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Power Alert! by Steffi Kammerer, Christina Libuda | 8th March, 2019 | Personalities

On the following pages, we present strong, visionary women who make the world go round. Our personal pairs of favorites consist of a pioneer and her successor, who has taken the baton from her, in fields as diverse as politics, sports, tech, fashion and art.


Politics – French lawyer Christine Lagarde has been the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund since 2011. That year, her compatriot Dominique Strauss-Kahn had to resign from the top job at the global financial organization in Washington, DC, due to rape allegations. Lagarde succeeded him to become the first woman to hold this high-powered position. She was no novice to this kind of role, having spent the four previous years as France’s first female finance minister. In 2016, she was appointed for a second term.At 29 years old, Alexan­dria Ocasio- Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress. She cooks while talking about politics live on Instagram, and generally does things her own way rather than follow Washington traditions. She says that knocking on countless doors during her election campaign got her elected. The shoes she wore during that campaign now have holes in their soles and form part of an exhibition entitled Women Empowered: Fashions from the Frontline. The progressive Democrat from the Bronx is of Puerto Rican descent.

Taste Makers – Diana Vreeland shaped fashion journalism like no one else. She was fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar for 26 years and was editor-in-chief of American Vogue from 1963 to 1971. Chiara Ferragni is an Italian entrepreneur who shot to fame thanks to her blog The Blonde Salad that she started in 2009 at the age of 22. Today, she has roughly 16 million followers on Instagram. In 2016, Mattel even launched a Ferragni Barbie doll.

Tech – In Silicon ­Valley, everyone is familiar with the name Susan Wojcicki. She rented out her garage to the founders of Google before becoming the company’s first marketing manager in 1999. Since 2014, she has been the CEO of YouTube. Whitney Wolfe is the CEO of Bumble, a dating app for women she developed, which is valued at a billion dollars by Forbes. Before that, she cofounded Tinder. In 2014, she successfully sued the app’s male founders for sexual harassment and was awarded a million dollars.  

Influencers – Sisters Paris And Nicky Hilton were the it girls of the aughts. ­Paris in particular succeded in turning herself into a brand and redefined the term “famous for being famous.” She even managed to trademark her quote “that’s hot.” The kardashian-Jenner Clan have perfected self-promotion to such an extent that the New York Post recently proclaimed they were more influential than the Windsors. Their show “Keeping up with the Kardashians” has been airing since 2007 and has attracted millions of viewers. Mother Kris Jenner is firmly in charge. While Kim is the most famous of Jenner’s children, the youngest is also the richest: Kylie Jenner’s net worth is estimated to be $ 900 million. Both sisters have roughly 120 million followers on Instagram.

Media – Oprah Winfrey is known around the world by her first name.  The self-made billionaire became a household name thanks to her legendary talk show. Today, she is among the 500 richest people in the world – and among the most influential. The media mogul works with many charitable foundations and has been supporting a girls’ school in South Africa for many years. At last year’s Golden Globes, she gave an impassioned speech denouncing injustice and abuse. The Internet was immediately awash with speculation she would run for U.S. president, but Oprah declined. Shonda Rhimes announced she was the highest-paid female show runner in Hollywood. The creator of successful shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal” did not disclose how much she earns, but the four-year deal she negotiated with Netflix is rumored to be worth more than $ 300 million. All future projects of her ­Shondaland production company will be developed exclusively with the streaming service. The producer is generous, too: She donated $ 500,000 to the #TimesUp campaigns.

Royals – Queen Elizabeth II has been on the throne for 66 years, longer than any other British sovereign. The 92-year-old is one of the world’s most powerful woman and a stalwart of tradition, but she ­appreciates the new ideas the Duchess of Sussex brings to the Royal Family. The duchess formerly known as Meghan Markle is an advocate of women’s rights. Like her husband, she also does a lot of charity work in Africa.

Feminism – The journalist and activist Gloria Steinem was a prominent member of the women’s movement in the U.S. for decades. A feminist icon, she founded Ms. Magazine in 1972. The ­Pakistani winner of the Nobel peace prize ­Malala Yousafzai (right) wrote I am Malala, a bestseller. When she was 15, she was shot and nearly killed by the Taliban. Now, at 21, she is still fighting for the right to education for girls.

Business – ­Virginia “Ginni” Rometty has been CEO and President of IBM since 2012. She is the first woman to lead the IT giant. Over the last few years, she has restructured the company and set it on a course for a successful future. Under her leadership IBM has reinvented itself by focusing on cloud computing and artificial intelligence. Rometty has also increased career support for women within the company. ­Lauren Bush, is a spokesperson for the World Food Programme (WFP) and the 34-year-old granddaughter of late U.S. president George H. W. Bush. In 2007, she also founded the charity FEED, which has so far provided more than 100 million meals to starving children in Cambodia, Chad and the U.S. The organization raises funds from the sale of exclusive bags.

Film – Actor and two-time Oscar winner Jane Fonda, herself a survivor of sexual violence, is an outspoken feminist and women’s rights activist. In 1995 she gave the opening address at the U.N. World Conference on Women. Her fellow actors Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, support the #MeToo movement and raise awareness of sexism, violence and domestic abuse in their show “Big Little Lies.”

Art – Patron of the arts Peggy Guggenheim (1898–1979) curated one of the most important collections of contemporary art: the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. For her part, the Swiss art collector and billionaire heiress Maja Hoffmann had the idea for the spectacular cultural center LUMA Arles in the Provence region of France. The $175 million project includes a tower designed by Frank Gehry and is due to open in 2020.

Fashion – Last ­October, Wanda Ferragamo passed away at the age of 96. She and her husband Salvatore built up the company he lent his name to. Following Salvatore’s untimely death, the then 38-year-old widow took charge of the Florentine manufacturer and made the family business famous around the world. The matriarch built an international luxury goods group which has long produced much more than shoes, including belts, perfumes, suits and watches. Street style star Anine Bing founded the fashion label named after her in Los Angeles in 2012, together with her husband Nico. They started off with a mini collection comprising a leather jacket, a few T-shirts and a few pairs of jeans. From the start, the mother of two small children has relied exclusively on Instagram for her marketing and has just opened her tenth store. The Danish-born designer’s collection is also sold in 300 boutiques around the world. Today, Bing is considered an example to the large fashion houses that are now trying to replicate her approach and success.

IssueGG Magazin 02/19