Queen Victoria – When thinking of women who inspire me, it was impossible for my mind not to leap immediately to the incredible Queen Victoria. Her 64 year reign made Great Britain an undisputed global power, through its immense Empire, industrial accomplishments and focus on the arts. It’s not only her leadership skills and public persona that I admire, but also her dedication to family and in particular, Albert, who himself made an important mark in the domains of art and culture. Victoria’s legacy lives on and despite ascending the throne almost two centuries ago, I believe she remains a role model of poise and strength for young girls.
Coco Chanel – An unofficial queen here, but undoubtedly the queen of style and fashion innovation. Coco Chanel transcended rigid and conventional dressmaking to create new fashion-forward and practical clothes, liberating women and spearheading a veritable post-WWI emancipation. Her designs are still instantly recognisable today, luxurious and timeless, guaranteeing their place not just in fashion history, but as part of the bigger picture too. As well as her fashion house still going strong, Chanel’s perfumes, especially N.5 continue to sell globally and remain associated with iconic celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe. The daughter of a laundress and street vendor, Gabrielle Chanel is the incarnation of the self-made woman.
Michelle Obama – Elegance and brains all in one package: the former First Lady is an inspiration to all and truly a class act. A lawyer, writer, speaker, wife and mother, it seems that there is nothing that Mrs Obama can’t do. A champion of women’s rights, she is also a vocal advocate for the LGBTQ community and supports education opportunities for all, as well as diversity in high-powered positions. She is a woman of substance and action, as well as style and grace: a veritable role model within the black community, but beyond that, a role model for young men and women everywhere.
Meryl Streep – Streep’s career has spanned over 40 years and her performances still garner admiration and respect, cementing her as one of the most bankable and talented actors of our time. Her track record is filled with roaring successes, yet Streep has always challenged herself with her roles and brought a unique presence to every single one of her projects. A three-time Oscar winner, Streep also uses her very public platform to address gender disparities in Hollywood, as well as her support of diversity and inclusion in the film industry. Meryl Streep is a true powerhouse of talent and with every single one of her performances, she brings something new and veritably inspiring to the big screen.