The 20 Most Influential Designers on the Planet

The Independent in the UK ranks Fashion’s greatest living designers in their feature “The looks that shook the world: A celebration of the 20 most influential designers on the planet”

Their list is spot on, mixing established elder statesman (Karl Lagerfeld and Giorgio Armani) with iconoclasts helming eponymous labels (Alexander McQueen, Martin Margiela and Vivienne Westwood), and the younger upstarts who have reinvented the most reputable of fashion houses (Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga, Christopher Bailey at Burberry, Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton, Alber Elbaz at Lanvin, John Galliano and Hedi Slimane at Dior the list goes on and on…)

There will always be notable exceptions to these “conclusive lists” but this one is pretty air tight. My only suggestion would be Raf Simons, a designer who not only consistently impresses with his own label but turned around the fortunes and direction of the fledgling Jil Sander.

The list in no particular order is as follows…

Miuccia Prada: The innovator

Marc Jacobs: The maverick

Ralph Lauren: The elder statesman

Giorgio Armani: The king of lifestyle

Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana: The glamour gurus

Christopher Bailey: The master of reinvention

Frida Giannini: The lady of luxury

Nicolas Ghesquière: The purist

Stefano Pilati: The modernist

Alber Elbaz: The craftsman

Rei Kawakubo: The iconoclast

Martin Margiela: The invisible man

Vivienne Westwood: The national treasure

Karl Lagerfeld: The icon

John Galliano: The artist

Alexander McQueen: The visionary

Jean Paul Gaultier: The rebel

Donatella Versace: The glamour puss

Helmut Lang: The absent friend

Hedi Slimane: The renaissance man

Title Image by Pascal Le Segretain via Getty