Celebrating Women in Design
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we look at the lives and work of 6 creatives who have been influential forces in the world of architecture, technology, graphic design, photography and fashion. All have left their mark to inspire future generations of designers
American designer Susan Kare paved the way for women in graphic design when she joined Apple in the 80s. Not just an influential figure for female designers, but her contributions have shaped the graphic design sector as a whole.
In the 1980s, the launch of Apple Macintosh computers made digital design suddenly accessible to a wider audience and it was Kare’s playful icons that became an integral part of the recognisable brand. Her witty icon designs are now internationally known through her collaborations with brands such as Microsoft, PayPal and Sony Pictures. Kare’s designs blazed a trail for pixel art and graphic designers everywhere.
London based Kate Moross set up her design agency Studio Moross in 2012 and has developed an impressive portfolio of clients over the years. Her vivid colour palette, bold typography and energetic design style have led to collaborations with the likes of Kiehl’s, New Balance, Nike, Google and TFL.
Kate Moross famously said “I‘m not a woman in design, I’m a designer” and uses her public platform to speak out for non-binary and LGBTQI+ within the creative community.
Photographer Harley Weir has become one of the most exciting and in-demand fashion photographers in recent years owing to her keen eye for the human form and wonderfully unique view on the world. Through her photography, she elevates and challenges traditional assumptions of the female form.
Weir shoots campaigns for luxury brands such as Céline and Balenciaga, covers for Wallpaper and POP magazines, fashion editorials for British Vogue and i-D (to name just a few) and for personal projects where she documents the people and landscapes of conflict zones around the world.
Graphic designer Deva Pardue is the creative mind behind For All Womankind, founded in response to Donald Trump’s successful presidential election in 2016. Her ‘Femme Fists’ have become an icon of the Women’s Marches held around the world in protest.
Pardue is Creative Director of The Wing, a network of community spaces designed for women to use as co-working offices and social event spaces, along with her ‘Fempowerment’ organisation For All Womenkind which raises funds for not-for-profit organisations that protect women’s rights and equality.
When Kate Spade decided to create luxury handbag and accessories that were actually accessible to a wide array of women – it was a game changer. She became a role model to women from all walks of life, as a designer and businesswomen and her bags became a rite of passage for many young women in the 1990s.
Not only did she kick off the concept of designer items at a reachable price point, but her designs set out trends to be followed by others. By putting the ‘Kate Spade New York’ label on the outside of her bags, rather than the inside, she created a simple yet iconic look that soon led to other designers followed suit.
Queen of the curve, Zaha Hadid was the first female to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize and received the UK’s most prestigious architectural award – the Stirling Prize, 2 years running. Recognised as one of the most influential women in architecture, her use of materials and the way they can be shaped and manipulated, altered the publics beliefs of what could be achieved with materials such as steel, concrete or glass.
Her curved lines and organic designs are recognisable all over the globe from Hong Kong to Berlin and her vision and influence reinvented architecture of the 21st century. With more awards to her name than we could count, such as Forbes ‘World’s most powerful women’, TIME magazine ‘100 most influential people in the world’ and UNESCO’s ‘Artist for Peace’, Hadid’s designs will forever be an authority within the architectural community.