Fashion: Destiny or Choice?
The stories of the greatest luxury fashion brands have been of interest to millions, and we are no exception. Great movies and books have told us the road to success of the iconic persons behind each label.
Here we will look at the question “Fashion: Destiny or Choice?” for the top brands and their creators, taking a peek of how their fashion career has started – by choice, where the fashion career was actively pursued with education and training, or by destiny where becoming a world-known luxury brand ‘just happened’.
Guccio Giovanbattista Giacinto Dario Maria Gucci founded the House of Gucci in 1921 in Florance, Italy. His inspiration came from his teenage work at the Savoy Hotel in London, where he admired the elegance of the guests, especially their leather luggage bags. Coming from a family of leather craftsmen, Gucci started as a family-owned shop for leather bags. The sons of Gucci later extended the product line and opened international branches, to elevate the brand to what we now know as Gucci. Thus, we believe the Gucci brand was created by destiny.
Prada was founded as Fratelli Prada in 1913 by Mario Prada in Italy, and offered leather goods. But it was only after Miuccia Prada inherited the company in 1978 that it became a premium status symbol in the 1990s. With her original designs and the support of her husband and business patner, Miuccia pulled the brand to the top of the list in luxury fashion. Having a degree in political science, and inheriting the business from her family, Miuccia’s success was more a destiny than a choice.
The young Salvatore Ferragamo made his first pair of shoes when he was only 9 years old, and new immediately that this is his vocation. He later studied shoemaking in Naples, worked in a cowboy boot factory in the US, and later even studied anatomy to ensure his shoes are not only beatiful, but also comfortable. Ferragamo’s shoes have been appreciated by many celebrities, including Eva Peron and Marilyn Monroe. Later the company, named Salvatore Ferragamo after his founder, began producing ready-to-wear for men and women and licences eyewear and watches. Ferragamo pursued his calling from a young age, thus we rank his success as made by choice.
The house of Fendi is another family-ran company, launched in 1925 by Adele and Edoardo Fendi as a fur and leather shop in Rome. The legendary Karl Lagerfeld joined Fendi in 1965 as the creative director of the fur and women's ready-to-wear collection of the luxury fashion brand. It was a family business ran by the 5 daughters of Adele and Edoardo (destiny) till 1999 when Prada and LVMH purchased 51% of the company.
Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent was designing dresses for his mother and sisters by his early teens and at the age of 17 moved to Paris and enrolled at the trade association of high fashion. Saint-Laurent’s talent was discovered by Christian Dior, and not long after, at the age of 21, he was appointed head designer of the House of Dior. In 1961 the brand Saint Laurent was founded itogether with his partner, Pierre Bergé. After tourbulent years and the death of Yves Saint-Laurent, the ready-to-wear line would be rebranded as Saint Laurent. Being regarded as one of the foremost fashion designers in the 20th century, Saint-Laurent has chosen and strived for his place in luxury fashion his whole life.