a century of fashion icons

Written by Daena
27.04.2022, 10:06

Trends come and go before the blink of an eye, that’s always been the case, this is in part because people change and as consequence, their aesthetic tastes shift. However, this doesn’t stop trends from making comebacks, for example, flared pants and choker necklaces. There are also more efforts for more sustainable and ethical fashion trends, such as thrifting and buying recycled jewellery.

With that being said, it can become overwhelming and tiresome for one to keep up with who or what is in and what is out. So, we at jewellerybox have gathered data from Google and Instagram to determine which are the most popular trends and icons in fashion over the last century. 

the most inspiring fashionistas of the last century

  1. Jennifer Aniston

Google Search – Hair: 651,500 | Fashion: 13,980 | Makeup: 19,200

Ranking as our most inspirational fashionista of the last century is none other than Jennifer Aniston, who played the fashion-obsessed Rachel Green in Friends. Ever since coming to fame in the 90s, she has certainly been someone to keep up with what’s trending in fashion, just like the character she portrayed on screen.

  1. Billie Eilish

Google Search – Hair: 373,600 | Fashion: 35,200 | Makeup: 37,200

Surely it’s no surprise to see Billie Eilish feature in this ranking, for many years she has been a global icon. Her look has changed a lot since she rose to stardom, often sporting bold colourful highlights in her hair, outfits reminiscent of the 90s and much more gothic looks.

  1. Harry Styles

Google Search – Hair: 275,300 | Fashion: 154,200 | Makeup: 32,200

Second up, his last name literally has the word “style” in it and he’s been considered one of the best-dressed musicians by a host of publications. He was the most Instagrammed of our fashion icons, with over 40 million posts. From custom-made Gucci leather suits to baggy slacks and a polka-dotted sweater vest, Harry can do it all.

the most popular fashion trends of the last century

  1. Streetwear

Instagram Posts: 56,065,013

Google Search: 5,154,000

A fashion trend that has been declared “dead’ a few times over the last few years, but it came out on top by a wide margin here. A trend that is made up of casual pieces, sweatpants, jeans, t-shirts and trainers, it’s a style that originated from “hip-hop fashion”.

  1. Minimalism

Instagram Posts: 25,543,455

Google Search: 4,826,000

Minimalism became a real trend, and not just in fashion, with Marie Kondo (“does it spark joy”) and is the antithesis of modern consumerist fashion. It’s structured around using pieces that will stand the test of time, timeless looks, as opposed to following the endless varying trends.

  1. Crop tops

Instagram Posts: 990,333

Google Search: 18,460,000

A clothing staple for the ages, the iconic crop top. With the warmer weather coming in, you can only expect to see more people sporting this garment. In fact, crop tops amongst men are starting to trend, used as a symbolic rejection of gender norms and toxic masculinity. A truly powerful piece of clothing for anyone’s wardrobe.

the most iconic fashion designers of the last century

  1. Calvin Klein

Instagram Posts: 7,711,188

Google Search: 39,240,000

Coming out as the most iconic fashion designer on this ranking is Calvin Klein, the founder of another iconic designer brand that almost anyone anywhere would recognise. Founded in 1968 by Calvin Klein, the designer house is best known for perfume, undergarments, watches and other lifestyle accessories.

  1. Ralph Lauren

Instagram Posts: 9,022,884

Google Search: 32,260,000

Even those unfamiliar with designer brands could be familiar with Ralph Lauren, it is, after all, where Rachel Green eventually works in  Friends. Founded in 1967, by Ralph himself, the designer house is based in New York City. The brand also became the official outfitter of the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

  1. Alexander McQueen

Instagram Posts: 2,196,949

Google Search: 21,050,000

Coming in as the third most iconic is Alexander McQueen CBE – the last of which is an honour bestowed upon those who have made significant contributions to the arts or sciences. He also went on to found his own label in 1992 and has been awarded a host of fashion awards.

the most coveted fashion items of the last century

  1. Piercings

Instagram Posts: 13,768,807

Google Search: 26,060,000

People love piercings for much the same reason as tattoos, only piercings are much more customisable after the fact. You can buy individual pieces to complement the rest of your outfit. Yet again, another fashion item that’ll surely not be moved on from any time soon.

  1. Neon

Instagram Posts: 17,021,647

Google Search: 8,526,000

Neon is often associated with the rave culture and the 90s, however, it seems to be making a bit of a resurgence in the current era of fashion. It’s a style that demands attention, with its bright and reflective colours, which is the original reason it featured on activewear and now even on accessories such as hats in its latest reiteration into fashion.

  1. Hats

Instagram Posts: 7,489,279

Google Search: 11,469,000

Carrie Bradshaw, Madonna, Kate Middleton and Hailey Bieber can take some of the credit for this, as they seem to have ushered hats back into mainstream fashion this past year or so. Such a stylish and yet seemingly effortless fashion item, how did they ever lose the popularity they bathed in decades past.


We built a list of the most popular fashion icons, trends, designers and items of every decade over the last century.

Using Google Keyword Planner we acquired data showing how many searches the fashion icons got for their hair, fashion and makeup which gave us a total number of hits each person got.

We repeated the process for the trends, designers and items – except this time we took the Instagram posts each one got and then how many Google searches they got, adding both numbers to give us another total.

Using all the data, we finally created a ranking of the most iconic fashionistas, trends, designers and items from the last century.