For more updates about the The BoF 500 subscribe to the Daily Digest newsletter

For more updates about the The BoF 500 subscribe to the Daily Digest newsletter

{alt missing} Featureflash :

Tilda Swinton


Her otherworldly features and trendsetting ensembles have endeared her to high fashion magazines and designers alike.


Tilda Swinton is an Academy Award-winning actor who has captivated the fashion industry with both her striking looks and her bold sartorial statements. Throughout her career, the actress has charmed the likes of Dior, Lavin, Jil Sander and longtime friend Haider Ackermann with her approach to red carpet dressing. Crossing into the fashion world as an "accidental fashion icon", the actress notably caught the eye of Chanel, starring in its 2013 Metiers d'Art Paris-Edimbourg collection campaign.

Swinton told W that her dance with fashion began after the increase in her profile, following the release of The Beach, which also starred Leonardo DiCaprio. Uncomfortable with the thought of being dressed by strangers Swinton turned to her friend Jerry Stafford, whom she described as her “playmate, it is a game and we have fun with it.”

It was Stafford who introduced the actress to Viktor & Rolf, for whom she became a muse. They were not alone. W reports that Swinton became a muse to Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz , Haider Ackermann, Yves Saint Laurent’s Stefano Pilati , Céline’s Phoebe Philo , and Raf Simons , who designed her wardrobe for the 2010 film I Am Love. Her friendships with the designers are imperative in Swinton’s eyes, “For someone to know what you need to make you comfortable, they need to know who you are. Having them make clothes for me is like being cooked for by someone who knows what you like to eat.”

Swinton's longstanding partnership with Haider Ackermann began with the Cannes Film Festival around 16 years ago, a period in which the duo has crafted over a dozen festival looks that speak to Swinton's corresponding film roles. In 2015, Swinton starred in the Mercedes Benz Spring/Summer fashion film, styled by Ackermann. The renowned fashion photographer Tim Walker also tapped the actress' widely admired character shapeshifting potential in his editorial series, "Stranger than Paradise", for which the the duo collaborated on surreal portraits featured in W Magazine's May 2013 issue. The duo revisited their collaboration in 2018, when Tom Walker shot his series "Poetic Liscense" for W Magazine's 7th Volume, depicting Swinton inspired by an all-star lineup of historical figures, including the likes of artists Leonora Carrington and David Bowie. 


Cambridge University

Cambridge University

Vital Statistics

5 November 1960

United Kingdom

United Kingdom
Member since

Similar Profiles

Cathy Beaudoin

Special Advisor, General Atlantic

Suzy Menkes

Former International Vogue Editor, Condé Nast International

Malick Bodian

Model & Photographer

Travis Scott

Rapper & Singer

What is The BoF 500?

The people shaping the global fashion industry, curated by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on nominations and on-the-ground intelligence from around the world.