Dream Big: Inspirational Words of Wisdom from Our Favorite Fashion Icons

Diana Vreeland, Getty

Diana Vreeland, Getty

When it comes to following our dreams, we're often faced with some resistance; personal insecurities about our abilities, haters who turn a quizzical eye on new ideas or focusing on what may not be possible instead of what is. The truth is, we are always our best ally or our worst enemy and what others think or say shouldn't thwart our success. So if you ever feel that your hopes are unfounded, or your skills are wanting, think of all those who've succeed in fulfilling their wildest dreams. We've compiled a list of fashion's most beloved icons, and some of their inspirational quotes to keep your highest goals on track!


“You know the greatest thing is passion, without it what have you got? I mean if you love someone you can love them as much as you can love them but if it isn’t a passion, it isn’t burning, it isn’t on fire, you haven’t lived.” — Diana Vreeland

Take it from one of Nuclear Winter's (aka Anna Wintour) predecessors, passion is the goal of the game. You don't get to have the top spot at Vogue without it. And quite frankly, you won't talk to anyone who loves their job without it. So find your passion, and then revel in it. 

“I think when you’re young you should be a lot with yourself and your sufferings. Then one day you get out where the sun shines and the rain rains and the snow snows and it all comes together.” — Diana Vreeland

Vreeland is a veritable fount of wisdom, so I thought I'd add one more to our list. Being young isn't as fun as we crack it up to be. This is a time when you're taking your lumps, so don't forget that. But remember, as long as you keep working hard and don't give up, it all comes together. 

"Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain… To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices — today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it." — Kevyn Aucoin 

This is pretty deep and pretty spiritual, but Kevin Aucoin created an empire and a legacy that is still remembered today. He's the makeup artist everyone's heard of. I'm sayin' he was tapped into something special — a positive attitude! This is a good one to read when you're feeling like life is getting you down. Choose happiness.

“Creativity comes from a conflict of ideas.” — Donatella Versace

We tend to think that life is a straight shot, when in reality it's a lot of stops and starts. No first draft is ever perfect, take it from Donatella. Embrace all of your ideas and let your creativity shine.

“Don’t be afraid to take time to learn. It’s good to work for other people. I worked for others for 20 years. They paid me to learn.” — Vera Wang

This is a great reminder that not only is every experience an opportunity to learn a new lesson, but patience is rewarded. Vera Wang worked in fashion for decades before she broke out with her first bridal line. All of that learning paid off, considering she was an instant success.

"From the time we're born until we die, we're kept busy with artificial stuff that isn't important." — Tom Ford 

Tom Ford is a straight talker, as seen here. He has no reason not to be because he's hugely, enormously talented and successful. Where did that success come from? Keeping his eye on the prize and trying not to get sidetracked by "artificial stuff that isn't important."

"Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable." — Coco Chanel 

Okay, Coco, we love you, but after age 10 we discover that failure happens. Well, I'm sure she knew that too. Her point is to try your best to not make it an option. Just don't. Think about all the things you do during the day confident that failure isn't going to happen, such as brushing your teeth, picking out which bag goes with your look, etc. Transfer that state of mind to everything you do. It's not as hard as it sounds.