Special Report

The Most Popular Fashion Designers in History

John Harrington, Hristina Byrnes

Source: Ronald Dumont / Getty Images

Paco Rabanne (1934-)
> Birthplace: Spain
> Era of influence: 1960s-90s
> Wikipedia pageviews (2 yr.): 190,780

Paco Rabanne is famous for making clothes out of plastic, paper and metal into extravagant designs, which may be explained by the fact that he was a trained architect. He designed the costumes Jane Fonda wore in the movie “Barbarella.”

Source: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Pierre Cardin (1922-)
> Birthplace: Italy
> Era of influence: 1950s-60s
> Wikipedia pageviews (2 yr.): 299,196

Pierre Cardin is famous for his geometric avant-garde designs and space age look, for which he used vinyl, helmets, and goggles. He was one of the first fashion designers to license his name for sunglasses and other accessories.

Source: Mike Coppola / Getty Images

Ralph Lauren (1939-)
> Birthplace: United States
> Era of influence: 1970s-current
> Wikipedia pageviews (2 yr.): 1,682,589

One of the best known American designers, Ralph Lauren is famous for the sportswear line Polo Ralph Lauren, and its very sporty, laid-back youthful look.

Source: Jemal Countess / Getty Images

Rei Kawakubo (1942-)
> Birthplace: Japan
> Era of influence: 1970s-early 21st century
> Wikipedia pageviews (2 yr.): 355,224

Rei Kawakubo is famous for her avant-garde clothing designs, which are almost always predominantly black, that some critics called anti-fashion. Kawakubo was one of the most influential designers of the late 20th century. She was the first living designer with a solo show at The Met’s Costume Institute since 1983.

Source: Topical Press Agency / Getty Images

Rene Lacoste (1904-1996)
> Birthplace: France
> Era of influence: 20th century
> Wikipedia pageviews (2 yr.): 13,450

Rene Lacoste was a world-class tennis player who created tennis shirts with a crocodile symbol (as well as the tennis metal racket and the first ball machine).