diane vonfurstenberg marc jacobs ralph auren old photos

Diane von Furstenberg, Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren. Photo(s): Getty Images | Courtesy


In 1973 the U.S. stormed the French border once again but this time, the battle wasn't on Normandy beach and there were no armed soldiers at war. Instead, there was a runway and five American designers (up-and-coming then) who showed their collections in Europe for the very first time and put American style front and center on the world fashion stage.

The Grand Divertissement à Versailles was a show organized to raise money for the restoration of palace itself, and PR dame Eleanor Lambert, the woman who created the Best Dressed list, organized the event as a showdown between the old French couturiers and the new North American purveyors of contemporary style. Oscar de La Renta, Halston, Bill Blass, Anne Klein and Stephen Burrows showed their collections that day and made history - both by showing their homegrown talent with a needle and thread, as well as their modern approach to fashion (this was the first show to ever feature ethnic models).

The event marked the Independence and relevance of true American style. Today, the U.S. fashion market is as innovative as ever, celebrating the continuing success of legacies like Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors and nurturing new young talent like Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler.

American style history may not be something we learned in school, but it's something we're exposed to each and everyday as a part of our national culture. In case you need to brush up, peruse the gallery below to learn a few fun facts you may not know about some of the U.S.A.'s most recognizable fashion faces.