The Pantheon of Sophisticates

I've put together a list of the women I find to be icons of sophistication and, I have to say, it took a lot of time! There are so many elegant women across history who exemplify the qualities that I aim to promote through my blog. The criteria for inclusion was to possess the following traits: intelligent, kind, philanthropic, worldly, and charming. Of course, this list is not entirely comprehensive. There will always be additions and individuals that didn't initially cross my mind but who are no less deserving to be included. If you can think of some I've missed, feel free to make mention of them in the comments section!


  • Audrey Hepburn, actress + philanthropist
  • Grace Kelly, actress + princess
  • Diane von Furstenberg, fashion designer
  • Diane Keaton, actress
  • Jane Birkin, singer + philanthropist
  • Julie Andrews, actress
  • Catherine Denueve, actress
  • Marjorie Merriweather Post, businesswoman + socialite
  • Hedy Lamarr, engineer, inventor + actress


  • Queen Elizabeth II
  • Diana, Princess of Wales
  • Catherine the Great
  • Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark
  • Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
  • Queen Letizia of Spain


  • Dame Helen Mirren, actress
  • Angelia Jolie, actress + philanthropist
  • Charlotte Rampling, actress
  • Carolina Herrera, fashion designer
  • Iris Apfel, businesswoman + fashion icon
  • Ines de la Fressange, model + aristocrat
  • Malala Yousafzai, activist
  • Michelle Obama, lawyer + writer
  • Gwyneth Paltrow, actress + food writer
  • Audra McDonald, actress + singer
  • Iman, model + entrepreneur
  • Tory Burch, businesswoman + philanthropist
  • Angela Ahrendts, businesswoman
  • Tilda Swinton, actress + artist
  • Linda Rodin, businesswoman
  • Andie MacDowell, actress


  • Hortense Laborie, Haute Cuisine
  • Blair Waldorf, Gossip Girl
  • Olivia Lockhart, Cedar Cove
  • Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre
  • Ifemelu, Americanah
  • Elizabeth Bennet, Pride + Prejudice
  • Charlotte York, Sex and the City
  • Hermione Granger, Harry Potter
  • Lara Croft, Tomb Raider
  • Paris Geller, Gilmore Girls
  • Aunt Vivian (original), Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
  • Clair Huxtable, The Cosby Show


  • Olivia Palermo, socialite
  • Karlie Kloss, model
  • Marion Cotillard, actress
  • Sofia Coppola, filmmaker
  • Emma Watson, actress + activist
  • Zooey Deschanel, actress
  • Lauren Santo Domingo, entrepreneur
  • Kiernan Shipka, actress
  • Natalie Portman, actress
  • Brit Marling, actress + filmmaker
  • Amal Alamuddin Clooney, lawyer + activist
  • Lucy Liu, actress
  • Lynsey Addario, photojournalist