What the Most Powerful Women in Fashion Want

·13 min read

WWD, Footwear News and Beauty Inc asked this year’s 50 most powerful women in fashion, beauty, retail and accessories: “If you could have any power in the world, what would it be?”

Here are their answers.

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Shannon Abloh - Credit: Getty Images
Shannon Abloh - Credit: Getty Images

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Shannon Abloh, chief executive officer and managing director, Virgil Abloh Securities

“Of course, I wish I had the power to bring Virgil back. Aside from that, I hope for the power to honor Virgil’s life in the best way possible, to ensure his impact as a groundbreaking designer and his legacy of creativity, leadership and generosity live on for generations to come. I wish for the power to bring together a community that builds on the foundation Virgil laid for championing equality in art, design and all the spaces he cared so much about.”

Jessica Alba - Credit: Dan Doperalski/WWD
Jessica Alba - Credit: Dan Doperalski/WWD

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Jessica Alba, founder, The Honest Co.

“If I could have any super power, it would be to infuse compassion and empathy in everyone that I come into contact with, granting them this gift as the lens through which they experience the world.”

Delphine Bellini - Credit: Courtesy
Delphine Bellini - Credit: Courtesy

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Delphine Bellini, CEO, Schiaparelli

“I would enforce new global politics in favor of the education of children and adolescents everywhere in the world. Education is a powerful driver for change. It contributes not only to improving people’s health and livelihoods, but also to social stability, while stimulating long-term economic growth. It is also essential to achieving the conditions for the sustainable development of our planet. Access for all to quality education would create virtuous circles to change the world and find solutions to the planet’s most pressing problems. Investing in education should be a global priority.”

Heidi Bivens - Credit: Courtesy
Heidi Bivens - Credit: Courtesy

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Heidi Bivens, costume designer

“If I could have one superpower it would be to reverse climate change.”

Kristina Blahnik - Credit: Courtesy
Kristina Blahnik - Credit: Courtesy

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Kristina Blahnik, CEO, Manolo Blahnik Ltd.

“To freeze time! To think, reflect, catch up and restart. To teleport between places to regain human connection and avoid Zoom/Teams.”

Joann Cheng - Credit: Courtesy
Joann Cheng - Credit: Courtesy

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Joann Cheng, chairman and CEO, Lanvin Group

“Since the beginning of my career, I wanted to challenge myself, undertake groundbreaking projects and explore new ideas. If one day I was given one power in this world, I would want to be able to drive change by innovation to at least one part of the industry or the world. Today more than ever, innovation plays such an important role in changing our lives. And there is much one can do in the fashion industry.”

Sun Choe - Credit: Courtesy
Sun Choe - Credit: Courtesy

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Sun Choe, chief product officer, Lululemon Athletica Inc.

“If I could have any power in the world, it would be the power to cure illnesses and take away pain, so everyone could live free of suffering and disease, and enjoy life to the fullest. Life is short, and I believe it should be enjoyed and celebrated as much as possible!”

Sandra Choi - Credit: Courtesy
Sandra Choi - Credit: Courtesy

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Sandra Choi, creative director, Jimmy Choo

“To go back in time and be a time traveler. Because I am curious and want to know and experience everything. Imagine being a fly on the wall when Da Vinci started drawing an airplane. What inspired the great creators of our past? I wonder.”

Joanne Crevoiserat - Credit: Courtesy
Joanne Crevoiserat - Credit: Courtesy

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Joanne Crevoiserat, CEO, Tapestry

“Creating more leadership opportunities for women. More women than ever are leading Fortune 500 companies; however it is still below 10 percent, and an even smaller percentage of women of color are in these roles. My hope would be to enable greater movement for women into the executive suite and at the board level to diversify perspectives across corporate leadership. This requires building a stronger pipeline of talent, which includes a commitment to investing in training, focusing on roles with P&L responsibility for women, increasing mobility to create opportunity and learning and career mentorship. There is not a quick or easy solution. At Tapestry, we focus on building our pipeline by retaining our talent, encouraging smart risk taking, creating a sense of ownership and equity, and enabling career mobility.” 

Brandice Daniel - Credit: Courtesy
Brandice Daniel - Credit: Courtesy

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Brandice Daniel, CEO, Harlem’s Fashion Row  

“If I can have any superpower, it would be to provide designers of color with everything they need to succeed. It would be to rewrite history to include the full contributions of Black people in America. If the fashion community understood the contributions of people like Elizabeth Keckley, Los Alexander Lane and Jay Jaxon, we would be in a much better place as an industry. It would be to reverse global warming. It would be to create unity in the world.”

Marie-Claire Daveu - Credit: Courtesy
Marie-Claire Daveu - Credit: Courtesy

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Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability and institutional affairs officer, Kering 

“I would choose telepathy. To guide people and our nations to make difference choices and live within our planetary boundaries, to preserve our resources for the future. I would go a step further too and ensure the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are fully enforced. We have to save our planet and we can see how difficult it is to cooperate worldwide, especially at the right pace and with the right commitments. I would use my superpower to reverse the trajectory we are on and while I dream of this ability, I will continue to use the influence I do have to involve more and more people on these urgent issues, both worldwide and in the fashion industry.”

Nathalie Dufour - Credit: Courtesy
Nathalie Dufour - Credit: Courtesy

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Nathalie Dufour, managing director, ANDAM

“I will harmonize the regenerative capacities of the biosphere with the needs of humanity so that the natural capital underlying life on earth is no longer impoverished. That the respect and the good management of the resources of our planet become an economic model.”

Allyson Felix - Credit: Courtesy
Allyson Felix - Credit: Courtesy

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Allyson Felix, Olympian, cofounder, Saysh

”I would like the power to teleport — at times it feels hard to do it all, but being able to leave a competition in London, head to a board meeting in New York, and see [my daughter] Cammy off to school would be pretty incredible.”

Jennifer Foyle - Credit: Courtesy
Jennifer Foyle - Credit: Courtesy

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Jennifer Foyle, president and executive creative director of the AE, Aerie and Unsubscribed brands, American Eagle Outfitters

“To share the power of REAL TRUTH with everyone…because everyone should feel good in their own skin.”

Nyakio Grieco - Credit: Courtesy
Nyakio Grieco - Credit: Courtesy

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Nyakio Grieco, cofounder, Thirteen Lune

“If I could have any power in the world, it would be to create a level playing field for all that’s as equitable as humanly possible.”

Catherine Holstein - Credit: Courtesy
Catherine Holstein - Credit: Courtesy

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Catherine Holstein, founder and creative director, Khaite

“To freeze time.”

Jenna Johnson - Credit: Courtesy
Jenna Johnson - Credit: Courtesy

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Jenna Johnson, president, Patagonia Inc.

“Hmm, I’d like Elsa of Arendelle’s power to cool things down a little, and ensure a livable planet for my daughters.”

Jenni Kayne - Credit: Courtesy
Jenni Kayne - Credit: Courtesy

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Jenni Kayne, designer

“I’d love the power to pause time and have unlimited hours in the day. Between work, my family, and everything in between, I feel like I’m always running from one thing to the next. The power to simply hit pause and slow down would be incredible, even if it’s just to take some time for myself.”

Karlie Kloss - Credit: Courtesy
Karlie Kloss - Credit: Courtesy

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Karlie Kloss, model, founder, Kode with Klossy

“The power to give every young woman the confidence to pursue their dreams and realize their full potential.”

Lizzo - Credit: Courtesy
Lizzo - Credit: Courtesy

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Lizzo, singer/founder, Yitty

“If I could have any power it would be to destroy systemic racism— I’d literally fly into the Constitution and redesign the laws to protect ALL people… I would redistribute wealth and privilege so my people wouldn’t have to suffer. I’d destroy food deserts and nourish the hungry.”

Nili Lotan - Credit: Courtesy
Nili Lotan - Credit: Courtesy

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Nili Lotan, founder, creative director, CEO, Nili Lotan:

“To heal people.”

Lalisa Manobal - Credit: Courtesy
Lalisa Manobal - Credit: Courtesy

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Lalisa Manobal, Blackpink

“I hope to be the kind of person who gives off ‘positive energy.’ So if I were to have any power in the world, I want to be able to make those who come by my side smile.”

Tracy Margolies - Credit: Courtesy
Tracy Margolies - Credit: Courtesy

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Tracy Margolies, chief merchandising officer, Saks: 

“As a woman leader and single mother by choice, I hope to demonstrate that you don’t have to sacrifice your personal life for your career. Furthermore, I want to set an example for women to feel confident working their way to the top. Lives can take all different shapes and forms. I hope to inspire women to embrace their independence and empower them to make the choices that are right for them. Yet, no one is bionic. Lean on those around you — a support system is a major key to success — whatever that may look like for you.”

Sherri McMullen - Credit: Courtesy
Sherri McMullen - Credit: Courtesy

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Sherri McMullen, founder and CEO, McMullen

“The power to amplify the voices and stories of minority communities and those in need to foster more empathy and compassion, therefore creating a more equitable playing field.”

Nicola Mendelsohn - Credit: Courtesy
Nicola Mendelsohn - Credit: Courtesy

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Nicola Mendelsohn, vice president global business, Meta

“Given my foundation is looking to cure Follicular Lymphoma…I’m going to say the power to heal.”

Séverine Merle - Credit: Courtesy
Séverine Merle - Credit: Courtesy

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Séverine Merle, CEO, Celine

“I don’t really believe in super powers. Personally, I believe in education, giving equal opportunities, to make things shift at an individual level to enable a global impact.”

Kimberly Lee Minor - Credit: Courtesy
Kimberly Lee Minor - Credit: Courtesy

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Kimberly Lee Minor, president and chief commercial officer, Bandier

“My power would be to eradicate all of the ‘isms’ that small-minded people have erected out of ignorance and fear of losing control.”

Natalia Modenova - Credit: Courtesy
Natalia Modenova - Credit: Courtesy

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Natalia Modenova, cofounder, DressX

“I would like to have a superpower that would help people to be always healthy, because “a healthy person has a million desires and a sick person has just one. With that being said, it would be important that people understand each other better and therefore – not judge and not fight, use their words and communication instead of violence. Health in peace is a virtue.”

Elizabeth A. Morrison - Credit: Courtesy
Elizabeth A. Morrison - Credit: Courtesy

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Elizabeth A. Morrison, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, Levi Strauss & Co.

“The ability to eliminate bias — in myself and others.”

Sue Y. Nabi - Credit: Courtesy
Sue Y. Nabi - Credit: Courtesy

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Sue Y. Nabi, CEO, Coty Inc. 

“Nelson Mandela said that education can change the world. By extension, knowledge can change the world. It is the only genuinely achievable super power. It gives confidence, leads to action and freedom. At Coty, we believe that science is the driving force behind our transformation and that of our products. The value of brands and products is more than ever in sync with the amount of knowledge injected. And the more informed our consumers are about products, the better decisions they will be able to make. Knowledge also brings responsibility, humility and empathy. It’s what’s going to help us live more sustainably and ultimately preserve the planet. What could be more powerful?” 

Gwyneth Paltrow - Credit: Courtesy
Gwyneth Paltrow - Credit: Courtesy

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Gwyneth Paltrow, founder and CEO, Goop

“If I could have any power in the world, it would be to eliminate shame. I think about this often, especially because when we make the most noise at Goop, it’s a reaction to something we don’t even expect — people are just shocked that we have certain conversations so openly. And how often is shame used to keep women silent and uphold the patriarchy, to keep all of us from being fully ourselves? I don’t know — I think it would be pretty cool to wave a magic wand (or something less dorky) and take all that away. The alternative, in my experience, is a lot of therapy.”

Christiane Pendarvis - Credit: Courtesy
Christiane Pendarvis - Credit: Courtesy

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Christiane Pendarvis, copresident and chief merchandising and design officer, Savage x Fenty

“Women and young girls are constantly bombarded with an unrealistic and manufactured standard of beauty that negatively impacts their self-esteem and self-worth. I’d love to change that by having the power to transform how the fashion and beauty industry acknowledges, supports and celebrates the broadest expression of individual identity on a global scale. I fundamentally believe this industry has enormous power to positively impact how individuals see and love themselves. As an African-American woman, I personally know the power of fashion and beauty, the joy of finding a great pair of pants that fits my curvier shape or the elation of finding a foundation shade that exactly matches my skin tone. Inclusivity, self-expression and self-celebration are things we champion at Savage X Fenty and why I am so passionate about the work we are doing as a brand. I want to see this echoed throughout the industry, across all categories, within every company and for all consumers regardless of size, shape or shade. That’s my power wish.”

Vasiliki Petrou - Credit: Courtesy
Vasiliki Petrou - Credit: Courtesy

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Vasiliki Petrou, CEO, Unilever Prestige 

“If I could have any super power I would choose the power to heal. To be able to transform or heal people, business and society. I believe in making a positive impact in everything I touch.“

Michelle Poole - Credit: Courtesy
Michelle Poole - Credit: Courtesy

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Michelle Poole, president, Crocs Inc.

“If I could have any superpower, it would be the ability to time travel. I’d love to spend time with some of my ancestors from the last few generations — there are some strong and charismatic women in my family tree I would be especially thrilled to meet. I would not want, however, to use this power to go into the future — I prefer to let life unfold in its own good time!”

Amira Rasool - Credit: Courtesy
Amira Rasool - Credit: Courtesy

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Amira Rasool, founder, The Folklore Group

“I would like the power to end homelessness and starvation. There’s no reason we should live in a world with so many resources and people go without the basic necessities of life.”

Deirdre Quinn - Credit: Courtesy
Deirdre Quinn - Credit: Courtesy

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Deirdre Quinn, cofounder and CEO, Lafayette 148 

“To read the mind of our customer, so we can better serve her.”

Ditte Reffstrup - Credit: Courtesy
Ditte Reffstrup - Credit: Courtesy

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Ditte Reffstrup, creative director, Ganni

“Being able to create a truly impact-free collection is the superpower I would love to have. But we are working on it!”

Traces Ellis Ross - Credit: Courtesy
Traces Ellis Ross - Credit: Courtesy

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Tracee Ellis Ross

“Time travel — so I could stop racism and world hunger, put Black women in charge, and prevent myself from giving away clothes I should’ve kept.” 

Jill Sando - Credit: Courtesy
Jill Sando - Credit: Courtesy

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Jill Sando, chief merchandising officer, Target 

“If I could have any power in the world, it would be to produce a never-ending flow of kindness, compassion and support, uniting and connecting us all.”

Marine Serre - Credit: Courtesy
Marine Serre - Credit: Courtesy

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Marine Serre, designer

“I would like to have the power to hasten the speed to which society is taking steps towards preserving the environment and creating a more meaningful future – in our way to live, to act, to produce, and to consume.”

Daria Shapovalova - Credit: Courtesy
Daria Shapovalova - Credit: Courtesy

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Daria Shapovalova, cofounder, DressX

“I would love to have any power that would help me to stop inequality and conflicts in the world. This current war in Ukraine, my home country, really pushed me to think harder on how we can live in the world without military conflicts, hate and the lack of prosperity. So if I had an ability to choose among the set of powers, I really don’t care what exactly it would be but it should lead me to the result I’ve mentioned.”

Jessica Simpson - Credit: Courtesy
Jessica Simpson - Credit: Courtesy

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Jessica Simpson, founder and CEO, Jessica Simpson Collection

“My superpower would be memorizing the encyclopedia, dictionary and thesaurus. Or another superpower would be time travel to hang with my ancestors…maybe I’ve just watched too much ‘Outlander.’”

Bonita Stewart - Credit: Courtesy
Bonita Stewart - Credit: Courtesy

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Bonita Stewart, vice president global partnerships, Google

“The power to heal the human heart from grief, disappointment and strife while bringing forth the joy and brilliance of humanity across all races.”

Cami Tellez - Credit: Courtesy
Cami Tellez - Credit: Courtesy

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Cami Téllez, creative director and founder, Parade

“To pause or slow down time — to get more done or relish in the moment more since so much is always going on.”

Tracey Travis - Credit: Courtesy
Tracey Travis - Credit: Courtesy

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Tracey Travis, executive vice president and chief financial office, the Estée Lauder Cos.

“The power to snap my fingers and make our society and workforce fully equitable. I want the best world possible for my two daughters, and since this isn’t something that will happen overnight, I do my part each day as a mentor and sponsor for the women and future leaders around me.”

Sarah Ziff - Credit: Courtesy
Sarah Ziff - Credit: Courtesy

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Sara Ziff, founder and executive director, the Model Alliance

”If I could have any power in the world, it would be Wonder Woman’s lasso of truth to squeeze the corruption out of the fashion industry.”

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