Chanel, Chloe and Fendi. He is a man of many talents. Pucci: He introduced color to the world. Jean Paul Gaultier: Because of his funny take on fashion -- his conical bras, or the raincoat that unravels into a ballgown. And, he has an amazing personality. 2. Tom Ford: Because every woman looks great in Tom Ford's clothes. Marc Jacobs: For his luxurious take on the modern woman's wardrobe. John Galliano: A choice which needs no explanation.

JUNYA WATANABE: 1. Rei Kawakubo: For obvious reasons. 2. Rei.

KARL LAGERFELD: Poiret, Vionnet and Chanel: 1905-1939. Christian Dior, Balenciaga and Chanel: 1945-1960. Courreges, Saint Laurent, Vionnet, Chanel and Balenciaga: 1960-1970. Courreges and Saint Laurent could not exist without Chanel and Balenciaga. 2. Chanel, Gucci and Prada: since 1980. Nike, Levi's and Adidas: They are fashion for today, too, and worn by more people than the fashion of the fashion world we talk about.KENNETH COLE: 1. Coco Chanel: The foremost fashion icon. Giorgio Armani: Dressed a generation in simple elegance. Ralph Lauren: Made American classics his own. Gianni Versace: Gianni was responsible for bringing Hollywood, rock music and fashion together. 2. Tom Ford: Tom has breathed life into Gucci and YSL -- he is now. Miuccia Prada: Her designs and quiet presence have had a large impact on fashion design for the past decade. Oscar de la Renta: His presence and class have remained steadfast in the world of fashion.

MARC JACOBS: 1. Yves Saint Laurent: The most important, living or dead. Then Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren to cover three countries. Ralph transcends all countries and places with his American Dream. Rei Kawakubo in Japan and Martin Margiela in Belgium. There was Chanel herself, and Karl [Lagerfeld], who is responsible for more things consistently than anyone else. 2. Then Prada, and wherever Tom Ford is working. What's wonderful is the creation of a beautiful fantasy beyond a legitimate successful business. What Tom and Prada have built is totally based on real fashion.

MARIUCCIA MANDELLI: 1. Coco Chanel: She invented the new woman and revolutionized the idea of feminine elegance. Cristobal Balenciaga: A true master who lived for the exclusive love of his work. Yves Saint Laurent: A true genius for his impeccable, secure cut; his extraordinary taste for color. 2. Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto: Before anybody else, revolutionized all the rules of Occidental fashion. Jean Paul Gaultier: He has always amused me with his amazing, provocative findings. Roberto Capucci: A timeless talent.

MICHAEL KORS: 1. Coco Chanel: For bringing mobility and a sporty sense of luxury to fashion. Giorgio Armani: For his timeless style and for bringing a combination of power and elegance to a woman's wardrobe. Yves Saint Laurent: Because he rocks! 2. Giorgio Armani: Walk into any power lunch or board meeting and the influence of Mr. Armani is still omni-present. Azzedine Alaia: Imagine body conscious without him. Karl Lagerfeld: Talk about reinventing a house.

MIUCCIA PRADA: 1. Coco Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent: Because of their profoundly and not provocative innovative clothes. Yet making you feel at ease physically and psychologically.NARCISO RODRIGUEZ: 1. Coco Chanel: Hers is a style that gets reinvented every season and endures. Dior: Glamour. Beauty. Skilled technique and intelligence. Yves Saint Laurent: Changed the face of fashion. Balenciaga: The designer's designer. 2. Giorgio Armani: The perfectionism and precision in his work factors into all aspects of image. Donna Karan: Glamorized and reestablished American fashion as a force. Rei Kawakubo: Fashion's fine artist endures as the innovator. Yohji Yamamoto: Encompasses passion, grace, style and marries it to the avant-garde.

NICOLAS GHESQUIERE: 1. Cristobal Balenciaga: His clothes had great range, some really minimalist and other things decorated. Issey Miyake: He gave the Japanese concept of deconstruction a European femininity and sensibility. He was so smart and clever, to balance his research with femininity and sexiness. Martin Margiela: He really changed the idea of old clothes/new clothes. Also, Martin found that to not communicate was the best way to communicate. And he showed you can be well-distributed without a flagship. 2. Gianni Versace: He pushed almost to a kind of vulgarity, with pop star/rock star/porn star excess. Helmut Lang: He has a precise vision and focuses on continuity. Jean Paul Gaultier: He changed so many things: the creative process, sexuality in fashion. Azzedine Alaia: For his incredible sense of cutting the clothes. We'll find his influence for a long, long time.

OLIVIER THEYSKENS: 1. Madeleine Vionnet: Her great research in cutting clothes and her technical accomplishments opened big doors. Gabrielle Chanel: She created fashion not only for her own artistic process but most for a modern woman. Martin Margiela: He is still bringing to fashion a new great vision. 2. Jean Paul Gaultier, Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto and Gianni Versace.

OSCAR DE LA RENTA: 1. Chanel: She invented a formula of dressing in 1920 that is as valid today as it was then. Levi Strauss: Today every single person under the age of 50 owns a pair of jeans. He created the most important item of American culture. 2. Gap: It made a kind of fashion affordable to everyone. Ralph Lauren: He created not a way of dressing but a way of living. Giorgio Armani: He created a way of dressing that became a symbol for the working woman, a non-challenging way of dressing for the workplace. Yves Saint Laurent: He brought androgynous dressing into focus.RALPH LAUREN: 1. Coco Chanel: Through her designs, she created her own world. She brought a sportswear spirit to women's wear. Yves Saint Laurent: He took a couturier's approach to street fashion. He was also a highly innovative marketer. Giorgio Armani: The strength of his men's wear is particularly significant. The distinctive purity of his designs, and the consistency of his message, are remarkable. Christian Dior: A perfectionist who was never content to repeat his earlier successes, Dior changed silhouettes each season. 2. American designers Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and, in the mid-Nineties, Tom Ford, have had the greatest impact globally, both in design and in the creativity of their marketing.

REI KAWAKUBO: 1. Madame Gres: Because she worked with her heart and soul. 2. Everyone or anyone who works with their heart and soul.

ROMEO GIGLI: 1. Paul Poiret: A strange and ingenious creator who was the first to make contradiction a fashion imperative. Simplicity and exotic eccentricity, a mix Poiret himself felt. Pierre Cardin: Freedom again, now projected toward the future, no longer turning to the past. Biba: Discovered the romantic woman, yet in a version far from all passionate canons a la Madame Bovary. Yves Saint Laurent: The emotion or influence of the street brought to fashion and revisited with a burst of creativity. 2. Issey Miyake: Knew how to manipulate shapes without ever losing the rigor and abstraction of the purest Japanese elegance. Azzedine Alaia: Reinvented the feminine silhouette with bold, body-hugging cuts. Jean Paul Gaultier: Gave us the precious gift of his irony. All in his design is easy, all seems possible.

SOPHIA KOKOSALAKI: 1. Madeleine Vionnet: For her technical genius. For her inventiveness, boldness and nonconformity. Yves Saint Laurent: For his enduring elegance and appeal. Rei Kawakubo: For her inventiveness, boldness and nonconformity. 2. John Galliano: For his anarchic creativity. Rei Kawakubo: See above. Helmut Lang: For his widespread appeal, modernity and relevance. Tom Ford: For his marketing brilliance.

STELLA MCCARTNEY: 1. Vionnet, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel: They all designed according to their era and were a part of a cultural age rather than a fashion circuit, not to mention that the clothes were exquisite. 2. Azzedine Alaia, Rei Kawakubo and Nike: They've all reinvented the wheel.GABRIELE STREHLE OF STRENESSE: 1. Paul Poiret: Because he was a universal genius. In 1911 he was the first to create his own perfume, also designing the bottle, the packaging and the advertising. Gabrielle Chanel: The first to communicate restraint and minimalism as qualities that signal taste. Christian Dior: He showed women how style works. 2. Yves Saint Laurent: His premise that imagination needs structure, but that structure also needs imagination, is still valid today. Azzedine Alaia: He proved that sex appeal can be combined with class. Yohji Yamamoto: He took the art of tailoring and the style of the avant garde and brought them to the streets.

THIERRY MUGLER: 1. Travis Banton: The costume designer of Paramount who did lots for Marlene Deitrich, Claudette Colbert. Charles James: Definitely a visionary, a true artist. Ossie Clark: Realized more than anyone the essence of Swinging London at the time. Christian Dior: He had a sense of construction and a sense of humor. 2. Rudi Gernreich: He invented the Op Art and Pop Art fashion; he did the futuristic before Courreges. Yohji Yamamoto: In his way, Yohji is very romantic to me.

TOM FORD: 1. Coco Chanel: For liberating women. Madeleine Vionnet: Her cutting has inspired generations of designers since, the most noticeable being Halston. Yves Saint Laurent: For inventing ready-to-wear. 2. Jean Paul Gaultier: For reinventing French style. Azzedine Alaia: For defining a silhouette in the 80's that is still there today. Giorgio Armani: For redefining men's tailoring.

TOMMY HILFIGER: 1. Coco Chanel: A single voice projecting modernism and a sense of style at a time when fashion was caught in the past. Christian Dior: His New Look laid the groundwork for [modern] fashion innovation. Yves Saint Laurent: He not only created modern, tailored and glamorous clothes for decades, he kept making them look new. 2. Yves Saint Laurent: He reminded us he could still turn out one amazing collection after another. Karl Lagerfeld: He taught us that one could be so full of ideas that they could contribute to many design houses and still express an individual point of view for each company. Tom Ford: Tom showed us that no matter how bleak things might look for a design house, if it has a good name in the eyes of the consumer it can live again.JOSH PATNER AND BRYAN BRADLEY OF TULEH: 1. Coco Chanel: Because she, against all odds, was relentless in her pursuit of success. Yves Saint Laurent: Because he harnessed the great social changes that defined his time and through his vision ended up defining the times himself. Yohji Yamamoto: Because he illustrated the beauty of avant-garde. 2. Karl Lagerfeld: While so many designers put fashion down or dismiss it as being spiritually irrelevant, he maintains a sense of humor for and joy in his profession. Calvin Klein: Because he extended the definition of what it means to be a designer today. Ralph Lauren: Because he produces an overwhelming amount of product with focus and consistency.

VERA WANG: 1. Chanel: She understood the male psyche and female psyche, and that women could have both. Yves Saint Laurent: He was able to make women look fashionable but not stodgy or grand dame-ish. Giorgio Armani: He had to know technique really well to be able to twist it. Prada: For the techno. 2. Jil Sander: She found a new way to interpret minimalism -- techno futuristic but with a classical base. Jean Paul Gaultier: The sense of invention, imagination+the quality. John Galliano: He is a master cutter, who can infuse serious clothes with humor. And he makes evening dresses interesting, which isn't easy. Helmut Lang: A fascinating evolution of an aesthetic. Prada: For being so brave and for making a unique sense of style, quirky sensuality, global. Reebok and Nike: I'm an athlete.

VIKTOR HORSTING AND ROLF SNOEREN OF VIKTOR & ROLF: 1. Chanel: This is so obvious, we don't even need to talk about it. Yves Saint Laurent: Being a legend during your lifetime is reason enough. Rei Kawakubo: Where Chanel liberated the body, RK liberated the mind. 2. Rei Kawakubo: After 32 years in business, RK is still on the forefront of fashion. It is a great inspiration to see how such radical ideas can be turned into a business reality. Tom Ford: TF is the epitome of the fashion designer as a star. But even more important is the fact that he is a businessman as well. Martin Margiela: He stays true to himself and his clothes have a soul.YOHJI YAMAMOTO: 1. Gabrielle Chanel: Freedom and Liberation.
Madeleine Vionnet: A laboratory of cutting. A test tube. Christian Dior: Deformation of the Women's body. Construction of new style. 2. Rei Kawakubo: Deconstruction of clothing itself. Reconstruction of the criterion. Jean Paul Gaultier: Bizarre lined with elegance. Giorgio Armani: Makes men all over the world feel attractive.

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