The Lists

8 Women Influencers You Need to Know in Fashion and Beauty

female influencers, including black women, on social media and Instagram in luxury fashion and beauty in 2021

Women drive the vast majority of the revenue and profit generated in the global world of luxury apparel, accessories and beauty products. And yet, we still don’t sit in the driver’s seat at the top of the big global companies that own the brands we love. In our ongoing mission to find and showcase talented women and people of color in the world of luxury, we went in search of the next generation of women influencers. Our correspondent Funto Omojola has curated a list of 8 top female influencers, many of whom are Black or women of color, in luxury fashion and beauty to know about and follow on Instagram and social media in 2021. ‘Cause the future of luxury fashion and beauty rests in their capable hands.

8 top women influencers in luxury fashion and beauty 

It’s undeniable the influence and impact women have had, and continue to have, on the beauty and fashion world. Yet women remain in the minority when it comes to having top-roles in the industries, despite making up a large part of the workforce.

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In fact, only 14 percent of major fashion brands are run by a female executive, according to a Business of Fashion survey. And for black women, the statistics are even more staggering. For example, less than 10 percent of the designers on the 2018 New York Fashion Week calendar were black. 

female influencers, including black women, on social media and Instagram in luxury fashion and beauty in 2021

The top female influencers, including black women, on social media and Instagram in luxury fashion and beauty in 2021.

While there’s still considerable progress to be made, there’s a new wave of women making their marks and demanding that we listen to their unique and ingenious voices

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From up-and coming brand-owners to innovative industry veterans, here are some women in the fashion and beauty industries worth getting to know right now.  

8 female influencers in luxury fashion and beauty to know right now

1. Adut Akech

female influencers fashion beauty

Top Black women beauty and fashion influencers: Adut Akech. Courtesy Photo.

She may be young but she’s already making ripples in the world of high-fashion. Since her runway debut for Yves Saint Laurent in 2016, the South Sudanese-Australian model has already graced the covers of countless Vogue issues and won the 2019 British Fashion Council’s Model of the Year award

With her 1.2 million Instagram followers, the 21-year old shares glimpses of her everyday life and champions inclusivity in the future of the industry. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adutakech/

2. Emily Adams Bode

female influencers fashion beauty

Female beauty brand-owners: Emily Adams Bode. Courtesy Photo.

Emily Adams Bode, the 30 year old founder of her namesake clothing brand Bode, is in a league of her own. Not only is she one of the few female designers making menswear, but Bode has also placed upcycling at her brand’s core. The Atlanta-native made history as the first female designer to show at New York Fashion Week: Men’s in February 2017 and won the CFDA Emerging Designer of the Year award in June 2019. 

With material that is vintage-sourced and small run pieces that are reminiscent of Wes Anderson meets Americana, Bode is poised to become a game-changing name in the future of American fashion

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bodepersonal/?hl=en

3 & 4. Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena

female influencers fashion beauty

Top women fashion and beauty influencers 2021: Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena. Courtesy Photo.

The Bulgarian design duo are breakout stars who are at the helm of positively disrupting the world of luxury fashion. The pair’s already iconic patchwork pleated skirt captures the essence of their non-conforming namesake brand, Chopova Lowena. Their avant-garde approach to design centers Bulgarian tradition and utilizes, in their own words, “recycling folkloric fabrics, deadstock materials and traditional craft techniques.”

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chopovalowena/?hl=en

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5. Alva Claire

Top Black women and women of color who are beauty and fashion influencers: Alva Claire. Courtesy Photo.

The London-born Alva Claire made history as one of the three first ‘plus size’ models to walk a Versace runway. Since her breakout moment, Claire has racked up more covetous appearances, including walking in Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty show. And we’re expecting to see more of the Wilhelmina-signed model

The 28-year-old says she’s motivated by the next generation of models who, through her, can now see themselves represented in high-fashion.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alvaclaire/?hl=en

6. Nyakio Grieco

Top female fashion influencers 2021: Nyakio Grieco. Courtesy Photo.

The challenges Nyakio Grieco has faced as a woman of color in the beauty industry, is what led her to create the inclusive e-commerce platform, thirteen tunen

For the entrepreneur and 20-year beauty authority, thirteen tunen is about highlighting brands and founders that have been underrepresented in the mainstream — and the site is quickly gaining traction. Launched in 2020, the community-focused platform mainly stocks Black and Brown-founded beauty brands and has garnered the support of investors like Gwyneth Paltrow and Naomi Watts. 

Grieco, who also owns the skin-care brand nyakio Beauty, is dedicated to celebrating diversity and inclusion in spheres that have not always done so. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nyakio/?hl=en

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7. Aurora James

Top female fashion influencers 2021: Aurora James. Courtesy Photo.

Since launching her brand Brother Vellies in 2013, Aurora James has epitomized fashion-forward in every sense of the word. The Canadian-born designer employs craftswomen in countries like Burkina Faso and Ethiopia to create vibrant pieces that are evocative of the cultures and countries they’re made in

Beyond her brand, the Brooklyn based mougel is dedicated to sustainability and representation within the industry at large. In 2020, James founded the 15 Percent Pledge, a non-profit challenging retailers to commit to dedicate at least 15 percent of their shelf-space to black-owned businesses. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aurorajames/

8. Katherine Power

Top female fashion influencers 2021: Katherine Power. Courtesy Photo.

Katherine Power has been a mainstay in the fashion and beauty world for years. She has founded like Who What Wear and Versed, among others. And now the entrepreneur and industry-veteran, is making a splash in the clean-beauty industry. Enter Merit Beauty. 

The vegan make-up brand, which is increasingly catching the attention of luxury beauty enthusiasts, is all about minimalism and simplicity. Think the no makeup, makeup look. 

In an exclusive introduction she penned for WhoWhatWear, Power writes; “I felt compelled to create a brand that would reimagine luxury beauty for modern consumers like myself by making it cleaner, well edited, accessible, and, of course, beautiful.”

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/katherinepower/?hl=en

8 female influencers in luxury fashion and beauty to know right now

That’s our take on 8 of the top female influencers, including Black women and women of color, on social media and Instagram in luxury fashion and beauty in 2021 to know about and follow. Who else are you following right now, dear reader?

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Funto Omojola is a New York-based features writer covering lifestyle, fashion and money. Her work has been published by MarketWatch, Vice and the New York Post, among others.

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