Do you think you are too old to be a designer? That all designers are 20 or 30 somethings? Think again. Like a fine wine, these designers became the best with age.
1. Giorgio Armani
After beginning a career in medicine, and then joined the army, he was 41 when he finally followed his love of fashion and launched his own ready-to-wear label, Giorgio Armani S.p.A in 1975 in Milan. Gis acclaimed to be known as the most successful Italian designer. Armani’s forward-looking style aesthetic included experiments with androgyny, softening the lines of menswear while simplifying women’s clothing. Branching out in his later years with perfumes, accessories, and luxury hotels, Armani turned his name into a worldwide style brand of elegance.
He also is credited with pioneering red carpet fashion and first to ban models with a body mass index under 18.
2. Christian Dior
The founder of one of the world’s top fashion houses, Christian Dior began life in 1905 as the son of a Normandy fertilizer manufacturer. His interest in design started with fashion designer Robert Piguet, but was later interrupted by the military draft. In 1942, when Dior left the army, he joined fashion house Lucien Lelong designing dresses for the wives of Nazi officer and French collaborators, which seemed to be the trend during wartime. In 1946, Dior now 41 years old, refused an offer to design for Philippe et Gaston, from Marcel Boussac, knows as the richest man in France, and instead, had Boussac back Dior’s own fashion house. House of Dior in Paris was founded in December 1946, with the first line presented in February of 1947. His vision for a new look – a more voluptuous look, which was first protested because his designs covered up their legs, but in the end, made his name famous worldwide.
Some say that Dior passed away caused by a strenuous sexual encounter, but the exact circumstances of his death remain undisclosed.
3. Vera Wang
Born and raised in New York City, in 1949, Wang’s ambitious nature first showed itself at 8 years old, when she began figure skating, and competed in the 1968 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. But when she failed to make the US Olympic team that year, she switched gears and entered the fashion industry. She began her design career as a senior fashion editor for Vogue, but left Vogue after being turned down for the editor-in-chief postion (now Anna Wintour). With focused dedication, she worked her way up the fashion power structure, and at 41, she established her first bridal boutique on Madison Avenue. Since then, the Vera Wang brand has not only defined high-end bridal wear, but also expanded to encompass housewares, fragrances and jewelry. She has made wedding gowns for Ivanka Trump, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Victoria Beckham, Avril Lavigne, Jennifer Lopez, Sharon Stone, Khloe and Kim Kardashian and is often mentioned in several movies and television shows.
In June 2005, she won the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) Womenswear Designer of the Year