Fashion Designer

Fashion Week 2019
A closer look at the faces behind S/S 2020 Fashion Month

Fashion Month is a polarising time: nobody rejoices to the thought of getting stuck in traffic or switching time zone every 5 days, yet everyone looks forward to the glittery, glamorous display of talent and creativity. New York, London, Milan and Paris: each week represents an opportunity to pulse-check what the current state of fashion is. This is why everything is broken down to the single detail, from runway trends, streetwear looks, model casting, wow moments and even political statements. One quiet figure is, however, often overlooked: the creative director.

Most designers tend to take a step back, to make sure that their collections speak for themselves. Yet they are the ones who create, guide ahead and truly embody fashion as we know it. For this reason, Stylight has decided to give creative directors the attention they deserve, and to have them come forward to the spotlight, in figurative “walk-out” style. We have selected top 15 brands per each Fashion Week, and have taken a closer look at the 67 creative directors behind each label, to really understand who it is that makes fashion what it is today. This is the Designer Walk-Out Report.

Designer Facts –
Fashion Month in Review


We looked at the top 60 brands of the 4 Fashion Weeks and collected top facts & numbers about the creative directors behind the brands. Here is the Fashion Month in review.


If a big break in fashion is on your vision board, be aware it might not happen before your 30s. Median age of this fashion month was 45 – with 28% of all designers falling in ages between 45-35. Among all shows, Richard Quinn (29) is the youngest creative director, while King Giorgio Armani (89) is the oldest (and the wisest, we may safely add).




The UK brings home the gold with highest number of creative directors (24%) across all shows – followed by Italy (22%) and the US (21%). The queen must be proud.


Looks like designers like to stay within “Uber distance” from fashion shows – as top locations to reside are London (27%), Milan and surroundings (18%), New York (16%) and Paris (10%). But some jet setters don’t even settle for one city, with 6% of CDs having multiple residences.



Fashion is still a man’s world – as nearly 57% of designers are male. Maria Grazia Chiuri – fashion luminary and notorious feminist – might have a lot to say about this.



In terms of diversity, some progress has been made on the runways, as more and more models of colour have appeared in fashion shows around the globe. However, it looks like behind the scenes diversity is still just a buzzword: only 19% of CDs are actually people of color.


Sexual Orientation

Great news for inclusivity: there are many outspoken members of the LGBTQ+ community in the fashion world – 37% of designers identify with a sexual orientation other than straight. Pride flags fly high! 


You cannot teach talent – but getting an education definitely doesn’t harm. 57% of creative directors have a formal education in fashion.

Top locations to study include established fashion hubs like London, New York, Paris, and Florence. Unexpectedly, Antwerp also made the top 5 – proving to the world there is much more to Belgium than beer and chocolate.

Fun fact: out of the 21 CDs that have studied in London, 18 have graduated from the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Arts. Some notorious alumnae include: John Galliano, Christopher Kane, Riccardo Tisci, and rising fashion star Molly Goddard.

Top Schools
1. London: Central Saint Martins, Royal College of Arts, Istituto Marangoni
2. New York: Pratt Institute, Parsons School of Design, Fashion Institute of Technology
3. Paris: Studio Berçot, ESMOD
4. Florence: Polimoda
5. Antwerp: Royal Academy of Arts



But fashion school isn’t for everyone. A good amount of CDs still went for studies within the creative fields – 15% graduated in art, and another 15% in architecture (like the multi-talented Tom Ford). However, a big majority decided to ditch uni entirely (22%), and get directly into the trade. 



Being your own boss is THE dream – so it’s no wonder that 67% of creative directors design for their own label (Donatella Versace and Ralph Lauren are a great example). And although being alone in the business is tough, most designers’ brands (59%) do not belong to a group or larger corporation.

For some CDs, fashion is a game for two: 21% of top brands analysed have co-creative directors working as a duo. Making money moves can be even more rewarding with a buddy by the side.




Zodiac Sign

Virgo (12%), Leo (10%) and Aries (10%) are the most common Zodiac signs among all designers analysed. True, Astrology is not a science – but it is no coincidence that these 3 signs are also the most creative ones of the Zodiac (just sayin’). Notorious Virgos include Olivier Rousteing and Brandon Maxwell.  



Married or single?

The majority of designers seem to be your typical, traditional romantics: nearly 51% are married. Some out of the bunch are even co-designing, like couples Paulo Almeida and Marta Marques from MarquesAlmeida, or Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi from Preen.

Out of the 67 designers analysed, 22 had children, and 17 of these were women – proving to the world girls are indeed superheroes and CAN have it all! 



Fashion Weeks
by comparison

Ever wondered what makes New York stand out vs Paris? We compared the 4 Fashion Weeks to each other: click on the arrow to the right to see which city excels in each category. 

Who had the most
female designers?

Who had the most
designers of color?

Who had the most
LGBTQ+ designers?

Who had the most
international designers?

Ranked by % non local designers

1. Paris (60%)
2. London (50%)
3. New York (30%)
4. Milan (23.5%)

Who had the
youngest designers?

Ranked by average age

1. London (39,7)
2. Paris (47,2)
3. New York (48)
4. Milan (54,9)

Who had the most
self-owned labels?

Ranked by % designers creating for their own brand

1. London (94%)
2. New York (76%)
3. Milan (64%)
4. Paris (27%)

About this
Fashion Designer Report

We looked at the top 15 brands per each Fashion Week (S/S 2020), selected by fashion relevance. We analysed data from 67 creative (co-)directors for 60 brands. Data is updated as of 22.09.2019. Research was not run on internal Stylight data, but only on publicly disclosed information from brands and designers.

written by:

Clara Del Genio

email hidden; JavaScript is required

Stay up-to-date

Our next report, straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stylight Logo

Stylight is the world’s leading online search platform for Fashion, Beauty and Design. We help users search through more than 1.300 online shops at once, and compare the prices of more than 27 million products, across 16 different markets worldwide.

Discover the latest trends on Stylight