Fashion Icons We Lost In 2016


In todays piece we’re remembering some of the people fashion lost in 2016. But rather than just feel the sadness of those losses lets remember the creativity, brilliance and joy each of them brought to the world and the industry we love.

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Andre Courreges – Designer

Andre Courreges was an iconic French designer credited with inventing the o-Go boot and alongside Mary Quant the miniskirt. Heavily influenced by the modernist and futurist movements his creations remain the way many people remember the decade.



Fred Hayman – Mr Rodeo Drive

Born in Switzerland Fred Hayman emigrated to the US in the 1940’s, he would go on to become one of the all time great fashion retailers. after leaving the hotel industry in 1961 he and George Grant opened Giorgio Beverly Hills on a street called Rodeo Drive, it would go to serve American ions, become the epicentre of the Beverly Hills lifestyle and launch Rodeo Drive as the most exclusive of destinations.



Bill Cunningham – Photographer

Not many people in fashion become famous enough to have a signature style, a place named after them or get praised by Anna Wintour, Bill Cunningham the father of street style photography had all three. His blue jacket marked out the New York Times reporter in the crowd, Bill’s Corner could be found on 5th Avenue and 57th Street, and Anna said “We all dress for Bill”.



Betsy Bloomingdale – Socialite & Fashion Hall Of Famer

Betsy Bloomingdale became synonymous with style, grace and elegance, massing one of the greatest gown collections in the world. The socialite would regularly travel to Europe on the look out for new clothes, and due to her style and influence even advised Nancy Reagan during her time in Washington, a friendship so close Betsy became know as the First Friend. Her style received an exhibition at the Institute Of Design & Merchandising in 2009 and entering the International Best Dressed List Hall Of Fame run by Vanity Fair the same year.



Sonia Rykiel – Designer & Author

We lost the French designer in late August. Famed for her creation of the Poor Boy Sweater beloved by Audrey Hepburn as much as her iconic flowing red hair the designer brought a flair to her eponymous label. Kinitwear, the mainstay of her breakthrough will never be quite the same again.



Richard Nicoll – Designer

The tragic news came in during October that talented young designer Richard Nicoll had passed away suddenly in Australia. His mesmeric career included time working with Cerruti and Marc Jacobs for LV and included a host of awards. His loss was a shock for the entire industry, and it felt light a growing star had gone.


James Galanos – Designer

The famous dresser of fashionistas, style icons, music and film stars and first ladies also passed away in October. Galanos had a tough start in fashion, having several attempts to succeed in the industry before getting his huge break when picked up by a buyer from Neiman Marcus and coming under the patronage of Stanley Marcus, fro there his career never looked back. The America ico wasn’t afraid to attack the way the industry was going, frequently speaking out about body issues and the effect designers were having on young people.



Susan Train

Think of the coverage from Paris in US Vogue and the mind immediately jumped to Susan Train who fro the 1950’s had been the august titles eyes and eyes in the Parisian fashion and couture world. She for six decades brought French fashion to the masses across the Atlantic and to many other regional titles of the vogue empire. Her knowledge and history gave her a truly unique insight of one of the most hallowed cities in the world of couture.



Franca Sozzani – Journalist & Vogue Italia Editor

The fashion industry was shocked when although know to be suffering from illness Franca Sozzani died just days after her appearance at the fashion awards in London. Known for her part in creating the idea of the supermodel as well as allowing her team of photographers freedom to choose models and subjects Sozzani changed the way modern fashion magazines worked leading to her taking on a series of editorial roles at Conde Nast from 1994 onwards. Franca also wasn’t afraid to bring uncomfortable issues into the fashion pages of her magazines discussing domestic violence, addiction and the environment alongside the traditional clothing content.

About Ross Pollard

Since starting writing on my 31st birthday in 2011 I have held a number of positions at magazines and websites as well as regularly producing articles for numerous publications alongside contributing to TV & radio shows as a freelance fashion journalist including Hoxton Radio & Fashion One TV. Alongside writing, I have worked in other industries helping to design & grow digital platforms, develop businesses and support operations practices. This experience has proved invaluable in building an understanding of how businesses work, and the landscape in which retail, B2B commerce and other commercial operations develop. Knowledge of commercial interests has helped shape my fashion industry insights beyond critiquing of garments

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