Whether you're a fashion fanatic or simply curious about the industry, these fashion documentaries on Netflix prove inspiring for all. These films journey through the intensities of the field and highlight industry icons as they pursue their passion for fashion—whether they're world famous designers or behind the scenes heroes.
The films portray the artists in an honest light, peering behind every myth and rumour to reveal their undeniable talent.
Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards
Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
Regarded as one of the greatest shoe designers and makers of the 20th and 21st Century, this documentary follows the career of Manolo Blahnik, beginning from his childhood memories of making shoes of muslin and ribbons for lizards, to being praised by fashion's elite. The film features his regular clients and friends, including the influential Rihanna and Naomi Campbell.
As Kristina Blahnik, his niece and CEO of Manolo Blahnik International, puts it: ‘“You get insight into his mind and his private world. It isn’t about shoes; it’s about a feeling, a spirit.” This film is visionary of Manolo’s ethereal and luxury handcrafts that grace many feets today.
Photo: Thomas Whiteside
The now 96 year old Iris Apfel continues her work as a businesswoman and fashion icon, saying, "I feel lucky to be working. If you're lucky enough to do something you love, everything else follows."
This documentary showcases her free spirit through her sartorially eccentric glamour, inspiring us at every level as this bittersweet feature reminds us of the importance of individuality. Even at the height of her career, we see Iris stick to her values, although at her dotage, as a middle-class woman who grew up during the Great Depression, teaching us to maintain authenticity at every turn and sourcing luxury from love over material goods.
House of Z
Photo: Courtesy of the Jewish Film Institute
Fashion prodigy Zac Posen launched his fashion empire at the young age of 21 whilst studying at Central Saint Martins, after having designed a pink silk dress for Naomi Campbell, which essentially launched his career.
Director Sandy Chronopoulos focuses on the developing events following his initial ascent, unveiling archived footage of his downfall and his subsequent rise after several trials and tribulations. House of Z captures the runway of Zac Posen’s career in through a truthful depiction, and is filled with heartfelt moments.
Jeremy Scott: The People's Designer
Photo: Courtesy of Jeremy Scott
The controversial designer—also called ‘the people’s designer’—Jeremy Scott had humble beginnings in Missouri and rocketed to stardom, despite his continuous struggle with rejection from the industry. This documentary stitches together his journey to validation— eventually being noticed by the Council of Fashion Designers In America (CFDA) and crowned Creative Director of Moschino.
His overcoming of challenges whilst remaining true to his unconventional and distinct style pulls at heart strings as he gains the admiration of famous figures like Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry and A$AP Rocky, who says that when it comes to Jeremy Scott, "It's F-U-N — that's it, that's all it is."
Franca: Chaos and Creation
Photo: Courtesy of Rotten Tomatoes
Told by Francesco Carrozzini, Franca Sozzani’s son, the documentary paints an intimate portrait of her three decades as editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue, as she broke grounds by touching on taboos on the covers, creating striking covers from the 80s to her unfortunate death in 2016.
“Why can’t I talk about it? Why can’t a fashion magazine talk about what’s happening in the world?” Sozzani says- this wowing documentary fixates on the wild and imaginative photographs this woman curated, that brought harsh reality into the public eye from women being abused, to women in several stages of plastic surgery. This feature highlights the private life of the iconic Franca and her chaotic manifestos throughout her history for a truly moving experience.