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  • Margaux Louise Hemingway (1955 - 1996)
    Margaux Hemingway career included the first million-dollar contract ever awarded to a fashion model. She also appeared on the covers of Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Harper's Bazaar, and appeared on t...
  • Naomi Campbell
    Naomi Campbell (born 22 May 1970) is a British model. Scouted at the age of 15, she established herself among the top three most recognisable and in-demand models of the late 1980s and early 1990s, and...
  • Coco Chanel (1883 - 1971)
    Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel (19 August 1883 – 10 January 1971) was a French fashion designer, businesswoman and Nazi collaborator. The founder and namesake of the Chanel brand, she was credited in ...
  • Gisele Bündchen
    Veja a biografia em português: Wikipédia Gisele Caroline Bündchen is a Brazilian model and occasional film actress. According to Forbes, she is the highest-paid model in the world and also the sixt...
  • Ralph Lauren
    Ralph Lauren (Ralph Rueben Lifshitz) is an American fashion designer and business executive; best-known for his Polo Ralph Lauren clothing brand. Ralph Lauren's Maternal Rabbinical Ancestors ‪Genuine...


Christian Dior once wrote "Fashion is one of the last repositories of the marvelous. The maintenance of the tradition of fashion is in the nature of an act of faith; the outward sign of an ancient civilization that intends to survive."

Man, woman and child, the need to cover our bodies is as old as the Garden of Eden. We clothe ourselves for protection from the elements. We clothe ourselves out of modesty. We clothe ourselves to show membership in a group or a social set. We clothe ourselves to express our individuality.

In 1900, the Exposition Universelle brought a million visitors to Paris to see the newest of everything, including, for the first time, Paris haute couture. The Palais de Fils, Tissus et Vetements included a display, Toilettes de la Collectivetee de la Couture, wax mannequins displaying wardrobes of the elite. For the first time, millions could know what couture meant and it was revelation.

Paris couture became the source of inspiration for generations to come, and the other cities follow the French style. It was not until the twentieth century that London, New York and Milan could stand on equal footing with Paris.


Scope of Project

The goal of this project is to chronicle the lives of those men and women of fashion who brought the act of clothing our bodies to the level of fine art. The profiles included in the project are the greatest names in haute couture, the creators of style, the artists of silk and wool and ribbon.

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Join the discussion at Discussion Link


In genealogy, Sources are our most important tool. Many of these are available online. Please add links to resources that will enable all project members to . . . [lost my train of thought - come back to this]

Suggested Reading Please insert in alphabetical order by last name of author, and provide URL link if available online.

  • Lynam, Ruth, Couture: An Illustrated History of the Great Paris Designers and Their Creators; published by Doubleday and Co., 1972.

Profiles Included in the Project: This list is by no means complete! Use it as a launch pad to explore fashion. The list is divided by "fashion centers," the cities where the designer was principally located or reached fame.


Preeminent Houses of Haute Couture


  • Chanel
  • Dior
  • House of Worth: Gaston Worth
  • House of Paquin:
  • Lacroix, Christian


New York


Fashion Designers

  • Alexander McQueen
  • Alexander Wang
  • Anna Sui
  • Azzedine Alia
  • Balenciaga
  • Bill Blass
  • Bottega Veneta
  • Calvin Klein
  • Carolina Herrera
  • Carven
  • Charles Federick Worth
  • Christian Dior
  • Christian Lacroix
  • Christian Louboutin
  • Christina Yu
  • Coco Chanel
  • Collette Dinnigan
  • Daniel Hechter
  • David Holah
  • Diana von Furstenberg
  • Dirk Bikkembergs
  • Dolce & Gabbana
  • Donatella Versace
  • Donna Karan / DKNY
  • Elie Saab
  • Elie Tahari
  • Elsa Peretti
  • Elsa Schiaparelli
  • Emanuel Ungaro
  • Emilio Pucci
  • Ermenegildo Zegna
  • Estee Lauder
  • Franco Moschino
  • Felipe Oliveira Baptista
  • Geoffrey Beene
  • Giambattista Valli
  • Gianni Versace / Versace
  • Gianfranco Ferré
  • Giorgio Armani
  • Givenchy
  • Gloria Vanderbilt
  • Guy Laroche
  • Hattie Carnegie
  • Hedi Slimane
  • Helmut Lang
  • Hubert de Givenchy / Givenchy
  • Isaac Mizrahi
  • Issey Miyake
  • Jeane Lanvin
  • Jean-Louis Scherrer
  • Jean Patou
  • Jean-Paul Gaultier
  • Jil Sander
  • John Galliano
  • Judith Leiber
  • Karl Lagerfeld
  • Kate Spade
  • Kenneth Cole
  • Kenzo Takada
  • Lanvin
  • Lilly Pulitzer
  • Liz Claiborne
  • Louis Féraud
  • Louis Vuitton
  • Marc Jacobs
  • Marcel Rochas
  • Martin Ludvik
  • Mary Quant
  • Matthew Williamson
  • Mauizio Galante
  • Michael Kors
  • Miuccia Prada / Prada SpA
  • Narciso Rodriguez
  • Nico Didonna
  • Nina Ricci
  • Nino Cerruti
  • Oleg Cassini
  • Oscar de la Renta
  • Paul Poiret
  • Pauline Trigere
  • Perry Ellis
  • Pierre Balmain
  • Pierre Cardin
  • Prada
  • Raf Simons
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Rei Kawakubo
  • Renzo Rosso / Diesel
  • Roberto Cavalli
  • Salvatore Ferragamo
  • Sergio Valente
  • Sonia Rykiel
  • Stefan Gabbana
  • Stella McCartney
  • Ted Lapidus
  • Thierry Mugler
  • Thomas Burberry
  • Tom Ford
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Ungaro
  • Valentino
  • Vera Wang
  • Versace
  • Vivienne Westwood
  • Yves Saint Laurent
  • Zac Posen

Fashion Photographers

International Supermodels