In celebration of International Women's Day 2022, we have put together a perfectly curated list of some of the female powerhouses at the helm of some of our favourite fashion and beauty brands. Whether it's fashion, jewellery, skincare, makeup or shoes, these are the women changing the way we shop.
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Scroll down to see the female-founded businesses that are taking the world by storm...
This lady needs no introduction. Rihanna is the brains behind Fenty Beauty and was inspired to create the beauty brand after years of experimenting with the best-of-the-best in beauty - and still seeing a void in the industry for products that performed across all skin types and tones. She launched a makeup line "so that people everywhere would be included," focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades.
Victoria Beckham founded her eponymous fashion label in 2008. Developed at Victoria’s London studio, the collection began with a series of form-fitting dresses and has expanded to include two ready-to-wear lines, footwear, and accessories, as well as a long-term partnership with fitness and lifestyle brand Reebok. In 2019, Victoria Beckham Beauty was launched, featuring clean formulations and high-performance solutions for dynamic individuals everywhere.
Glossier founder Emily Weiss is the founder and CEO of Glossier and the popular blog Into the Gloss. According to Polina Marinova of Fortune, Emily "quietly turned Glossier into one of the most disruptive brands in beauty."
Image: Maciek Kobielski
Pat McGrath Labs
Dame Pat McGrath is an incredible makeup artist. Whether she's working her magic on celebrities or supermodels backstage at fashion week, everyone knows it when the Mothership has sprinkled her magic dust. This world-famous MUA - who has just been turned into her own Barbie doll - created her own beauty brand back in 2015, and it has gone from strength to strength. She has also launched several ground-breaking international collaborations including unprecedented product collaborations with Prada, Valentino, Versace, Comme des Garçons, Chrome Hearts, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Star Wars and the first ever beauty collaboration with Supreme New York which sold out in a record 8.2 seconds in September 2020.
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Trinny London was founded by fashion maven Trinny Woodall from her kitchen table in 2017. The TV star-turned-beauty mogul had one goal in mind – to give everyone the tools to be their best. She launched the brand with the iconic stack – multitasking little pots of joy that click seamlessly together – and Match2Me, an innovative personalisation tool. In 2022 she launched skincare – a huge step for the brand.
Kate Somerville is a celebrity-favourite, and her holy grail product, ExfoliKate Intensive, was born after one of her celebrity clients asked her to bottle up one of her facials. Today, her clinically perfected luxurious formulas are sold all over the world. Kate continues reaching for new career heights while looking for opportunities to give back. She’s passionate about helping others who – like her – come from humble beginnings, have faced unimaginable setbacks, and are determined to chase their dreams and defy impossible odds.
Charlotte Tilbury MBE has distinguished herself as a true creative visionary. The world-famous makeup artist believes that everyone deserves to look and feel like their best through the power of makeup.
Created by Selena Gomez, Rare Beauty aims to break down unrealistic standards of perfection by offering a curated selection of makeup that’s been made to feel good in. From tinted moisturisers to the Rare Beauty blush, their carefully created line aims to redefine the meaning of beauty by offering products that embrace individuality.
Supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is the woman behind Rose Inc. She teamed up with biotech company Amyris to create a chic clean beauty brand. It's taking Instagram by storm, and Rosie is just as powerful being a beauty mogul as she is on the catwalk.
Kendall Reynolds, the Founder and Design Director of Kendall Miles is a Chicago native who self-taught herself how to design footwear on her own. She immersed herself in her craft by receiving formal design training in Milan, and later moved to New York City where she spent two years building an impressive network in the fashion industry.
Her brand is built on the belief that luxury footwear should offer durability, versatility, functionality, and accessibility. Celebs love the brand, and so do we.
Laura Mercier, pioneer of the "Flawless Face" is a world-renowned makeup artist and the innovative force behind the eponymous brand’s iconic products and luxe artistry techniques. As an innovator, Laura changed the makeup industry forever with her introduction of the first foundation primer to create the perfect canvas for makeup application.
Ouai (pronounced 'way') was founded by Jen Atkin, the woman responsible for many of the Kardashian hairstyles, and also tends to the tresses of Chrissy Teigen.
"I get it. I am an overstimulated consumer myself. I’ve used every hair product on the market and spent years talking to my clients and social followers about their hair. I’ve struggled to find a haircare brand that my friends and I could relate to. It was my goal to take these conversations and create the first socially-connected haircare brand."
A born entrepreneur, Samantha Jameson was just 24 when she set up her first business; supplying goods to events companies. Sam’s true passion lay with the power of scent. "Smell has always been my strongest sense, and my connection to places, people and time comes through smell - it’s the thing that transports me to the various chapters of my life. I always thought, if only I could bottle and share these memories with the World."
After selling her business to Thornton’s, Sam immediately used the funds to turn her passion and hobby into creating and building Soapsmith. Two years of product development and obsessively refining her craft led her to launch Soapsmith in 2010, which is now a thriving, scent centric, memory evoking soap and personal care business.
Terry de Gunzburg is a trailblazing industry legend who over the course of the past 30 years has changed the face of beauty with her beauty brand ByTerry. Prior to starting her own brand, Terry was the International Makeup Designer of YSL Beauté for 15 years, and she invented countless products and formulas, including the iconic Touché Eclat in 1992.
Launched by award-winning beauty blogger Huda Kattan in 2013, Huda Beauty is one of the world's fastest-growing beauty brands. "As a brand, we are fun yet sophisticated, and we are always innovating! Any time we create a new product, we raise the bar and make sure that whatever we are creating will fill a gap in the industry. We want every product to serve a purpose; if there isn’t a need for something or there is already an amazing product available, then we won’t create a new one. I’m not motivated by money, so the bottom line doesn’t matter to me. It is about giving people the power to express who they want to be no matter who they are, or where they are from. Beauty is not about how much you spend, but how confident you feel, so that will always be the ultimate goal for us."
Considered a leading pioneer in skin rejuvenation, Emma Hardie is one of the most accomplished Holistic facialist in the UK today. Emma’s unique facial techniques are complemented with an award-winning skincare system; a simple but effective capsule collection that has now grown into a must-have range of multi-functioning daily essentials, designed to suit all skin types and to work with the skin’s natural functions to hydrate, firm and brighten.
Priya Ahluwalia is the talk of the town with her fashion label which combines elements from the designer's dual Indian-Nigerian heritage and London roots. Her pieces are one of a kind, and they're inspired by art, music and literature. Ahluwalia is available in renowned stores worldwide, including Matches Fashion, Browns, Bergdorf Goodman, Ssense and Nordstrom.
Amanda Harrington London
Amanda developed her Amanda Harrington London range, launching in 2019, incorporating the latest skincare ingredients and the finest craftsmanship, making professional grade sunless tan available to everyone.
Despite having no experience in fashion, retail, or business leadership, Sara Blakely founded the iconic shapewear company Spanx back in 2000 after having a panic over what to wear under a pair of white trousers. In 2012, she was crowned the youngest self-made billionaire by Forbes. Today, the Spanx founder is a household name and - judging from Instagram - she looks like one kick-ass boss to work for.
You'll definitely recognise this face! Supermodel Miranda Kerr launched KORA Organics back in 2009 in her home country of Australia. In 2017, she launched in the U.S with Sephora, and now her products are stocked globally across 30 countries.
CEO & Founder Marisa Hordern started Missoma because she was trying to find fashion-forward jewellery that was high quality and also affordable, and realised that it didn’t exist – so she designed it herself. "For me, the ultimate goal is to focus on leaving a positive mark on our communities and environment while creating pieces that enable our customers to express themselves how they want to," she states.
Susanne Kaufmann is a powerhouse of a woman. She has an award-winning product line, a spa and even a hotel. Susanne grew up immersed in the idyllic Austrian Alpine region of the Bregenzerwaldan and has an expertise in natural ingredients and skincare philosophy with her values for innovation and sustainable living.
You've seen her shoes all over Instagram and in the fashion magazines, but how much do you really know about Amina Muaddi? The Paris-based, Italian-raised designer is a real fashion star - and her high-octane shoes are loved by all the celebrities.
Bare By Vogue
Vogue Williams is a presenter, DJ and fitness fanatic from Ireland whose broadcast work has ranged from presenting documentaries to hosting studio shows to appearing in her own reality show. Aside from her on-air ventures, Vogue is also the founder of her own fake tan range – Bare By Vogue, where she seeks to offer the ultimate experience in sunless tanning to everyone across the globe.
Nimya is a a brand founded by YouTube superstar Nikkie de Jager, aka Nikkie Tutorials. Being part of the Beauty Industry for over 14 years, Nikkie has continued her quest to find the greatest products. She made headlines recently doing Adele's makeup.
Nadine Merabi is the woman changing the game for evening wear. The Lebanese self-taught seamstress and businesswoman saw a gap in the market and now her designs can be seen on countless celebrities and influencers. The worldwide demand means many of their collections have waitlists, and they sell out within minutes. Nadine has been described as the Victoria Beckham of the north.
Rosie Fortescue Jewellery
The former Made in Chelsea star started her own jewellery line while working on the show, and now works full-time on her business. "Creating my own range of jewellery has been a passion and dream of mine for as long as I can remember. I have been a magpie and jewellery lover since I was a child and after finishing my degree in History of Art I knew the time had come to start working on my passion." The fun and playful jewellery line by Rosie Fortescue is perfect for those who love to wear statement pieces.
Jo Malone CBE has been at the forefront of fragrance, and is a household name. Jo launched her first brand, Jo Malone London, which gained cult status around the world. In 1999, Jo sold the business to Estée Lauder Companies and remained Creative Director until she left in 2006. Later, Jo launched her new venture, Jo Loves - an innovative scent, bath, body and candle collection inspired by the memories and moments in life that she loves. One of her most exciting launches was the iconic Fragrance Paintbrush.
Back in 1975 Paula Begoun was fired from her cosmetic counter job for telling clients the truth about what products could and couldn’t do for skin. In turn, telling the truth has paid off. Long before formulating her own products, she was a consumer struggling with acne and eczema, desperately trying to find products that wouldn’t make her skin worse. That’s when her lifelong career of research and formulating effective products began.
Founder, CEO and product formulator Sarah Chapman is widely regarded as a major player in the skincare world. When Meghan Markle lived in the UK, Sarah’s discreet Skinesis clinic in Chelsea, London, was one of her favourite destinations. Nowadays there's a 12-week waiting list for a much-coveted facial appointment, but luckily there are products you can use in the comfort of her own home.
Dreamt up in Sydney, Australia by Pip Edwards and Claire Tregoning, P.E Nation wants to shape the way you live and how you feel in activewear.
Since its launch in March 2016, the brand's street-meets-sportswear offering has expanded to include extremely technical activewear, nostalgic 90s streetwear, performance snow gear, accessories, fashion denim and a basics range. Claire hails from a background of fashion and textile design, and Pip has an impressive history in PR and design.
CEO Noura Sakkijha revealed that she founded Mejuri because she saw a jewellery industry that was built for men gifting women and not women celebrating themselves. "To me, the truest expression of Mejuri is mutual uplift: all of us supporting each other, and you, our community, feeling empowered to invest in yourself and, in turn, the community around you," she writes on the website.
Carrie Elizabeth is a British Jewellery brand designed and based in London. After spending 10 years working as a Fashion & Jewellery Buyer for one of the UK’s leading retailers, she decided to do it alone and work on her own brand. Targeting the mid market, Carrie's jewellery bridges the gap between 'fashion' and 'fine' jewellery. All the pieces are ethically sourced and handmade in Jaipur India from the finest quality stones.
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