Surprise, surprise I like fashion designers! Actually I like alot of the designs some fashion designers make, but there are few fashion designers I really respect and admire. These are the fashion designers with a vision that they actually stick to and don’t sell out for anyone. So here is my list of my top 3 favorite fashion designers.
1) Stephen Sprouse
Yes, I know most of you don’t know who he is and I blogged about him before, but he is the most under appreciated designer of his generation. I mean, sure he had critical acclaim in the mid 80’s, but he was never commercially successful until he did an Americana line for Target after 9/11. Seriously, Stephen is my hero. A fashion martyr to be dramatic. It is too bad that he died 5 years ago, or I would love to work for him, and I don’t like working for anyone. If you are into fashion you should know that there is a Stephen Sprouse post-humous resurgence going on right now with the release of his coffee table book (which I got last week and was up all last night reading) and the Deitch Projects special exhibition and, of course, the whole Louis Vuitton re-issuing of Stephen Sprouse artwork on LV accessories. If you don’t know about fashion history, you should know that before Stephen the whole music/fashion collaboration was limited to Studio 54. The whole rock ‘n roll and hardcore punk wasn’t accepted down the runway, but Stephen pushed the limits and brought the industry what it had never seen before and what the retail stores weren’t ready for. He was ahead of his times. Although, of course, in the UK, Vivienne Westwood was pushing similar envelopes at the time, but I’m talking about NY designers here.
2) Betsey Johnson
The most rockin’ grandma ever! Seriously, anyone that does cartwheels down the runway has already got me as a fan, but when you’re over 60 years old and still doing cartwheels on the runway, you are just too frickin’ fabulous! I would probably pull something if I tried to do a cartwheel now, and I am still young and I was a gymnast for 15 years, but not good ol’ Betsey. She has stuck to her singular vision for over 30 years. She was a cheerleader back in the day (just like me) and then got a lucky break and designed for a hip 60’s store Paraphenelia and then designed for rockstars, opened a store, and then started her epynomous clothing line as it is today. Her pieces are as relevant today as they were 30 years ago. Betsey was lucky enough to find a stellar business partner, so her vision received commercial success. She’s just got a great personality (not that I’ve ever met her, but I’m sure she does) and just does what she wants, which is why she rocks. Although, the fashion industry today doesn’t really take her seriously, not like they do with Marc Jacobs or those types of designers. So a designer today with Betsey’s style, it’s much tougher to get a foothold in the industry. But since Betsey has so much history and is so great, she still receives Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Industry, so at least they give her some credit.
3) Anna Sui
“You have to focus on your dreams even if they go beyond common sense. How could a girl from the suburbs of Detroit become a success in New York? It was always that dream.”- Anna Sui. I love that quote from the eclectic Anna Sui. She actually showed with Vivienne Tam and Stephen Sprouse back in the early 80’s. Anna styled shoots with the now famous fashion photographer Steven Miesel back in the 80’s. She worked hard on her line throughout the 80’s and then finally showed her first solo NY fashion week show in 1990. Then her company took off and became especially huge in Asia, where she has a ton of stores. I love her energy, her unique style, and the fact that she does makeup too. I love makeup and so want my own line some day. She’s proof that you should never give up on your dreams. And never think small.
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