LONDON, United Kingdom —The global fashion business is animated by the ideas, emotions and actions of a core community of influential insiders. Since 2013, The Business of Fashion has been hand-curating a list of these select influencers, resulting in the annual BoF 500. Each year, we blend our own on-the-ground intelligence with hundreds of nominations from current and former BoF 500 members, unearthing interesting new names from across the world.
This year, the BoF 500 is more diverse than ever before, with 113 new members representing every exciting facet of this trillion-dollar industry. They join a host of established names, from designers, executives and retailers to media professionals, technology entrepreneurs, models and muses. Together, these are the people shaping the global fashion industry in 2016. Here are the 27 newly inducted designers.
Alessandro Dell'Acqua – Designer, No. 21, Rochas, Milan/Paris
With his masculine-meets-feminine aesthetic, this designer is experiencing a resurgence after 20 years in the business.
Alessandro Sartori – Artistic Director, Ermenegildo Zegna, Milan
Having helped triple Berluti's revenues during his five-year tenure, the designer now oversees all brands and creative functions at the world's largest menswear brand.
Amaka Osakwe – Designer, Maki Oh, Lagos
Since its launch in 2010, her ready-to-wear label has become one of Nigeria's biggest fashion success stories.
With his eponymous label on hold, the designer is now tasked with continuing the commercial momentum of Kering's most profitable brand.
Arnaud Vaillant & Sébastien Meyer – Artistic Directors, Courrèges, Paris
The design duo behind Coperni Femme are breathing new creative life into the historic French brand Courrèges.
Bouchra Jarrar – Artistic Director, Lanvin, Paris
The experienced couturier now sits at the creative helm of France's oldest fashion house.
Brandon Maxwell – Designer, New York
Charles Jeffrey – Designer, Loverboy, London
The self-proclaimed “club kid” is making waves with his heady and influential mix of youth culture, East London nightlife and fashion.
Gaia Repossi – Artistic Director, Repossi, Paris/New York
The Italian designer’s art-infused sculptural designs have brought modernity — and investment from LVMH — to the family business.
Gosha Rubchinskiy – Designer, Moscow
His gritty approach to fashion design has made him a poster child for post-Soviet youth culture.
Grace Wales Bonner – Designer, Wales Bonner, London
The LVMH Prize-winning menswear designer is tipped as one of the most promising newcomers in the world of fashion.
Guo Pei – Designer, Beijing
Hiroki Nakamura – Designer, Visvim, Tokyo/Los Angeles
His vintage-inspired reiterations of American workwear have earned fans including Kanye West and Rihanna.
Kris Van Assche – Creative Director, Dior Homme, Paris
The designer’s integration of streetwear into the rigorous and established codes of Dior Homme have won over a new fan base for the brand.
Lu Yan – Designer, Comme Moi, Shanghai
The former model now helms her own womenswear brand, favoured by Chinese Vogue editor-in-chief Angelica Cheung and actresses Gong Li and Li Bingbing.
Marcelo Burlon – Designer, County of Milan, Milan
Marco De Vincenzo – Designer, Milan
The designer juggles helming his own LVMH-backed label with his role designing accessories at Fendi.
Maria Grazia Chiuri – Artistic Director, Christian Dior, Paris
The first woman to be appointed to lead the ateliers and design teams of the famed house of Christian Dior has over 25 years experience in the industry, including a successful 8-year tenure as co-creative director of Valentino.
Maria Sole Checchi – Designer, Les Petits Joueurs, Milan
In two short years, her colourful handbag brand has racked up stockists in 145 countries and launched own-retail.
Paula Cademartori – Designer, Milan
Her colourful bags have become a street-style staple and the basis for a multi-million-dollar accessories brand.
Pierpaolo Piccioli – Creative Director, Valentino, Paris
After eight years sharing his role with Maria Grazia Chiuri, he took up the mantle as the Italian maison’s sole creative director.
Pierre Hardy – Designer, London
Over three decades, his work at Hermès, Balenciaga and his own label has solidified his status as one of fashion’s leading footwear designers.
Rosie Assoulin – Designer, New York
The New York designer’s voluminous eveningwear has been seen on stars including Rihanna and Beyoncé.
Shangguan Zhe – Designer, Sankuanz, Xiamen
One of China’s rising design stars, known for his youth subculture-inspired collections and collaborations with brands like Vans and Casio.
Silvia Venturini Fendi – Creative Director Accessories & Menswear, Fendi, Milan
The third-generation member of the Italian fashion dynasty helms the brand’s creative vision alongside Karl Lagerfeld.
Tamara Ralph & Michael Russo – Designers, Ralph & Russo, London
Theirs is the first British couture label to join the prestigious Chambre Syndicale.
Virgil Abloh – Designer, Off-White, New York
Kanye West's creative director has made his name as a streetwear leader, with his label Off-White and art-gallery-cum-menswear-boutique.