The most iconic fashion muses
Many celebrities, models, singers and actresses have inspired some of the biggest fashion designers, building close bonds that lasted years. These beautiful ladies have walked for their shows, worn their creations on several occasions and became the face of their brands. Let’s look at some of the greatest muses in the fashion history.

The term ‘fashion muse’ associates with dynamic duos such as Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn,  Yves Saint Laurent and Betty Catroux —people whose relationships influenced standout collections, while creating life-long partnerships and collaborations. Mostly a model or a cultural icon, a muse has a perfect sense of style that serves as inspiration to many contemporary designers.

Throughout the history there have been some truly iconic relationships between designers and their equally talented muses. We made the list of the most iconic designer/muse relationships in history.

Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn

Hubert de Givenchy, the founder of the house of Givenchy, and actress Audrey Hepburn’s relationship was one of the most successful designer/muse duos to date. The two met during the shooting of Hepburn’s film Sabrina and Givenchy would go on to design her wardrobe in many films including the iconic little black dress Hepburn wears in Breakfast at Tiffany’s., which cemented the actress’ status as one of the most stylish women of the 20th century. 

“His are the only clothes in which I am myself. He is far more than a couturier, he is a creator of personality,” said Hepburn. The creation also helped Givenchy gain worldwide recognition, through his feminine and elegant designs.

Yves Saint Laurent and Betty Catroux

Often shy and lacking in self-confidence, Yves Saint Laurent’s interactions with his muses are the archetypal example of how designer/muse relationships work at their best . The two met at Régine’s nightclub in Paris in the early days of Laurent’s career and were inseparable ever since. Like many YSL muses, she retained a rebellious edge which inspired the basis of many of his designs, including the pantsuit. Their 35-year relationship was undoubtedly the basis of Laurent’s androgynous edge, which later paved the way for contemporary women’s fashion. 

Karl Lagerfeld and Ines de la Fressange 

In 1982, Ines de la Fressange became the first model to sign an exclusive modelling contract with the haute couture fashion house Chanel. She was the face of Chanel before supermodels like Linda, Christy and Naomi stormed the Parisian catwalks. Lagerfeld admired la Fressange because of the way she simultaneously embodied the image of the international woman while also remaining quintessentially French. The two had a falling outwhen la Fressange was named the face of the Marianne, the national symbol of the French Republic. However, the duo rekindled their relationship and Fressange walked in Chanel’s spring summer ’11 show.

Riccardo Tisci and Kim Kardashian 

Riccardo Tisci definitely knows how to keep up with Kim Kardashian. The reality TV star sported many of his creations, including her half-a-million dollar couture wedding gown in 2014. ” She’s the Monroe of our age. People think she’s like a doll, but actually she’s tough and clever,” says Tisci .

Jean Paul Gaultier and Madonna 

There will probably never be a more famous stage outfit than Gaultier’s cone bra that he created for Madonna’s 1990 Blonde Ambition tour. The piece soon launched his career and solidified the duo’s relationship. Gaultier went on to design the singer’s stage outfits for many more tours, and she even made an iconic appearance as a model in his spring summer ’95 collection.

Monica Bellucci and Dolce&Gabbana

When it comes to natural beauty and sensuality few could do it better than the Italian’s. Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce are long time personal friends with Monica,who they have chosen as their  muse long ago. As Stefano says himself: ‘She expresses perfectly the Dolce & Gabbana woman. She is ravishing – a true Italian icon.’ Domenico is just as complimentary about the actress and describes her beauty as ‘timeless’ and adding that she ‘never fails to inspire us.’

Sofia Coppola and Marc Jacobs

The legendary, fashion couple Marc Jacobs and Sofia Coppola are the subjects of one of fashion’s great platonic love stories. They met at the backstage at one of the designer’s Perry Ellis shows in the early ’90s.  Sofia was one of the few who recognized something special to what Mark was doing at that time. As Mark always says: he was  attracted to how she looked, her sense of style, I was drawn to her manner, her behavior, her life, her ambitions and creativity. Coppola almost exclusively wears Jacobs’ designs on the red carpet. She also  directed Jacob’s first Daisy fragrance campaign in 2013 and later starred in his final campaign for Louis Vuitton.

Who would you add to that list? Write in the comments below

With love,
Sabina Bex