Black History Month: Designers That Shaped The Future of Fashion
In honour of Black History Month, GIULIO shines a spotlight on some of the most talented creatives that have broken the mould and redefined the future of the fashion industry. Helping to pave the way for others, these lucrative designers continue to stun season after season as pioneers of the movement. From Virgil Abloh to Oliver Rousteing, discover how these icons have revolutionised fashion and made the history books.
Born in Britain, Ozwald Boetang was inspired by his father’s suits as a young child. At just 14 he began his first job sewing linings into suits, eventually designing his own at 16 years old. From humble beginnings, the designer helped his friend make clothes for a fashion show, ultimately earning him high praise and kickstarting his career. Opening his first boutique on the iconic Saville Row in 1995, Boetang’s contemporary approach to design drew in a younger demographic and to this day remains the only black-owned store on Saville Row. Becoming Creative Director of menswear for Givenchy in 2004 with instructions to “reinvent the French gentleman”, Boetang’s creative approach to refined and expertly tailored suits have altered the history of fine dressing and established his huge success.
Crediting her mixed background for her later success, Stella Jean’s designs take inspiration from combining different cultures to produce bold and vibrant designs. With a strong belief that fashion shouldn’t be exclusive, Jean’s foundations and beliefs have been one of the many sources for her talent. In 2014 Giorgio Armani was one of the first major houses to support her collection, showcasing her line at the Armani theatre in Milan. Beginning to gain traction within the industry, that same year Jean collaborated on a shoe collection with Christian Louboutin, ultimately springing her into the spotlight and gaining herself a cult celebrity following.
Always with an eye for fashion, Olivier Rousteing began his career at Roberto Cavalli. Soon becoming Creative Director of the womenswear division, the Bordeaux-born icon shifted his attention to Balmain and earned his role as a women’s ready-to-wear designer. Through a hands-on approach and catering to the digital generation, Rousteing can be labelled as a pioneer for Instagram marketing. Proving his youth to be his best asset, he continues on as the frontman of Balmain to this day. The designer’s signature military-style uniforms and modern designs have captured global audiences and stunned fashion insiders season after season.