Moguls within the fashion and beauty realms are hitting millionaire, nay, billionaire status in 2021. How do icons like Tory Burch, Diane von Furstenberg, and Kim Kardashian West stack up in terms of net worth, age, education, career paths, social media following, and more? Shane Co. took a deep dive into the profiles of the 50 richest fashion and beauty moguls to find out.
Read on to see the results!
Female Fashion & Beauty Icons Ranked
When you’re the founder of a bustling fashion or beauty brand, there’s money to be made. Affiliates and founders of well-known retail brands dominate the list of the top 10 richest moguls, from Zara heiress Sandra Ortega Mera, to Gap matriarch Doris Fisher, to Forever 21 creator Jin Sook Chang — all with jaw-dropping net worths upwards of $1.5 billion.
Landing in the top 10 are also fashion legends like Miuccia Prada (#2), Diane von Furstenberg (#6), Kim Kardashian West (#8), and Donatella’s daughter, Allegra Versace (#9). Belgian fashion designer DVF made her claim to fame in the 1970s with the iconic “wrap dress” and has been raking in success ever since, while the Italian billionaire Miuccia Prada has led the Prada luxury fashion house since 1978.
At the young age of 40, Kim K. just recently hit billionaire status this year, thanks to her lucrative shapewear and beauty lines — Skims and KKW Beauty. Also in the Kardashian clan, her sister Kylie Jenner hit the #13 spot on our list with her knock-out makeup line, Kylie Cosmetics. In addition to reality TV stars, celebrity singers/songwriters also made this list. At the helm of Fenty Beauty and SAVAGE x Fenty is Rihanna, ranking #15. As the founder of Ivy Park, Queen B herself, Beyoncé Knowles, also ranks within the top 25.
While fashion & retail moguls certainly command the top 30, beauty brand founders make up a large chunk of this list as well, including Anastasia Soare of Anastasia Beverly Hills (#17), Huda Kattan of Huda Beauty (#19), and Jamie Kern Lima of IT Cosmetics (#23).
Kim Kardashian West, Allegra Versace, Rihanna, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen made the top 10 youngest moguls in fashion and beauty — all holding net worths of $500 million and up. Katrina Lake also earns a spot on the millionaire list as the founder of the fashion subscription service Stitch Fix. She’s only 38 and is one of the most successful self-made entrepreneurs in the U.S. today. Lastly, Emily Weiss, founder of the cult-classic brand Glossier, is only 36 with a net worth of $12 million and a penchant for reshaping the beauty industry as we know it.
The table above highlights the credentials of all 50 moguls analyzed in this study. Moguls who launched their company, collection, or blog at a notably young age include Anna Sui, Kylie Jenner, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Aimee Song (Song of Style), and Oliva Palermo. What’s more, Karissa Bodnar (Thrive Causemetics) and Toni Ko (NYX Cosmetics) both launched their respective lines at the ripe age of 26!
In terms of Instagram, the majority of these moguls have a massive following. The moguls with the most Instagram followers include Kim K., Kylie & Kendall Jenner, Beyoncé Knowles, and Anna Wintour, each with 90 million followers or more.
Where Did Fashion & Beauty Icons Start Their Careers?
Now that we’ve looked at our moguls’ present, let’s dive into their pasts. Many of the big-name fashion designers and editors on our list crawled their way up the corporate ladder from retail associates, junior publicists, and assistants to CEOs and founders of their own lines. Notable examples of this upward trajectory are Tory Burch, Donna Karan, Anna Wintour, and Rachel Zoe, proving that grit, innovation, and an impeccable eye for style from a young age pay off long-term.
We also enjoy some of the oddball first jobs of a few moguls on our list. For instance, Kris Jenner embarked on a career as a flight attendant before launching her production company, Jenner Communications, and Vera Wang thrived as a talented figure skater before designing her first wedding dress. Honorable mentions include Spanx founder Sara Blakely, who got her start as a theme park ride attendant, and Miuccia Prada, who initially tested out her skills as a mime!
Summary Statistics of the Richest Women in Fashion
To end our study, we’ve summarized some salient stats of the 50 richest female fashion and beauty moguls. While the average age of all moguls analyzed is 52, 34% of the women on this list are millennials, aged 25 to 39 years old. Likewise, this list is not dominated by those who hold PhDs or master’s degrees; 35% of the moguls have a high school degree as their highest degree obtained. All in all, the fashion and beauty industries make ample opportunities for ambitious and talented women, regardless of age or educational attainment.
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The females analyzed in this study come from Forbes’ 2020 list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women and Forbes’ Fashion’s Richest Self-Made Women. Our list spans multiple industries, from fashion and retail to cosmetics and skincare. Our list includes fashion designers, beauty brand founders, CEOs, fashion editors, models, bloggers, and socialites, among many others.
Net worth estimates come from individual Forbes profiles and celebritynetworth.com. Net worth estimates, ages, education levels, and Instagram followings in this study were collected in June 2021.