With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, we were inspired to take a little time to draw upon some of the more unconventional father figures around us—in fashion, that is! Especially in consignment where we see new labels every day, one thing remains true: the Greats continue to stay the Greats; and continue to inspire fashion today.
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent is no stranger as one of our favorite head honchos in the design world. What’s more, the widespread inspiration from his designs are no stranger to our racks. Born in Algeria in 1936, Yves left for Paris as a teenager to follow his dream of design. He not only studied under Christian Dior to gain acclaim in dress designs, he also launched his own labels to include tuxedos for women in the 1960s. Laurent is best known for introducing menswear-inspired looks to women, from chic pantsuits to Annie Hall-esque ties and button-ups.
Claim to fame: Pantsuits for women; androgynous apparel with tailored designs
What’s black and white and couture all over? One hint: Chanel’s very own Karl Lagerfeld. Born in Germany in the 1930s (although he won’t reveal exactly when), Karl also knew that his first love was fashion design. He moved to Paris as a teen (noticing a pattern here?), submitting sketches to a design competition to later win in the coat category. Studying under Pierre Balmain, another one of the true Greats, Lagerfeld was both a junior assistant and an apprentice. Working later for Chloe and Fendi, Karl joined Chanel in 1983 to become both head designer and Creative Director. He is known for selecting pop culture icons before their peak of fame, and channeling these muses as inspiration into his fashion collections.
Claim to fame: Donning black sunglasses with a white ponytail at all times; throwing outlandish Chanel runway shows with ever-unexpected themes
Oscar de la Renta
Just to keep this trend going, there’s one more gentleman in this father figures trio who also happened to land himself in Paris: Oscar de la Renta. It turns out that Oscar and Karl became friends through the same sketch design contest! As the youngest of seven children (and the only boy), Oscar was born in the Dominican Republic. He studied as a painter in Spain, drawing clothes for newspapers as a side job to make extra cash. After being discovered by the wife of the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, he was asked to design a gown for their daughter. From there, De La Renta’s design passion was ignited, and he eventually became an apprentice for *the* Cristóbal Balenciaga. As one of the most renowned couturiers of Spain, Balenciaga took Oscar under his wing as a mentor and guided him to his later worldly success.
Claim to fame: Lavish glamorous gowns and bridal wear; designing haute couture for house of Balmain; first Dominican to design for a French couture House
The list could go on and on: Who are your favorite father figures of fashion? (Say that three times fast.) Stop by our stores and chat designer trivia with us this weekend. Wishing all of you a happy Father’s Day!