8th March 2019 by Amie Gee

International Women's Day | Fashion Labels Run By Women

International Women's Day is an important day in the calendar to shine a spotlight on women and celebrate their achievements across all aspects of society, as well as providing a platform to continue the campaign against gender discrimination and call for gender parity. Even though the fashion industry is a predominately female-based environment, it may surprise you that the majority of senior positions in the sector are held by men. In keeping with this year's International Women's Day theme of #BalanceForBetter, today we are recognising women who are at the helm of some of our top fashion brands and celebrating their career achievements.  

1. Rosie & Lucia Ruck Keene - TROY London

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Sister duo Rosie Van Cutsem & Lucia Ruck Keene founded TROY London back in 2014 when they realised there was a gap in the market for practical country clothing with contemporary appeal, offering the best of both worlds for women who want to look stylish in the city as well as the countryside. Previously working as a banking head hunter and an investment consultant, the sisters took the plunge into the fashion industry and pooled their business acumen in order to create TROY London - with all of their luxury pieces proudly made in British factories to this day. The independent label has proved to be a roaring success, with the likes of the Duchess of Cambridge and Poppy Delevingne wearing their designs on a regular basis.  

2. Penelope Chilvers

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With a love affair for Spain and the local craftsmanship that flourished whilst studying at the University of Madrid, Penelope Chilvers wanted to bring the Spanish riding boot style back to the UK, so she commissioned some local artisans to create the perfect equestrian style boot - and so the now iconic and bestselling Long Tassel Boot was born. Returning to the UK with her boots, Chilvers set to work from her kitchen table and managed to sell 100 pairs of boots to a fashion boutique. In 2004, Chilvers presented her first comprehensive footwear collection during a trade show at Paris Fashion Week, - where she was taking orders on the back of an envelope! and as they say, the rest is history. Using only 100% natural materials of the highest quality within her collections, Penelope Chilvers insists on keeping to tradition and utilising artisanal craftsmanship and techniques to create each and every pair of boots in her workshops in southern Spain. Chilvers also ensures that all factories and suppliers working with the brand offer fair wages and good working conditions to their workers, ensuring that artisans are supported in their craft and that the skills are able to be passed on to the next generation of artisans.  

3. Vivienne Westwood

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A true punk fashion icon that helped inaugurate the movement, Dame Vivienne Westwood has been a rebellious trailblazer in the fashion industry for almost 50 years. Unimpressed by the Hippy styles of the 1960's, Westwood instead created provocative slogan t-shirts and biker style clothing; setting her own path within the industry and rebelling against convention - something that she still does to this day. Unafraid to cause controversy, Vivienne Westwood is an activist at heart and has often used her platform and catwalk collections to voice her outspoken views on wider political and environmental issues, including everything from climate change to anti-fracking, veganism, Brexit, saving the Arctic and human rights. Not one to rest on her laurels, Westwood has donated £1 million to rainforest charity Cool Earth, and has also stated in her latest 2019 catwalk show that she aims to raise another £100 million to help save the rainforest. Since 2011, Westwood has also partnered with the Ethical Fashion Initiative on her Ethical Fashion Africa campaign, a collection of handbags created by women in Nairobi under ethical labour conditions - which in turn allowed the income of most of these female workers to increase by over 150%.