International Women’s Day: 7 Women Changing The Face Of Fashion

Fashion
By Astrid Carter | 8th March 2023

From the rental revolutionary to the model standing up for marginalised communities across the globe, here are seven powerful women changing the face of fashion right now.

On the surface, fashion may seem frivolous, superficial, even a little silly to some, but dig a little deeper and the world of frocks, runways and ad campaigns actually tells a lot about what’s going on in the world. So, in celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re profiling seven of the most inspiring women making waves in the fashion world right now. From activists to designers, models to business founders, these women aren’t just serving up a heap load of style, but food for thought too.

7 women changing the face of fashion

 

 

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The Rental Revolutionary… Victoria Prew, Founder & CEO of Hurr

Victoria has been one of the pioneers of the British fashion rental market with her brand Hurr. Dedicated to building a home for circular fashion, Hurr has made renting a frock cool again, with a site that stocks some of the best names in the business, from McQueen to Mui Mui and contemporary brands such as The Vampire’s Wife. Ganni and RIXO.

The premise is simple, you can rent other people’s wardrobes or rent your own for a fraction of buying the item brand new, not only saving money on pieces you may not get the cost-per-wear out of but also limiting fashion’s impact on the planet by stopping unwanted clothes going to landfill.

Former charter surveyor, Victoria, has gone on to receive a sought-after Forbes 30 Under 30 listing, partnered with Selfridge’s to bring her digital idea to a bricks and mortar pop-up and brought luxury fashion at affordable prices to thousands of renters.

Follow Victoria @victoriaprew

Coined as "the AirBNB of fashion", Hurr has turned shopping for designer pieces on its head.

The Sustainable Stylist… Amy Bannerman

Hit ITV2 show, Love Island, was once known for being in bed with the UK’s fast fashion companies, dressing the contestants in a seemingly endless wardrobe of ‘shop now’ pieces. Fast forward to 2022 and London-based stylist Amy Bannerman was brought on board to give the show’s wardrobe a much-needed sustainable facelift.

In joint force with eBay, Amy sourced one-of-a-kind pieces from second-hand sellers on the resale platform, bringing a far more considered, responsible message to the show’s fashion. In fact, searches for ‘pre-loved fashion’ on eBay’s marketplace have increased by more than 1400% this season.

That’s hugely down to Amy’s incredible eye for finding a pre-loved gem, with pieces from vintage Balmain, and Versace and contemporary labels such as Rat & Boa popping up.

Love Island aside, Amy is well worth an Instagram follow if you’re interested in pre-loved and hard-to-come-by vintage fashion. 

 

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The Editor Leading The Way In Diversity & Inclusion… Tamu McPherson 

Tamu McPherson is a woman with more than a few strings to her bow. The ex-lawyer pivoted her career to lean into her love of fashion and brought with it more social change, justice and inclusion than she probably ever thought possible.

Tamu now heads up her own online fashion mag, All The Pretty Birds, and works with myriad brands as a photographer and creative director, she’s also the former editor-in-chief of Grazia Italy, no less.

But it was during the Black Lives Matter movement where she used her voice most prominently as she called out the world’s leading luxury fashion brands to work with more Black content creators. Her efforts have created a ripple effect for more representation in the industry. 

Tamu may have a six-figure following on Instagram, but this woman is so much more than an influencer.

Follow Tamu @tamumcpherson

 

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The fair fashion campaigner… Venetia La Manna

If you ever needed a reminder to cut down on your wardrobe consumption, check out Venetia La Manna’s Insta feed. The podcaster, campaigner and, incidentally, influencer has balls of steel when it comes to calling out the world’s biggest brands on greenwashing and exploitation.

Whether it’s her tongue-in-cheek Instagram “recipes” that show all the ingredients of what makes fashion brands unjust; her tireless campaigning on the picket lines; or her sponsorship program, Remember Who Made Them, which supports garment makers through money, dignity and fair labour, Venetia is dedicated to making fashion a fairer place.

She also genuinely loves fashion and has great style, preferring to rent, thrift, up-cycle, borrow, rewear and proving you can and should just buy less. Truth be told, we could all do with being a little bit more Venetia.

Follow Venetia @venetialamanna

Truth be told, when it comes to fashion, we could all do with being a little bit more Venetia. 

 

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The media star breaking the mould… Sinéad Burke

Writer, podcast host, educator and public speaker, Sinéad Burke is a force when it comes to changing representation in the fashion industry. An advocate for raising honest questions and conversations about identity, disability and accessibility, she founded Tilting the Lens, an accessibility consultancy that works with Disabled people to craft solutions to intentionally build an accessible and equitable world.

She’s gone on to work with the likes of Vogue, Gucci – Sinéad serves on their Global Equity Board – ITV interviewed Victoria Beckham on her podcast, delivered a powerful TED Talk on ‘Why design should include everyone, and written a children’s book. The list really is endless.

Follow Sinéad @thesineadburke

 

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The game-changing designer… Amy Powney

Amy Powney took the role of Creative Director at the fashion label Mother of Pearl back in 2015. Her mission was to create a brand that was sustainably and ethically responsible, whilst remaining stylish – because the two should never be mutually exclusive.

She did just that and today, Mother of Pearl is leading the way as one of the world’s best-loved sustainable labels.

This year also sees Amy take the focus of the acclaimed film, Fashion Reimagined. The fashion documentary follows Amy post-winning the much-celebrated Vogue award for the Best Young Designer of the Year and her trajectory to changing the face of the brand.

Find out more about the film in our monthly Eco Edit round-up.

Follow Amy @amy_powney

 

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The inspiring model & activist… Munroe Bergdorf 

Model, writer and activist Munrow Bergdorf is paving the way for transgender women in the fashion industry. She was the first transgender woman to grace the cover of a fashion magazine here in the UK when she appeared on Cosmopolitan and was infamously hired, fired and rehired by beauty giant L’Oreal when she called them out on racism in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

This year sees the release of Munroe’s first book, a memoir, Transitional, which looks at the fluidity of identity and relationships, as well as sexuality and gender, and highlights the fact that change can be a great thing. 

As well as continuing to work on countless fashion campaigns, she tirelessly acts as a voice for marginalised communities around the globe – a truly modern model.

Follow Munroe @munroebergdorf


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