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Celebrating 20th century women in fashion design, art, architecture and were visionary pioneers. They all left their mark behind and became icons and role models for future generations. They were women characterized by their creative and self-confident attitude who stood up for themselves and fought their way through their careers in their own positive way, without being influenced by the outside world.

Coco Chanel, born Gabrielle Chasnel
August 19, 1883 – January 10, 1971

Gabrielle Chanel lived her life in full self-determination. The difficult years of being an orphan along with her professional success have created an extraordinary, bold, free woman, who was ahead of her time. Loyal friendships and passionate love relationships as well as a longing for culture, travels and new discoveries have shaped her personality. Coco Chanel founded the Chanel fashion house in the early 1910s and shaped fashion history with her designs. From 1913 she was a pioneer of what was back then almost revolutionary, functional women’s fashion with calf-length skirt or airy trousers, a loosely belted top and short haircut for self-confident, modern women. In the 1920s, Coco Chanel created the “little black dress”, which is considered up until today a classic in women’s fashion.

Niki de Saint Phalle, born Catherine Marie-Agnès Fal de Saint Phalle
October 29, 1930 – May 21, 2002

Niki de Saint Phalle is one of the most prolific and well-known pop artists of the international art scene. She became world famous because of her creations of colored, broad-hipped and large-breasted female sculptures:  the “Nanas”. Niki de Saint Phalle was processing a disturbed sense of self in the female body, which she tried to express in exaggeration within the premise of Pop Art, in order to approach it faceless and oversized. This was due to traumatic sexual experiences of her childhood.

Zaha Hadid, born Zaha Mohammad Hadid
October 31, 1950 – March 31, 2016

Zaha Hadid was one of the first women to leave her mark on architecture. Nevertheless, Hadid’s visions, were considered for a long period of time impossible to realize, which is why she did not have her breakthrough until the 1990s. In 2004 she became the first woman ever to win the Prizker Prize, which is considered the most important honor for architects all over the world. She was described by “The Guardian” as the “Queen of the curve”, who “liberated architectural geometry, giving it a whole new expressive identity”.

Frida Kahlo, born Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón
July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954

Frida Kahlo is by far the most famous painter in Mexico, if not of all Latin America. She is one of the most important representatives of a popular evolution of Surrealism, although her work sometimes shows elements of the New Objectivity movement. As an artist, in her pieces Frida Kahlo worked on her suffering – especially her chronic illness – but also her marital problems. Among her 143 paintings, 55 of them are self-portraits. Kahlo’s reputation as an artist developed late in her life and grew even further posthumously, while during her life, she was primarily known as the wife of Diego Rivera and as an eccentric personality among the international cultural elite.