Christian Louboutin grew up with a love for femininity and a fascination for the iconic lines of high heels. After its teenage years spent exploring Parisian nightlife and being surrounded by showgirls – his first job was at the Folies Bergeres cabaret, where he assisted the entertainers backstage – he started to travel the world. Each of these experiences shaped the aesthetic of the designer to this day. It has been an iconoclastic route for an iconoclastic shoe designer, who is now perhaps the most famous in the world – alongside with its trademark: the red sole.
Since the mid-1970s, Cindy Sherman has redefined boundaries as an image-maker and filmmaker. Best known for her photographic portraits, where she assumes the role of different female and male individuals, she frequently presents herself as an icon, questioning the role of women in the media. In 1995, she received the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called ‘Genius Award’. Exhibited widely and internationally, including a retrospective in 2012 at the MoMA in New York, Cindy Sherman is arguably the greatest living female artist.
Since its firsts architectural practices in Los Angeles in 1962, Frank Gehry has produced some of the world’s most important and famous buildings, which became icons of our period. From his own startling renovations of his residence in Santa Monica, purchased and revived in 1977, to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in 1997, he has redefined the architectural landscape. He carries on with numerous prestigious commissions, including his other project due next October for Louis Vuitton: The Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. Vanity Fair has called FRANK GEHRY, “the most important architect of our age.”
Fashion designer and creative director Karl Lagerfeld has revolutionised his field with his particular approach in redefining fashion. He demonstrated his abilities to predict and understand the importance of ready-to-wear, but also the capacity to revitalise and reinvent brands. He began his career at 17, working for Pierre Balmain and later Jean Patou and Chloé, while elaborating his knowledge of history, art, architecture, music and more especially the 18th century French furniture style. He has been collaborating with Fendi since 1965, holds the position of chief designer and creative director of the house of Chanel since 1983 and is head of his own house. For these many reasons, Karl Lagerfeld is a true icon as well as an iconoclast.
Initially studying sculpture and jewellery design, Marc Newson has worked in numerous industries, from aerospace and technology to furniture and fashion. His route might be seen to have contributed to his iconoclastic approach and the embracing of a distinctly personal design signature. His Lockheed Lounge piece, initially made when he was only 23 years old and had just graduated, has gone on to become one of the true design icons of our era.
After originally studying art and literature, Rei Kawakubo quickly changed track byworking for a textile company and then becoming a self-taught fashion designer. She founded the label Comme des Garçons in 1969 where she has input into all areas of the creative process, from graphics, advertising and store interiors to designing and making clothes and accessories. In 1981 she staged her first, and now legendary, Paris show for Comme des Garçons. After an initial outcry, her iconoclastic aesthetic and her love of black changed the wider global notion of beauty in fashion forever.
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