S01:E01 - Jean Paul Gaultier
Jean Paul Gaultier is the French king of convention twisting: his runway shows have proudly highlighted tattooed and voluptuous models such as rock star, Beth Ditto, showcased gender-bending skirt-clad men, and featured infamously conical corsetry, as immortalized by Madonna’s 1990 Blond Ambition Tour. However unconventional, Gaultier’s designs continue to garner international acclaim, from his famed corset-shaped fragrance bottle to the Montreal Museum of Fine Art’s exhibition dedicated to the celebrated couturier, entitled “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk”.
S01:E02 - Alexander McQueen
Occasionally irreverent, frequently deviant, and always brilliant, the late Alexander McQueen was a designer whose legacy is to be neither overlooked nor undervalued. From subversively dressed models and extravagant productions to robotic cameras and futuristic reptilian prints, McQueen’s dramatic showmanship was received with editorial acclaim, industry buzz, and celebrity approval from the likes of Lady Gaga, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Nicole Kidman. In 2011, a year after McQueen’s untimely death, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute honored the designer with a retrospective exhibit entitled “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,” and today, McQueen’s long-time assistant designer Sarah Burton continues to define the house’s lavishly unconventional aesthetic.
S01:E03 - Marc Jacobs
Marc Jacobs, the king of downtown chic, is no stranger to public ups and downs. Plucked from New York City’s Parsons School of Design in 1984 to start his eponymous line, Jacobs found himself unceremoniously fired from Perry Ellis in 1992 after sending his infamous grunge collection down the runway. Today, he continues a reign of cool over his house label and diffusion line, and as the creative director at Louis Vuitton where he has continued to churn out covetable collections since overseeing the house’s first foray into clothing design in 1997.
S01:E04 - Ralph Lauren
Since his humble beginnings selling ties to classmates, Ralph Lauren has tapped into his entrepreneurial genius and expanded his business into what has become a wildly successful multi-billion dollar grossing empire – the biggest in the world. For over five decades, Lauren has stayed true to the American lifestyle with quintessentially elegant designs and classic tailoring. From the polo field to the street, he has created an internationally recognized brand that is truly representative of the American spirit.
S01:E05 - Rodarte
Hailing from scenic California, the sisters Rodarte, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, bring a West Coast sensibility—and immense, innate talent—to New York Fashion Week. After graduating from UC Berkeley with liberal arts degrees, the duo embarked on an ambitious course of independent design study; since their 2005 Fashion Week debut, they’ve impressed the fashion crowd with an other-worldly mélange of esoteric references rooted in their Pasadena home-base. Rodarte has since become known for their immaculate craftsmanship and rigorous attention to detail—a favorite of style critics and celebrities like Kirsten Dunst, Natalie Portman, and Reese Witherspoon. The Mulleavy sisters are likewise regulars at the awards podium, having received back-to-back CFDA Awards and a Night of Stars honor from Fashion Group International.
S01:E06 - Emilio Pucci
Kaleidoscopic colors and geometric prints are Pucci to the core, and from his first designs for his college ski team to his highly covetable silk scarves, Emilio Pucci has created a legacy that has seen several rebirths since his death in 1991. After the house was sold to LVMH in 2000, and in an attempt to foster appeal among the younger generations, a series of creative directors including Christian Lacroix and Matthew Williamson were brought in to revitalize the house’s image. Today, with over 60 years of design history behind it, the Pucci label is looking to creative director Peter Dundas to guide it into a fashionable future.
S01:E07 - Louis Vuitton
At one time known solely for its luxurious luggage, the house of Louis Vuitton has since made a name for itself on the international ready-to-wear scene. In 1997, Marc Jacobs was appointed creative director, securing the house as a must-see at Paris Fashion Week and modernizing the label’s signature accessory line by collaborating with such contemporary artists as Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, and Steven Sprouse. Enviable both on the runway and off, Jacobs’ designs continue to uphold the house’s standard for fresh sophistication.
S01:E08 - Prabal Gurung
Prabal Gurung’s exquisite sense of modern luxury and indelible glamour has earned him the respect of First Lady Michelle Obama, Nicki Minaj and Demi Moore, and has drawn acclaim from the CFDA who, in 2011, awarded the young designer the Swarovski Award for Womenswear. Born in Singapore and raised in Nepal, Gurung studied in both India and at New York’s Parsons School of Design where he was awarded “Best Designer” in his first year before moving onto various styling jobs in Melbourne and London. After a two year stint with Cynthia Rowley’s design team, he was appointed design director at Bill Blass where, after five thriving years, he left to start his own collection in 2009.
S01:E09 - Giorgio Armani
Clean lines, understated elegance and tailored sophistication are Giorgio Armani’s signatures, and with twelve product lines, a retail network in over 37 countries, and revenues over one billion dollars, the fashion world certainly agrees. Armani’s reign – which began in 1975 and grew with the introduction of his unstructured jacket in the eighties – has since transformed the designer into a household name and has landed him acclaim as the most successful designer to come out of Italy. With a solo exhibition at New York’s Guggenheim Museum and scores of Hollywood royalty and style makers the world over hailing Armani as supreme, his tenure as the Rei d’Italia is sure carry him through decades to come.
S01:E10 - Rolan Mouret
Galaxy, Titanium, Moon – what may sound like extraterrestrial bodies are in fact the iconic dresses that have skyrocketed French designer Roland Mouret to international stardom. Spotted on the likes of Victoria Beckham and Nicole Kidman, Mouret’s designs are both deliberately geometric and femininely draped. After what many would call an entire lifetime’s worth of careers, Mouret – a seasoned model, stylist, gallery owner, and video director – has not slowed his appetite for continued design success.
S01:E11 - Jason Wu
If dressing the likes of Diane Kruger, Natalie Portman, and Tinsley Mortimer are tiers of success, then First Lady Michelle Obama is icing on the cake for praised designer Jason Wu. Clean lines, classic elegance, and flash-free colors and prints are Wu’s signatures, and with downtown starlets and politically fashionable females as aficionados, the young designer’s take on sophisticated American sportswear has nothing short of stylish staying power.
S01:E12 - Alexander Wang
A mix of downtown cool, rocker grunge, and French chic, Alexander Wang’s namesake label has attracted the attention of scores of the world’s premier luxury retailers and celebrities, including Megan Fox, Mary-Kate Olsen, and Gwyneth Paltrow. A Parsons drop-out, Wang launched his first women’s ready-to-wear collection in 2007 to resounding applause, and has since added the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2008 and the Swarovski Womenswear Designer of the Year Award in 2009 to his growing list of accolades.
S01:E13 - Rag & Bone
To think that a novice design team without any formal fashion training could win the coveted CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year Award would seem a fantastical fashion urban legend. And yet in 2010, British-born duo Marcus Wainwright and David Neville – the pair who founded Rag & Bone in 2002 with a vision of making clothes that they and their friends would want to wear every day – made fashion history. Working under the philosophy of quality craftsmanship and traditional construction fundamentals, the former design neophytes have successful men’s, women’s and children’s clothing lines as well as an accessory and shoe line, all of which blend innovation and modernity with classic and timeless aesthetics.