Fashion Designers Influenced by Gothic Style

Fashion designers like Rick Owens, Alexander McQueen, Anna Sui, and Yohji Yamamoto have all been influenced by the gothic style in different ways. Other designers, like Betsey Johnson, have subverted the norms by adopting romantic and Victorian gothic elements such as frills and lace.


Rick Owens

woman in dress by goth fashion designer Rick Owens

Owens is known for his dark, edgy, and avant-garde designs, which often incorporate elements of gothic style like black leather, studs, and asymmetry. Some have dubbed him the "Father of Goth Glam." His collections are often described as "glamor meets grunge" and reflect his interest in underground subcultures and alternative lifestyles.

With androgynous designs in muted and dark tones, Owen's fashion leans into the militaristic and apocalyptic—the perfect look for those who favor more of an industrial or gothic rock look. Our asymmetrical Velvet Moth Applique Dress screams of Owen's signature style.


Alexander McQueen

woman in dress by goth designer Alexander McQueen

McQueen is also known for his dark and theatrical designs, which often incorporate gothic elements such as corsets, lace, and Victorian-inspired silhouettes. His shows were known for their dramatic and often disturbing themes. A classic example is "Savage Beauty" in 2009. As far as technical design, his skill sways more to a romantic gothic look than to the modern counterpart of goth (now referred to as traditional goth). Think Jack the Ripper with his waistcoat, felt hat, and high trousers.

If you're attracted to this kind of dark marriage of sophistication and murderous impulse, this Men's Alchemy Cloak provides the perfect companion for late-night adventures and devious doings. Like McQueen, who draws macabre inspiration from everyone and everything from David Bowie to Vampires, to Dr. Frankenstein, you too might see the world through fragmented glasses.


Anna Sui

woman in dress by fashion designer Anna Sui

Sui's designs are often playful and whimsical, yet influenced by the gothic style—particularly in her use of dark colors, black lace, and Victorian-inspired details. Her designs often blend different eras and styles, creating unique and eclectic designs that run the gamut from street style to moody elegance.

Sui draws her artsy inspiration from the vintage style and looks from the 70s underground. Grunge meets tiki, meets mods, meets pirate only begins to describe the amalgamated and distinct styles of this designer. Mixing texture and design is classic Sui, a look you can emulate by pairing something like this Creepy Cottage Button-Up Romper with a spiked choker necklace.


Yohji Yamamoto

model on runway wearing outfit by goth fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto

Yohji Yamamoto's designs are known for their avant-garde and deconstructed style, which often incorporates oversized and asymmetrical shapes, black fabrics, and draping techniques. His designs have been described as "darkly romantic," reflecting perfectly his marriage of the gothic aesthetic with 19th-century vibes.

Yamamoto's dark side really shows in his intricate accessories. His rings and pendants feature bones, dragons, gargoyles, fangs, and bats, providing goths with a perfect way to profess their dark intentions and win over a dark heart. If accessories speak to your soul, our black obsidian is the perfect place to start.

Betsey Johnson

woman in pink dress by fashion designer Betsey Johnson

Known for her fun and funky designs more than evoking terror in the modern-day undead, Johnson subverted the norms and dabbled at least lightly in the goth aesthetic. Betsey Johnson spent her days in the 60s rubbing elbows with the likes of Andy Warhol, model Twiggy, and the members of the Velvet Underground, among other artists.

Her styles and designs evolved as she made her way through various fashion houses, and while striving to create her own brand. Her unique looks were quickly adopted by the new wave and punk scene in NYC. She may have preferred neons and rainbows to darkness and daggers, but her imagination took her everywhere.

In an interview with Vogue in 2012—the same year she faced bankruptcy—Johnson described her fascination with the goth subculture, saying that she had always been drawn to the "dark, moody, and romantic" aspects of the movement. You'll often see her more modern designs influenced by punk and goth imagery like skulls, crosses, and bats. Jump head first into this cruel summer with a bat-themed swim top and pastel goth clothing pieces that echo Johnson's sense of style.

Challenging Fashion Norms in Creative Ways

The gothic style has influenced many designers, both in terms of their aesthetics and their approach to design. Whether through the use of black fabrics, Victorian-inspired details, or avant-garde silhouettes, these designers have all incorporated elements of gothic style into their work, creating a unique and often provocative look that challenges traditional fashion norms.

When creating alternative outfits for our customers, we've drawn inspiration from many of these iconic designers while giving each piece our own signature twist. We aim to offer apparel that's flattering and appeals to 21st-century scenesters while retaining subversion at its core. As you curate your own goth-inspired wardrobe, you could find that you're drawn to certain design elements. One of these influential designers may even become your own dark clothing muse.

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