Each year, 8 March marks International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the achievements of women around the world. The fashion industry is one that is full of inspirational and influential women – from the super bloggers that have carved out a career and thriving business for themselves, to the designers, editors, photographers and all-round creators shaping what it means to be in fashion now. We could talk about them all day but here at AllSole there are a few inspirational women that top our list – and just so happen to create some of our favourite shoes.
No list of inspirational women in fashion would be complete without Dame Vivienne Westwood. Though credited as being one of the advocates of the punk movement in the ’80s and creating some of the most unique and distinctive designs in contemporary fashion, it’s Westwood’s dedication to causes such as climate change and civil rights that inspires us most. Using her collections to draw attention to current issues, Westwood uses fashion and her position of influence to speak out about the causes she is truly passionate about.
Dame Margaret Barbour
Nothing says quintessentially British fashion quite like Barbour, the South Shields-based brand famous for its waxed and quilted jackets, and classic tartan print. What was once a small company creating outerwear for lighthouse keepers has become a must-have fashion brand recognised the world over – and the woman to thank for this is chairwoman Margaret Barbour. Taking on the position in 1972, she revolutionised Barbour, all while keeping it in the North East and remaining true to its original family values. She also founded the Barbour Foundation which has granted more £11m to charities an cultural projects, and the Women’s Fund, which supports women in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.
While she may be relatively unknown and her brand not as long-established, founder of Loeffler Randall – Jessie Randall – is still an inspirational woman to us. In 2005, Randall discovered that she could never quite find the shoes to suit her taste – so decided to create her own. Enter Loeffler Randall, which has since become a cult brand loved by celebrities and fashion bloggers, and is a brand that remains independent to this day. Plus, Randall is involved in almost every part of her business, showing she’s committed to the core.