Fashion Houses Diversify As More Female Designers Take Control

03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Could fashion design, long dominated by men, be entering a golden age for women?

Absolutely, say designers, headhunters, retailers and historians, who point to the fact that two more women just landed top jobs at major Italian fashion houses -- Alessandra Facchinetti at Valentino and Christina Ortiz at Salvatore Ferragamo -- not to mention the impressive number of prominent female-led brands on the Milan calendar this week, from Miuccia Prada to Alberta Ferretti and Donatella Versace.

"I think it reflects a big change," said Floriane de Saint Pierre, who runs Floriane de Saint Pierre and Associés, an executive search and consulting firm, in Paris. "In the early Nineties, the creative directors of fashion houses were nearly all men," she said, mentioning the likes of Michael Kors at Celine and Tom Ford at Gucci, who were succeeded by Ivana Omazic and Frida Giannini, respectively.

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