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Few fashion names feature on Forbes’ most powerful women in 2020 list

By Simone Preuss


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US business magazine Forbes has one again published its annual list of the 100 most powerful women in the world. In 2020, there are only a few fashion names on the list with Tory Burch of the New York fashion label by the same name taking the 88th spot and Renuka Jagtiani, CEO of the Dubai-based Landmark Group that sells apparel, footwear, cosmetics and beauty products among others, at No. 98.

This means there are no fashion names among the Top 50 or even the Top 75 - most likely because Covid-19 took over everyone’s interest, illustrated by the 17 newcomers on this year’s power list that all had an impact on how the pandemic was handled like UPS CEO Carol Tomé (No. 11) and Clorox head Linda Rendle (No. 87) who were responsible for helping provide essential services. CVS Health executive vice president and incoming CEO Karen Lynch (No. 38) currently leads the pharmacy giant’s vast Covid testing program and will be responsible for its handling of Covid vaccines in 2021.

Heading retail conglomerates that make their money with clothing, accessories and related products among other categories are Walmart CEO Judith McKenna at No. 17 and Alibaba CFO Maggie Wei Wu at No. 60.

Among singers who have branched out into fashion is Rihanna in 69th place who co-owns her make-up brand Fenty Beauty together with luxury group LVMH. Beyonce started her activewear line Ivy Park in 2016 and occupies the 72nd slot.

Unlike in previous years, there were no designers, models or other representatives of the fashion industry among Forbes’ 17th annual 100 most powerful women in 2020 list.

Political and financial leaders continue to occupy the top slots with Angela Merkel, Christine Lagarde, Kamala Harris and Ursula von der Leyen leading the list (in this order). But, things can change fast and as soon-to-be US vice president Kamala Harris said: “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last.”

Image: Forbes

Renuka Jagtiani
Tory Burch