FN Power List 2019: The Design Stars

Whether they’re taking the market in new directions with leading-edge product or collaborating with influencers, these are the visionaries and creatives who continue to drive the fashion cycle.

See who else made the FN Power List 2019:
The Dramatic Makeover
The Independents
The Tastemakers
The Dynasties
On the Rise
The Guiding Forces
The Conversation Starters
The Design Stars
The Retail Innovators
The Shoe Dogs
The Business Titans
The Influentials

Virgil Abloh, 39
Creative Director & Founder, Off-White Men’s; Artistic Director, Louis Vuitton

Abloh remains one of the world’s buzziest designers.In 2019, he continued his streak of hot Nike collabs, was appointed to the CFDA board and designed the most talked-about wedding dress of the year: Hailey Baldwin’s gown for her and Justin Bieber’s nuptials.

Gilda Ambrosio , 27, and Giorgia Tordini, 34
Founders & Designers, The Attico

The label launched a new website and its first e-commerce platform in partnership with The Level Group in July. The design duo, which stages one of the most anticipated presentations at Milan Fashion Week, has also collaborated with British eyewear label Linda Farrow on a capsule collection of sunglasses.

Alexandre Birman, 43
CEO & Designer, Arezzo & Co.

The Brazilian company — parent to Schutz and Birman’s namesake label — bolstered its North American business by opening a new showroom on Manhattan’s Madison Avenue in June, plus a flagship launched in Dallas in August. The firm also inked a deal with VF Corp. to license and distribute Vans in Brazil.
Key Exec: Marina Larroude

Edoardo Caovilla, 43
Creative Director & COO, René Caovilla

With new boutiques recently opened in both Las Vegas and Hong Kong, a deal is also underway for eight additional stores in mainland China starting in 2020. This year also marked the 50th anniversary of celebrity favorite, the Caovilla signature Cleo sandal.

Cesare Casadei, 57
Creative Director, Casadei

The family-run Italian brand will close 2019 with sales of about $35 million. The continued development of e-commerce, spearheaded by Casadei’s daughter Arianna, has helped fuel growth in the American market. At Milan Fashion Week, the brand debuted a capsule with the United Nations and WTO-backed Ethical Fashion Initiative, working with artisans in Burkina Faso, Africa.

Alexa Chung, 35
Creative Director, Alexa Chung

After opening her see-now, buy-now show to the public during London Fashion Week in September, Chung hopped a flight to Milan, where she debuted a new Superga collaboration and campaign, the latest in a nearly decade-long partnership with the sneaker brand.

Laurence Dacade, 48
Founder & Designer, Laurence Dacade

The designer saw sales of her 16-year-old eponymous line grow by 250% after launching her e-commerce platform last year. Dacade continues to consult for Chanel and Salvatore Ferragamo, and she also debuted a collaboration with Akris earlier in the year.

Nicholas Kirkwood, 39
Founder & Designer , Nicholas Kirkwood

After going big with a theatrical runway show for spring ’19, Kirkwood staged an under-the-radar showcase for buyers in Paris for fall. Moving through time and space, the collection evokes 1980s New York and the buzz of L.A., where the designer spends much of his time.

Jerry Lorenzo, 43
Founder & Designer, Fear of God

Lorenzo’s Nike collaborations continue to drum up excitement months ahead of their releases, including July’s Nike Air Fear of God 1 “Yellow” in July and the “Oatmeal” that is set to drop in December. In October, Lorenzo opened “Atmosphere,” a pop-up retail outpost in downtown Los Angeles that doubled as an immersive exhibition and sold limited editions of the sneakers.

Christian Louboutin, 56
Founder & Designer, Christian Louboutin

The designer, who received FIT’s prestigious Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion in September, continues to dominate retail floors around the world. He teamed with Nordstrom on a pop-up for its New York women’s opening and debuted a permanent shop inside the store. Louboutin continues to expand his men’s offering and hosted a circus-themed party during Paris Men’s Fashion Week in June. His spring ’20 women’s collection features a special capsule celebrating Bhutanese culture.
Key Exec: Alexis Mourot

Stella McCartney, 48
Founder & Creative Director, Stella McCartney

Having bought back Kering’s 50% stake in her label last year, McCartney threw the industry a curveball in July, announcing a partnership with rival LVMH, which now holds a minority stake. She is also special advisor on sustainability to the LVMH executive committee.
Key Exec: Gabriele Maggio

Rebecca Minkoff, 38, Co-Founder & Creative Director
Uri Minkoff, 43, Co-Founder & CEO
Rebecca Minkoff

The brand continues to tackle new territory. In September, Rebecca Minkoff debuted a size-inclusive collection with Stitch Fix, and in 2020, they will launch fragrance for the first time. In addition to working on the Superwomen podcast and the designer’s business network, called the Female Founder Collective, the company recently launched its RM rewards program. She was also honored by FFANY in October.

Edgardo Osorio, 33
Founder & Creative Director, Aquazzura

The designer’s pumps continued to be a Meghan Markle favorite in 2019. Osorio and partner Ricardo D’Almeida Figueiredo unveiled a boutique in Seoul in partnership with Korean retail distributor Lee & Han, which will help the brand delve into the Asian market.
Key Exec: D’Almeida Figueiredo

Rick Owens, 57
Founder & Designer, Rick Owens

Collaborations with Birkenstock and Veja have kept Owens in the red-hot center of fashion and footwear partnerships, but the California-bred designer is also enjoying a year of critical success that is both retrospective and current. In June, Owens won the CFDA’s menswear designer of the year award, and in October he was given the Superstar award from Fashion Group International.

Pierpaolo Piccioli, 52
Creative Director, Valentino

Among the more inclusive of the Italian fashion houses, Valentino’s latest couture show celebrated women of all ethnicities and all ages. Sudanese model Adut Akech is the new face of its fragrance. In February, Piccioli reprised his partnership with Moncler Genius.

Miuccia Prada, 70
Designer & Co-CEO, Prada SpA

The news of rising sales and profits after years of decline might be further bolstered by the brand’s announcement in May to cut back and rationalize its wholesale distribution. Design-wise, Prada continues to churn out critical acclaim — and statement shoes — each season.

Heron Preston, 36
Designer, Heron Preston

Preston, a 2019 CFDA Emerging Designer of the Year nominee, recently collaborated with Ugg for a limited-edition line of two waterproof styles designed in Preston’s aesthetic. The designer also joined forces with Nike and Ugg for collaborations.

Gianvito Rossi, 52
Founder, Creative Director & CEO, Gianvito Rossi

The 52-year-old is still at the top of the luxury shoe game, regularly one of the best sellers at the likes of Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. As the son of footwear maestro Sergio Rossi, Gianvito recently brought on daughter Sophia to join the family business, while son Nicola has been helping to grow the Asian market.

Rupert Sanderson, 53
Founder & Creative Director, Rupert Sanderson

Despite uncertainty surrounding Brexit, 2019 has seen an uptick at the brand’s London flagship, plus increased digital traffic — often fueled by celebrity fans like Kate Middleton. Asia expansion continues with sister brand R. Sanderson, though the Hong Kong market is tough.
Key Exec: Andrew Stewart

Tabitha Simmons , 48
Founder & Creative Director, Tabitha Simmons

Collaborations with Brock Collection and Johanna Ortiz, plus a new Coach tie-up in August, have helped the designer showcase her talent for feminine footwear through different lenses. In September, Simmons signed on with Massimo Bonini to help grow her international sales.

Sophia Webster , 34
Founder & Creative Director, Sophia Webster Ltd.

The Spice Girl fan hit a high note when she created shoes for the pop group’s 2019 Spiceworld Tour 2019. Speaking of cool kicks, Webster’s Fly By sneaker caught on quickly, so the designer is expanding her boot and sneaker offering. And in an inclusive move, she also will offer extended sizing up to EU46 (U.S. size 13) in top silhouettes starting with spring ’20.
Key Exec: Bobby Stockley

Giuseppe Zanotti, 62
President & Creative Director, Giuseppe Zanotti

Zanotti’s super-sexy designs continue to connect the fashion and music worlds. Lady Gaga’s customs Zanotti platforms wowed during awards season. Plus, the brand scored a collab with Rita Ora. In September, Max Mara alum Eugenio Manghi joined as CEO.
Key Execs: Manghi, Alain Baume

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