15 Legendary Fashion Designers Everyone Knows By Name But Might Be Impossible to Recognize on the Street

If you got the chance to become a world-famous designer, would you still have a namesake label or would you create something unique?

Not all fashion designers are recognized. And even though many of us have heard of them and even wear clothing having their famous label, not many really know what Calvin Klein or Tommy Hilfiger look like.

These people inspire admiration. Famous film directors and Hollywood actors both desire they could be friends. Their brands' clothing is regarded as the epitome of luxury and great taste. And we've decided to find out what these legendary designers really look like.

We've gathered pictures of the individuals who were hiding behind the names of labels from high-end boutiques. We completely admit how difficult it was for us to tell these famous designers apart from regular people on the street.

#1 Calvin Klein

roberto cavalli gowns, tom ford sweatersSource: CJ CONTINO / EVERETT COLLECTION / East News

Calvin worked as a street artist while freelancing for many New York fashion houses as a teen. He and his childhood friend Barry K. Schwartz established Calvin Klein in New York at the age of 26. He later started designing women's clothing as well.

#2 Christian Lacroix

roberto cavalli gowns, tom ford sweatersSource: LAURENT BENHAMOU / SIPA / East News

Christian wanted to be a museum curator and moved to Paris at the age of 22 to study at the Sorbonne and the École du Louvre. He soon realized, however, that he was more interested in fashion design, and at the age of 24, Lacroix opened his own haute couture house.

#3 Christian Louboutin

roberto cavalli gowns, tom ford sweatersSource: Domine-Marechal-Wyters / ABACA / East News

Christian worked as a freelance footwear designer for Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, and Maud Frizon when he was a teenager. He started his own business and opened a store when he was 27 years old. Soon, royals and Hollywood stars were among Louboutin's customers, and stiletto footwear with red-lacquered soles became one of the most noticeable fashion trends.

#4 Jimmy Choo

roberto cavalli gowns, tom ford sweatersSource: MARTIN HARRIS / CAPITAL PICTURES / East News

Jimmy Choo designed his first pair of shoes when he was 1. He moved from Malaysia to the United Kingdom to study at Cordwainers Technical College in London. Choo started working at a design company after graduation and soon opened his shoe store. His craftsmanship and designs were quickly noticed at London Fashion Week, making him a world-famous designer.

#5 John Galliano

roberto cavalli gowns, tom ford sweatersSource: / East News

John Galliano, a British fashion designer, is known for his ostentatious behavior. During one of his first fashion shows, for example, he poured water on the models before allowing them to walk the runway. The fashion designer has previously worked for Givenchy and Dior. Galliano debuted his first perfume in 2018 for Maison Margiela, where he serves as Creative Director.

#6 Luciano Benetton

roberto cavalli gowns, tom ford sweatersSource: ASSOCIATED PRESS / East News

Luciano Benetton's father owned a small business, but after his death, the 14-year-old dropped out of school to work in a clothing store. Soon after, he had saved enough money to purchase a knitting machine and began producing a line of colorful sweaters that were commercially successful. Luciano founded Benetton Group at the age of 30 with his siblings Giuliana, Carlo, and Gilberto.

#7 Manolo Blahnik

roberto cavalli gowns, tom ford sweatersSource: PHIL LOFTUS / CAPITAL PICTURES / East News

Manolo Blahnik began his career at the age of 28 in London, writing for an Italian men's version of Vogue. After a year, he decided to open his own footwear boutique. Blahnik, 32, became the second man in history to appear on the cover of British Vogue. Sex and the City's fifth star was named after his shoes.

#8 Marc Jacobs

roberto cavalli gowns, tom ford sweatersSource: themarcjacobs

At the age of 23, Jacobs launched his first collection under his own label, Marc Jacobs. And, at the age of 24, he was the youngest designer ever to receive the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Perry Ellis Award for "New Fashion Talent."

#9 Miuccia Prada

Source: JBMPHOTOS / JBM PHOTOS / East News

When she was 29, the youngest grandchild of Mario Prada took over the family-owned luxury products manufacturer. However, as a teen, she wanted to be a mime and even worked for a time at the Teatro Piccolo. She created and launched her first women's ready-to-wear collection when she was 40, and five years later, she launched her first menswear line. Miuccia Prada was named one of Forbes' most powerful women in 2014.

#10 Paco Rabanne

Source: Ministerio de Cultura y Deporte

Paco began his fashion career designing jewelry for Givenchy, Dior, and Balenciaga. At the age of 32, Rabanne introduced his first collection made of paper, plastic, and metal, which drew the attention of the international press. He established his own fashion house at 34.

#11 Roberto Cavalli

roberto cavalli gowns, tom ford sweatersSource: Harper's Bazaar

Roberto studied textiles as a teen and became so obsessed with it that he quit school and started his own business specializing in knit prints. Cavalli introduced his first collection at the Salon de Prêt-à-Porter in Paris at the age of 32. Soon after, he launched his own fashion label and opened a fashion boutique in Saint-Tropez.

#12 Tom Ford

roberto cavalli gowns, tom ford sweatersSource: Invision / Invision / East News

Ford entered the fashion industry after graduating from architecture school. He wanted to be a fashion designer so badly that he hid his degree and took any job that had anything to do with fashion.

Tom Ford was appointed Creative Director of Gucci in 1994 when the company was nearly bankrupt. Fashion house sales increased by 87% in the first half of 1995. Tom Ford debuted his own menswear, eyewear, and accessories line in 2005. There are now 49 Tom Ford boutiques around the world.

#13 Tommy Hilfiger

Source: East News

When Hilfiger was 20, he opened a clothing store, but it failed 5 years later. He then relocated to New York, where he worked for different labels. And, at the age of 28, he established Tommy Hill. Six years later, with the help of sponsors, he founded the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation, which quickly became one of the world's most famous clothing brands.

#14 Valentino

roberto cavalli gowns, tom ford sweatersSource: MEGA / Mega Agency / East News

Elizabeth Taylor was one of the first celebrities to notice the young fashion designer's work. Soon after, Jacqueline Kennedy joined him as a client. They both wore Valentino wedding gowns as they walked down the aisle. Courteney Cox and Jennifer Lopez were among those who followed suit. Valentino's haute couture and prêt-à-porter collections have since become symbols of luxury.

#15 Yohji Yamamoto

roberto cavalli gowns, tom ford sweatersSource: nss magazine

Yohji Yamamoto gave up a promising legal career to help his mother with her dressmaking business. This is where he learned to tailor. Yohji then decided to enroll in fashion design at a fashion college. He debuted his debut collection in Paris in 1981 and quickly gained international acclaim.
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