Most top trends don’t start intentionally and with a set purpose, because those real trendsetters out there won’t head out with the ambition of starting a trend. The best influential fashion icons have either started in the industry using fashion as a hobby, been surrounded by it every day of their career, or quite simply thrown on an outfit in a rush and decided it would suit them for the day ahead. Here are 5 people who have changed fashion history for the better, and for good:

1. Coco Chanel
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Three words. Three iconic, proud and timeless words; Little Black Dress. You can buy one, use it numerous times a week with a range of classic accessories, and absolutely no one can tell how many times you’ve worn it. Genius. Well, French fashion designer, Coco Chanel, invented this prodigy and we, along with pretty much every girl, absolutely adore and cherish it to our hearts content. However, she didn’t just set clothing trends in the fashion industry, she set many lifestyle fashion trends, too. If you thought tanning yourself became a new fashion by complete accident, then you better think again! It was Coco who made it seem fashionable when she got burnt by the sun in 1923 on a cruise towards Cannes. Who would’ve thought you owe your sun-kissed skin to Coco Chanel? Her fashion conquers will most definitely be sticking around for many more years to come.

2. Anna Piaggi
“A fine poet with clothes”

An original fashion muse at the height of glamorous eccentricity. Not only was this Italian journalist also a fashion consultant, she was an iconic style setter with a boundless artistic gift in her spare time. She started in the fashion industry by simply asking Elizabeth Taylor for an interview, when she was a journalist, the actress agreed and then Piaggi soon started to get a name for herself and her over-the-top outfits. If spending the ‘70s with Karl Lagerfeld adventuring around Paris wasn’t enough for her, perhaps the fact that she was known to be a force to be dealt with in the fashion world, with her mad-as-a-hatter style of short blue hair and tilted themed hats, was enough? We hope not. We hope that she strived forward and beyond into her final days, and never looked back. Piaggi really was a huge character who will be remembered for her marvellous style, fabulous writing and the well sought after attitude of going with the flow wherever she went.

3. Kurt Cobain
“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are”

This is the man who was known to crawl out of bed one morning, grab some clothes out from under an unrecognisable pile on his chair, and set off to conquer the day ahead of him. He was, and still is, the definition of grunge. At the time where people started to become more and more body conscience, Kurt Cobain, lead singer and guitarist of grunge band Nirvana, introduced the idea of slouchy and loose clothes being absolutely acceptable within society. It seems ridiculous, but putting on yesterday’s scruffs used to be completely out of the question until Cobain changed the way we thought about how we should look and dress. He literally woke up one day, threw on an outfit and then became an inspiration for body confidence all around, especially for women who had to constantly keep up with the changing fashions. Next time you put on your casual wear to enter the outside world, stop where are you are, think about Cobain, thank him, and then carry on being comfortable in yourself.

4. Yves Saint Lauren
“Dressing is a way of life”

If you’re a businesswomen who is striving forward in today’s manic society, then you most definitely will own a trouser suit. This is the garment which confidently portrays female power and that key androgyny. Feminism at its highest, of course. Well, you owe your marvelous look to Yves Saint Lauren, who shocked the world in 1966 with his ‘Le Smoking’, a tuxedo smoking jacket, which then paved the way for the trouser suit and brought working women together on one fashionably smart path. He also was one of the first designers to use ethnic models to show off his collection, which once again proves how much influence he still has over fashion today, with every designer nowadays including ethnic models in their shows without even thinking twice.

5. David Bowie
“… self invented”

Arguably, he is fashion’s most influential man. With his multiple personas, for example: Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Thin White Duke, Arnold Corns and Major Tom, people started to use his style and trends soon caught on and changed rapidly. Bowie is still remembered as the mad character he is, with Kate Moss using his look and style as inspiration for two Vogue front covers, and certain designers using models to show off the fact that his iconic Striped Jackets with strong shoulders and wide lapels are still continuing to stay in high fashion, and will never go out of style. Even though he hasn’t brought out music for many years, he is still proving to be completely relevant in society, and with being married to a Somalian supermodel, Iman, he gets a little helping hand to guide him along the way in the fashion industry of today. We congratulate you Bowie, the trends you set way back when are still owning the catwalks and shop windows of 2015.

coco-chanel piaggi cobain ysl bowie

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