Fashion Career Icons: Design Pros to Emulate

by Sarah Clark
Fashion School Review Columnist

June 20, 2007

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Everyone needs role models, even fashion school students. The fashion business can be a dog-eat-dog world, so it's important to learn from the best how to deal with its cutthroat culture.

Anna Wintour: Fashion Design (Ice) Queen
One of the most influential, if not the most charismatic, figures in fashion, Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, is known for her straightforward manner, discipline, and hardy work ethic. She reportedly rises before 6:00 am each day to play tennis, a painfully early start by New York City standards. She also is known for her relentless perfectionism, as was portrayed in the Meryl Streep film loosely based on her career in fashion, The Devil Wears Prada.

Tom Ford: Fashion Designer-cum-Marketing Guru
Credited with turning around the once sleepy brand Gucci, Tom Ford has won the respect of many in the fashion industry not only for his impeccable taste, but also his marketing chops. He wasn't afraid to get involved in every aspect of the Gucci brand, from design to merchandising to packaging. Ford's career in fashion shows that fashion designers can benefit from getting involved in the business side of the industry.

Olivier Theyskens: An Authentic Career in Fashion
While many in the fashion industry are known for their shrewdness and discipline, some are just true artists, creative spirits who can change the way ordinary people dress. Belgian designer Olivier Theyskens is one such person. He made a name for himself at Rochas, creating breathlessly beautiful haute couture. Today, he's moved on to Nina Ricci and continues to inspire fashion designers and writers around the world.

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While you're in fashion school you'll learn of numerous other fashion luminaries from which you can model your own career in fashion. Learn from their wisdom, guts, talent, and creativity and use it to bring out the best of yourself as you begin building your own identity as a fashion designer.


About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer specializing in career development and postsecondary education.

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