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ThresHER’s Most Influential: A guide to women-created art

Lily Remington / Thresher

By Emelia Gauch     3/7/23 10:36pm

Spring break is within reach, and what better way to spend a week off during Women’s History Month than by consuming women-created media? To guide you in your period of cultural enlightenment, the Thresher compiled some of the most influential artists and creators across music, fashion and literature who identify as women. Since we’re nothing if not thorough, listen to our playlist of women artists as you check it out. 


Named Billboard’s Woman of the Year, SZA’s second studio album has spent 10 weeks so far at the top spot on the Billboard 200. SZA has helped to redefine R&B through mixing experimental sounds with influences from other incredible female artists like Ella Fitzgerald and Lauryn Hill. 


Beyonce has released some of the most iconic albums of the last 20 years with her latest being “RENAISSANCE.” She was the most nominated artist at the Grammys this year and broke the record for most Grammy wins. Clearly, her influence cannot be overlooked or overemphasized. Give Beyonce Best Album of the Year already! 

Ice Spice 

Who else could rhyme “enough” with “duh-duh-duh?” With 29,292,796 monthly listeners at time of publication, Ice Spice’s listener count surpasses both the Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Ice Spice has a very distinctive flow and a style she described as “pop drill.” I have no doubt Ice Spice will stay present in the public ear as she produces more music and extends into collabs that expose how well she fits within many different sounds, such as her feature in “Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2” with PinkPantheress.

Catherine Holstein

Catherine Holstein is the designer, founder, and creative director of Khaite, which has been worn by Dakota Johnson and Hailey Bieber. She has been nominated twice as American Womenswear Designer of the Year at the Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards and won last year. The brand is well known for its accessories, hardware inspired bags and an overall elusive, dark, composed and cool aesthetic.  

Emily Bode

Emily Adams Bode Aujla was the first female designer to show at NYFW: Men's and has recently launched her first women’s collection. Despite her gendered fashion lines, her work breaks hegemonic understandings of what “masculine” versus “feminine” clothing is through experimentation with vintage patterns and silhouettes. She aims to have her pieces evoke an emotional response for the wearer and viewer.

Aurora James

Aurora James is the Canadian creative director, activist and fashion designer behind the fashion label Brother Vellies. In 2022, she was nominated for Accessory Designer of the Year by the CFDA and has continuously advocated for businesses to have more equitable business models. Her accessories, including shoes of all sorts, handbags and even socks, use traditional African design practices and techniques and celebrate timeless designs.

Tess Gunty

Tess Gunty is making waves with her debut novel “The Rabbit Hutch,” the recipient of the 2022 National Book Award for Fiction, the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize and the Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize. Additionally, it was named one of twelve Essential Reads by The New Yorker and a best book of the year by The New York Times, NPR, TIME and Oprah Daily, among others. Inventive and individual, Gunty explores the lives of “Rabbit Hutch” apartment complex residents and concludes the story in a powerful tour de force. 

Bora Chung

Bora Chung is the writer of the short story collection “Cursed Bunny.” Terrifying and disturbing yet shockingly lyrical, these 10 stories are daring with a stunning interiority. “Cursed Bunny” was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize and is definitely worth a read if you love depth-filled horror. 

Ada Limón

The 24th U.S. Poet Laureate, Ada Limón is the author of six books of poetry, including “The Carrying” which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry. Her most recent collection, “The Hurting Kind,” explores relationships with love, loss, family and friends.

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