Rei Kawakubo went to university and studied art and literature, like a lot of bright girls do. But then she taught herself how to design, set up shop, and soon started to change the fashion world. In 1973, she created her own company, Comme des Garçons Co. Ltd in Tokyo and opened up her first boutique store in Tokyo in 1975. Starting with women’s clothes, Kawakubo added a men’s line in 1978. Comme des Garçons specializes in anti-fashion, austere, sometimes deconstructed garments.
A pattern maker (also referred as pattern master or pattern cutter) drafts the shapes and sizes of a garment's pieces. This may be done manually with paper and measuring tools or by using a CAD computer software program. Another method is to drape fabric directly onto a dress form. The resulting pattern pieces can be constructed to produce the intended design of the garment and required size. Formal training is usually required for working as a pattern marker.
Ralph Lauren is known for his desire to control every facet of his company’s image: some of his ex-employees tell tales of a control freak with a quick temper and little patience for mistakes. In fact, the whole Lauren saga, with its many reversals of fortune and huge comebacks, was recorded with biting accuracy in the nasty, unauthorized tell-all book, Genuine Authentic.
Ralph joined the fashion industry as a tie seller. He tried to introduce his own tie designs for the company, but his enthusiasm wasn’t perceived well. So, he left the company and launched his own mini-business: he sewed his first ties out of rags and distributed them to small shops. The most defining order of 100 dozens of ties by Neiman Marcus has radically changed Ralph’s life. He expanded his business by introducing menswear and womenswear lines. Currently his brand is worth $7.5 billion. Ralph Lauren’s success story inspires many novice designers. The first Polo logo was introduced in 1970.
As previously mentioned, punk spirit seized the London shows and definitely filtered into some during Paris. Alexander McQueen and Dior are two major luxury brands turning the rebellious signifiers of this look on their heads (studs! leather! mohair hole-y knits! plaid!), but you'll also find some homegrown talent pushing things into even wilder territory. Even if the more extreme ends of this trend aren't going to translate into the mass market, expect to see many tartan creations hitting shop floors over the coming months…
Tom Ford studied design at the before he worked for Perry Ellis andCathy Hardwick. Tom was hired in 1990 to oversee Gucci’s women’s wear collections, and had a breakthrough four years later when he was appointed creative director. The Gucci makeover masterminded by Ford was the biggest fashion success story of the late 90s. His sultry rock-star velvet hip-slung trousers, leather stilettos, and Halston-esque dresses were blockbusters. After Gucci’s buyout of Yves Saint Laurent in 1999, Ford also became creative director of YSL Rive Gauche. In 2005, Ford launched the Tom Ford brand.