Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand. She is credited with replacing the corseted silhouette as the feminine standard of style with a sporty, casual chic. Her work as a designer redefined the fashionable woman in the era post World War I. She also played a vital role in revolutionizing jewelry, handbags, and fragrance.
Christine Lagarde is a French politician, businessperson, and lawyer. She is the current president of the European Central Bank (ECB), a position she has been holding since 1 November 2019. Prior to this, she was the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She is the first woman to head both the ECB and the IMF.
L'Oréal heiress Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, the world’s richest woman as of 2020, made headlines when she sued her mother, trying to prove she was mentally incompetent. In spite of being born into luxury, she often ditched parties, and took to writing books on Greek mythology and religious commentaries.
Isabel Maxwell is a French-born entrepreneur best known as the co-founder of Magellan, an early search engine. She studied at the University of Edinburgh. She first worked in film and TV production before venturing into technology, eventually becoming the president of Commtouch, an Israeli internet company. She has been listed as a technology pioneer of the World Economic Forum.
Marguerite Steinheil was a French woman best remembered for having love affairs with prominent men, including President Félix Faure. Interestingly, it is said that Steinheil was involved in a sexual encounter with Félix Faure at the time of his death in 1899. Steinheil achieved notoriety after the incident; her character was portrayed in a TV series titled Paris Police 1900.
Madame Clicquot Ponsardin was a French businesswoman and Champagne producer. Clicquot is best remembered for taking over her husband's business and turning the company into a world-famous Champagne house. Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, the company which still bears her name, is credited with inventing a novel technique called riddling which is still used today to make better Champagne.
Jeanne Lanvin was a French fashion designer who is credited with founding the multinational high fashion house, Lanvin. She is also credited with founding the perfume and beauty company Lanvin Parfums. In the 1920s, she opened shops devoted to menswear, lingerie, and home décor. In 1938, she was presented with the Officier Legion of Honour.
Born in Brazil, to a French aristocrat father and a Brazilian mother, Princess Georgina Maria, better known as Georgina Brandolini d'Adda, started her career as a Dior intern. She then worked for Valentino and Balmain. She has also designed jackets for Blazé Milano and worked for the São Paulo-based Iguatemi.
Born in Hong Kong, Carrie Perrodo, previously Carrie Wong, had a flourishing career as a model in Singapore and had even established a modeling agency in the 1970s. Now, better known as the widow of oil magnate and Perenco founder Hubert Perrodo, she lives in London
Prominent French businesswoman Patricia Barbizet was born to a film producer father and a painter mother but decided to pursue business studies, without following in her parents’ footsteps. Throughout her illustrious career, she has been the MD of Artémis and the first female CEO of Christie's.
Also known as Princess Laetitia, French Uruguayan businesswoman Laetitia d'Arenberg was born into French nobility. Fearing the Korean War would spill over to Europe, she and her family moved to Uruguay. One of the richest people of Uruguay, she owns the Las Rosas ranch and is also a dedicated philanthropist.
Anna Colas Pépin was a Euro-African businesswoman best remembered for her contribution to the Signare community. An influential member of the community, Pépin invested in buildings and on the land of Gorée. She is also remembered for receiving François d'Orléans, Prince of Joinville during his visit to Gorée. The scene, which happened in 1842, is portrayed by Édouard Auguste Nousveaux.