The fashion industry once again made its mark on Time magazine’s annual list of the world’s most influential people.
From the sports world to the entertainment sector, a number of these famous faces and notable names have made sartorial headlines in the past year — including newly minted Nike athlete Naomi Osaka, soprano pop star Ariana Grande and Meghan Markle’s very own wedding dress designer, Clare Waight Keller, creative directly of Givenchy.
Here, FN recalls these well-deserving A-listers’ accomplishments.
It’s been a banner year for the 21-year-old athlete, who earned her second Grand Slam victory at the 2019 Australian Open to become the No. 1 tennis player in the Women’s Tennis Association rankings. It wasn’t long until she was lionized with her own Barbie last month as part of the toy brand’s Dream Gap Project. Then, just two weeks ago, Osaka signed an endorsement deal with Nike — ending her contract with rival sportswear giant Adidas. “Naomi is an incredible talent to add to our roster and help drive our commitment to inspiring a new generation of female athletes,” said Amy Montagne, Nike’s VP and general manager of global categories.
At the end of the year, The Rock’s Under Armour endorsement was ranked the highest of all celebrity ambassadorships, taking the No. 4 position on Spotted’s inaugural list of the 50 most valuable celebrity endorsers. In fact, the former pro wrestler’s limited-quantity Project Rock 1 sneakers from the eponymous collection sold out in a mere half-hour after their release on both the athletic brand’s website and UA stores across the country. (Johnson and Under Armour joined forces in 2016.)
The K-pop band has amassed a loyal following dubbed the BTS Army, with fans tracking the seven-member group’s every move — including the release of its 2018 album, “Love Yourself: Tear,” and a high-profile appearance at the 2019 Grammy Awards. As Puma’s global ambassadors, the BTS boys also released their own version of the brand’s best-selling Basket shoe. “We are very happy to grow with BTS and hope to roll out meaningful campaigns with them in the future just like we have been doing for the last four years,” said Adam Petrick, Puma’s global director for brand marketing.
Clare Waight Keller
As Givenchy’s first female creative director, Waight Keller had much to prove — and she did not disappoint. Following Riccardo Tisci’s departure from the house in March 2017, the designer produced successful collection after collection, leading up to the high-profile creation of Meghan Markle’s very own wedding dress — a minimalistic haute couture gown with a classic bateau neckline and intricate train, including a pair of the brand’s signature pointed shoes in silk duchess satin. Last year, Waight Keller also took home the British Designer of the Year Womenswear Award at the Fashion Awards.
In the past 12 months, the diminutive pop star experienced more than most people have in their lifetimes. She released her fourth studio album to critical acclaim, got engaged to comedian Pete Davidson, her ex-boyfriend, rapper Mac Miller, died, and won her first Grammy Award. Not to mention she’s the headliner of the 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Upon being presented with Billboard’s Woman of the Year award in December, Grande memorably remarked, “I find it interesting that this has been one of the best years of my career and the worst of my life.”
Although Swift has kept her public appearance relatively low-profile in 2018, the songstress’ popularity clearly hasn’t waned. She followed up the release of her 2017 studio album, “Reputation,” with a record-breaking stadium tour, which sold more than 2 million tickets and raked in more than $345 million in revenue — her highest-grossing concert tour to date (and the 13th highest of all time). With 23 trophies, Swift also surpassed Whitney Houston to become the most decorated female winner in American Music Awards history.
It was 2018 when this star was born. The multi-hyphenate Gaga established herself as a big-screen talent when she earned an Academy Award for the song “Shallow” in the musical drama, “A Star Is Born,” directed by actor Bradley Cooper. (She also received a Best Actress nod.) She also took nominations at the BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild. The movie’s soundtrack debuted at number one in the United States, consequently making Gaga the only woman with five No. 1 albums in the 2010s — breaking her tie with fellow artist Taylor Swift.
Oscar winner Frances McDormand couldn’t have penned a better tribute to the Valentino artistic director: “He feels no need to erase the past but builds on its foundation and by doing so makes the future of the house stronger, braver.” After all, Piccioli was responsible for the classic-turned-contemporary custom acid yellow Birkenstocks McDormand wore to the 2019 Academy Awards. (The actress also offered a helping hand in the shoe’s design.) He also notably received a standing ovation for his fall ’18 haute couture collection, cementing the modern-day revival of the storied fashion brand.
From first lady to fashion icon, Obama has had quite the career in the public eye. With her memoir, “Becoming,” she sold more copies than any other book published in the country last year — becoming (no pun intended) the second best-selling debut for any book in 2018 after just 15 days on shelves. Her bio for Time‘s list was written by the inimitable Beyoncé, who called Obama “a portrait of grace” who uses “her position of power to improve the world around her.”
Hyman shared her idea of renting clothes on the internet more than a decade ago — and now Rent the Runway is a $1 billion business. Last March, it landed a $20 million investment from Alibaba co-founders Jack Ma and Joe Tsai, with talks of RTR’s potential to go public. The platform also teamed up with shared workspace company WeWork to place drop-off boxes inside the lobbies of select WeWork offices across the country, including Los Angeles and New York — a significant expansion of the brand’s physical presence.
The NBA star continues to catch fast breaks both on and off the court. Last year marked the end of James’ stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers, moving on to the Los Angeles Lakers in the summer. In February, he became the fifth NBA player to reach 32,000 points, and a month later, he outperformed Michael Jordan for the fourth place on the NBA career scoring leaders list. But his crown jewel happens to be his I Promise School — a public elementary school that opened last year in Akron, Ohio, aimed at at-risk students.
Call it a comeback: After an 11-year dry spell, the Nike-sponsored golfer claimed his fifth Masters title with a decisive bogey putt. It marked Woods’ 15th major championship, with his last victory back in 2008 at the U.S. Open, and puts him just one spot behind Jack Nicklaus, who has the most Masters accolades in the sport’s history at six wins. (President Donald Trump, who also made Time magazine’s list, promised to award Woods the Presidential Medal of Freedom.)
Watch FN’s video on the top celebrity moments at the FNAAs.