12 Obscure Fashion Facts To Casually Drop (& Impress Everyone)

We all know that Coco Chanel designed the Little Black Dress, and Hermès named a bag after British waif Jane Birkin. But, there are so many good fashion tidbits out there beyond this pub-level trivia.

Like, the fact that Anna Wintour's legendary first Vogue cover was actually a complete mistake. Or, that New York Fashion Week used to go last, not first, until one designer said "nah" to second-banana status. How about this one: The bra you're wearing right now was invented by the author of classics you slogged through in fifth grade.


Click ahead for these, and nine more weird morsels about the clothes on your back and the designers you love. Mind blown in three, two, one...

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Photographed by Mark Iantosca.
New York wasn't always the first Fashion Week.
Dedicated fashion followers know that the "big four" Fashion Weeks take place in this order: New York, London, Milan, then Paris. It wasn't always so; New York held its fashion week after the European shows until 1998. So, what changed? Well, Helmut Lang.

When the legendary designer moved himself and his company's headquarters from Vienna to New York in 1998, he announced plans to show his collection in September — before the European shows — instead of in November, when New York collections traditionally walked. Calvin Klein followed his lead, announcing that he'd show the day after Lang. Donna Karan followed suit — and just like that, the fourth fiddle became first.
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Photo: Gregory Pace/BEImages.
Christy Turlington is the reason some mannequins look familiar.
In 1993, the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art needed new mannequins. Those mannequins needed a face that was timeless, beautiful, and — trickiest of all — versatile enough to represent a male, female, or child of either sex. To fit this near-impossible bill, the museum chose Christy Turlington.

You can see the mannequins, created by sculptor Ralph Pucci, here. She truly has a face for the ages.
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Photo: REX USA.
Shapewear was invented by Catwoman.
In 1975, actress Julie Newmar — yes, the pun-loving feline-woman from the original Batman show — was awarded a patent for "pantyhose with shaping band for cheeky derriere relief." Hers included an "elastic waist-encircling band" designed to minimise the stomach, and a specially shaped back to "delineate the wearer's derriere in cheeky relief," rather than give it a "board-like flatness."

The actress later marketed her invention under the brand name Nudemar (cute), but her innovations live on in the shaping tights we wear today.
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Photo: Anthony Devlin/REX USA.
Kate Moss saved Hunter boots.
Hunter boots used to be best known for outfitting the British Army, the royal family, and sniffy society types on their weekends in the country. Kate Moss singlehandedly changed its stodgy rep in 2005, when she wore her mud-caked Hunter wellies at Glastonbury with — what else? — an extremely brief gold tunic and hot pants. The pic was in tabloids everywhere, and the next year was Hunter's most successful ever. We hope the brand sent her a fresh pair.
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