In this post, we’re introducing a theme that will continue over the next few weeks. This is a series of articles where we will talk about how women changed the world by changing fashion first.

For many years, there were limits on how women could dress. Clothing reflected status, and often women were not allowed to choose their own outfits. Religion and politics have been a strong influence on women’s expression. Many revolutions began in front of a closet with a woman saying, “I’m not going to wear this”.

Thanks to iconic, powerful and independent women, like Annette Kellerman, Luisa Capetillo and Micheline Bernardini, we have been claiming our rights and equality. Here is a list of the most iconic women who have transformed the fashion industry.

Bettie Page

The pin-up model from the 1950s, known as the “Queen of Pinups”, has been a hidden treasure for many years. Bettie Page found power and identity in her style. She was an extraordinary lady, an iconic figure of pop culture who influenced sexuality and fashion tastes and had a huge impact on our society.

iconic women bettie page

Mary Quant

The English fashion designer and icon. She became a key figure in the London mod and youth fashion movements of the 1960s. She is credited with the miniskirt and hot pants and encouraging young people to dress to please themselves and treat fashion as something fun.

iconic women mary quant

Grace Kelly

One of the first actresses to cultivate her own style, which was simple but refined and elegant. Her look was clean, classic and simple, something surprisingly different from the voluptuous screen sirens of the 1950s, and it started a whole new trend in fashion.

iconic women grace kelly

Coco Chanel

No introduction needed. Founder and namesake of the Chanel brand, she is credited with freeing women from the limitations of the “corseted silhouette” in the post-World War I era and popularising a sporty, informal and feminine style. 

Many of the stylistic advances for women in the twentieth century emerged in response to crises. Turbulent times have presented the industry with the opportunity to reinvent itself and improve itself. From the relaxing of strictures on women after the Great War to the new forms of consumption occasioned by the environmental concerns we are living through today.

iconic women coco chanel

These are some of the names. In our next blog post, we will start the series with the first woman who took off her trousers on a beach and ended up in a Sydney jail. Do you know who she is?