FASHION DESIGNERS

Sir Hardy Amies
Born in London, England. Joined La chasse in 1934. In 1946 Amies opened his own fashion house. Specialized in classically tailored suits. Also in tweed and wool dresses. In 1955 Amies was appointed dressmaker to the Queen of England. Sir Hardy Amies died in 2003. Amies had a regular fashion column in Esquire magazine.

Giorgio Armani
Born born 11 July 1934, in Piacenza, Italy. Armani originally studied medicine, but was called up for national service in 1957. Worked at the Milanese department store La Rinacente. Armani Joined Cerruti in the 1960`s as a designer. Worked as freelance fashion consultant in the 70`s. Established his own company in 1975. Armani created his first women's collection in 1975. In 2006, he designed the ceremonial Italian flag-bearers' outfits at the 2006 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Turin, Italy.

Bill Amberg
Was born in Northamptonshire. Designed his first bags and wallets as a child. Later, Amberg travellede the world working as an apprentice to leatherworkers. In 1983 Amberg set up his own design business and shop in London. These days he exports worldwide.

Laura Ashley
Was born 1925 in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, United Kingdom. She was educated at Marshalls School in Merthyr Tydfil, then the Elmwood School in Croydon, and then to Wales where she attended the Aberdare Secretarial School. During World War II, Laura served in the Women's Royal Naval Service. Ashley was a self-taught designer. Laura originally started out designing napkins, table mats and tea-towels. Formed company with her husband in 1953. Ashley started to print Head Scarves. In 1961 she moved to Wales. In 1968, The first shop under the Laura Ashley name opened in South Kensington. Her work was characterized by a romantic style and the use of natural fabrics. Laura Ashley Died in 1985.

Dolce and Gabbana
Domenico Dolce had a family in the clothing business. Stefano Gabbano was a graduate from art School. They founded their company in the 1980s. In 1987, Dolce and Gabbana opened a showroom in via Santa Celilia in Milan. In 1990, Dolce and Gabbana opened a showroom in New York. In 1993, Dolce and Gabbana designed 1500 costumes for Madonnas world tour of, The Girlie Show.

David Evins
Was born in England, later moved to the United States. Studied at the Pratt Institute in New York. Worked as an illustrator to a footwear magazine. Later, Evins started selling his designs to shoe manufacturers. Formed a partnership and started manufacturing shoes under his own name. Evins was a popular with the Hollywood movie stars. Evins made shoes for such people as Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, the Dutchess of Windsor and others.

Alberto Fabiani
Was born in Tivoli, Italy. When he was 18, Fabiani become an apprentice with a Parisian tailor. Later, Fabiani returned to Italy where he worked in the family run fashion house. Fabiani is considered to be part of the designers who led the Italian renaissance during the 1950s. In 1961, Fabiani opened a joint house in Paris with his fashion designer wife, Simonetta. Fabiani retired in 1974.

Fredericks Of Hollywood
Founded by Frederick Mellinger in 1946 in his tiny loft in Manhatten. A year later he moved the business to Hollywood. His sensuous lingerie was very popular with the Hollywood Film Stars. Mellinger had a natural gift for publicity which saw his company grow rapidly. Frederick Mellinger retired in 1984, then died in 1990.

Michel Goma
Was born in Montpellier, France. He studied art and dressmaking. At 19, Goma moved to Paris where he worked freelance. From 1950 to 1958 Goma worked as a designer for Jeanne Lafaurie. Goma bought out Lafaurie and then renamed it to Michel Goma. The House closed in 1963. Goma joined Jean Patou and stayed there till 1973.

House of Gossard
Was founded in Chicago in 1901 by the Gossard Family. Henry Gossard had been an American representative for a wholesale dressmaking company. In 1921, H. W. Gossard went to London and opened an office there. By 1926, London was the worldwide headquarters. During W. W. 11, Gossard machinists made parachutes and dindies. During the 1950`s, the company becomes part of the Courtaulds Textiles Group. Gossard products are now sold in over 45 countries.

Alix Gres
Was born in Paris, France. Learned at Premet. In 1934, Gres opened her own House under the name of Alix Barton. The House closed in 1940 due to the war. After the war, the House reopened as Gres. In 1959, she released her first Perfume, Cabochard. In 1982, she sold her Perfume rights to Beecham. In 1987 the house went bankrupt. She passed away in 1993. Gres had been President of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. The Metropolitan Museum in New York, held a major retrospective of the work of Madame Alix Gres.

House Of Gucci
1920s : Guccio Gucci opens small luggage and saddlery shop in Florence selling exclusive leather goods. 1930s : Opens another shop in Rome. 1940s : Gucci introduces a bamboo handle handbag. 1950s : Guccio Gucci dies. New York store opens. 1960s : Stores open worldwide. Gucci is now Hollywood chic. 1980s : Maurizio Gucci takes over the company. 1990s : The Gucci’s sell their entire stake in the company. Gucci is listed on the New York and Amsterdam stock exchanges.

Katharine Hamnet
Was born 16 August 1947 in Kent, England. Studied Fashion at Konstfackskolan Stockholm. Studied fashion design at St Martins College of Art in London. Hamnet is well known for her t-shirts with pro-enviroment and antiwar wordings. She is a leading British eco-fashion designer and manufacturer. Her line of fashion, Katharine E Hamnet line. The E stands for environmental and ethical in fashion.

Norman Hartnell
Was born in London, England in 1901. He studied Architecture at Cambridge. Opened his own business in 1923. Made several showings in Paris. Hartnell was appointed dressmaker to the British Royal Family in 1938. He designed dresses for Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and Queen Mary. He passed away in 1979. On 11 May 2005, Hartnell was commemorated with an English Heritage Blue Plaque at 26 Bruton Street, London W1, where he lived and worked from 1935 to 1979.

Jacques Heim
Was born in Paris, France in 1899. Designed for, and later inherited the family furriers in 1923. In 1930 Heim opened his own House in the anenue Matignon. In 1936 he introduced his Heim Jeunes Filles collection for the younger clientele market. Later, Heim launced a chain of sportswear boutiques. He was president of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne from 1958 to 1962. He passed away in 1967.

Charles Creed
Born in Paris, France. Studied tailoring in Vienna. Creed learned weaving at Linton Tweeds in Carlisle, England. Charles Creed also worked at Bergdorf Goodman in New York. In 1949 Creed opened his own Couture House in London.

Coco Chanel
Born August 19, 1883 in Saumur, France. In 1908 Chanel started her fashion career in a shop in Paris as a milliner. She opened her first shop in 1910 at the 21 rue Cambon, then opened a boutique in Deauville in 1913 and a couture house in 1915. She moved her firm to 31 rue Cambon in 1918. Chanel closed her house in 1939 and spent time in Switzerland. Returned to Paris in 1954. Coco Chanel was named on TIME Magazines 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

Pierre Cardin
Was born on July 7, 1922, in Venice, Italy. Worked as apprentice to a tailor. At the end of World War s, Cardin worked in Paris for several companies including Dior. In 1950 Cardin opened his own house. In 1963, Cardin presented his first ready to wear collection. Cardin was a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Prêt-à-Porter and of the Maison du Haute Couture from 1953 to 1993.

Callot Soeurs
In 1895, Couture House opened at 24, rue Taitbout in Paris, France. It was opened by three sisters : Regina Callot Chantrelle, Marthe Callot Bertrand and Marie Callot Gerber. Callot Soeurs was the very first house that used Gold and Silver lame. During the 1920s they were one of the leading fashion houses in Paris, catering to an exclusive clientele from across Europe and the United States. The House eventually closed in 1937.

Brassiere History
Throughout history the Brassiere has gone under many different names : bust shaper, bandeau, harness, soutien-gorge, and more. In 1913, a brassiere invented by a New York socialite named Mary Phelps Jacob received a patent. A U.S. patent for the "Backless Brassiere" was issued on November 3, 1914. The term Bra, was first used in the 1920s. The 1960s saw bra-burning as a form in protests. By the 1990s, many bra`s composed of over 43 components.

Berlei Lingerie History
The Berlei company was founded in 1917. The business was founded by Frederick R. Burley (May 29, 1885, Hamilton, Victoria - May 26, 1954). By the 1920s, Berlei had expanded into Europe. During World War 11, Berlei made Utility Brassieres and Girdles for the Forces. Berlei went through a succession of different owners over the years.

Geoffrey Beene
Was born August 30, 1924, in Louisiana, USA. He originally studied studied medicine at Tulane University. During the 1950s Beene worked for several different companies. In 1963 Beene opened on Seventh Avenue in New York. Beene died on September 28, 2004, at the age of 80.

Peter Beard
Was born New York, January 22, 1938. Started by studying medicine, but then transferred to the art department at Yale University. In 1961, Beard settled on Hog Ranch near Nairobi. In 1965, Beard published his first book, "The End of the Game". Beard discovered Iman Abdulmajid, elegant African woman on the streets of Nairobi, who went on to become one the worlds most famous models.

John Bates
Was born in Northumberland, England. He originally started designing under the name "Jean Varon." In the 1950s Bates joined the Herbert Siddon design group in London. In 1961 Bates joined Jean Varon. Bates opened under his own brand name in 1980. He became well known for designs that were often very daring, including see-through PVC or mesh dresses.

Cristobal Balenciaga
Was born January 21, 1895, in Guetaria, Spain. As a teenager Balenciaga learnt dressmaking. He opened a boutique in San Sebastián, Spain, in 1914. Owned shops in San Sabastian, Madrid and Barcelona. In 1937, Balenciaga moved to Paris and opened a couture house on avenue Georges V. The House closed in 1968. Cristobal Balenciaga died March 23, 1972.

House Of Hermes
In 1937, the House of Hermes was founded by Emile-Charles Hermes. The company started out as a harness and saddlemaker. Later, the company switched into making handbags and wallets. In 1928, the first silk scarf square was introduced to the Hermès collection. In 1929, Hermes first womens collection was shown in Paris. By 1937, a dedicated scarf factory was established in Lyon. In the 1950s, Hermes bags became popular with the movie stars. In 1951, Hermès moved added perfumery to iys collection. The company over the years has produced bag designs in keeping with its time.

Tommy Hilfiger
Was born in 1952 in Elmira, New York. He grew up in a large family of nine children and attended Elmira Free Academy high school. Tommy started work at 18, in retail. Hilfiger opened his own store and named it the, "The People's Place". The store which was located in downtown Elmira, eventually closed due to a shift in population shopping demographics. Designed for Jordache before launching his own line. In 1984, he founded the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation. Hilfiger and his partners, Silas Chou, Lawrence Stroll and Joel Horowitz, took the company public in 1992. His range includes, jeans, mens sportswear, womens clothing, jewelry, fragrances and more. In 1995, Hilfiger won the CFDA award for menswear designer of the year.

Kelly Bag
Created by Hermes, the Kelly bag first appeared in 1935. This small tall bag with straps was originally known as the "Hermes". On the marriage of Grace Kelly to Prince Rainer of Monaco, it was recalled the "Kelly Bag". In 1956 the Kelly Bag was featured on the front cover of Life magazine. "Hermes-Paris" is stamped on the lock. Each Hernes bag is saddlestitched by hand. A Kelly Bag takes from 15-20 hours to complete.

Rene Lacoste
Born : July 2, 1904, Paris, France. Jean-rene Lacoste became a famous French tennis player in the late 1920s. In 1925, Rene Lacoste had the first "polo" shirt made. The "crocodile" was suggested by Lacoste's friends who likened him to the animal. Lacoste had a crocodile embroidered on the blazer he wore on winning the U.S. singles in 1926. Lacoste established La Chemise Lacoste Company in the year 1933. In 1950, he was awarded the ’Legion of Honour’ for his services to French Tennis. Lacoste once said , the crocodile demonstrated his style on the tennis court. Died : October 12, 1996.

Christian Lacroix
Born in Aries, France, May 16, 1951. Studied History of Art at the University Paul Valery, Montpellier. Lacroix moved to Paris in 1973. In 1978 Lacroix became a stylist at Hermes. In 1981, Lacroix appointed Artistic Director at Jean Patou. Opened his own Couture House in 1987. In 1989, Lacroix launched jewelry, handbags, shoes, glasses, scarves and ties.

Karl Lagerfeld
Was born in Hamburg, Germany on September 10, 1933. In 1956, went to work for Pierre Balmain. In 1958 Lagerfeld joined Jean Patou as an Artistic Director. From 1965 to 1967 he worked as a freelance designer. Became Director of Chanel in 1983. In 1984, Lagerfeld showed his first collection under his own name. He was the subject of a French reality series called Signé Chanel in 2005.

Jeanne Lanvin
Born in Brittany, France. She was an apprentice milliner at Madame Félix in Paris. Later trained at dressmaker Talbot. In 1889, set up as a milliner at 22 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. In1909, Lavin joined the Syndicat de la Couture, which marked her formal status as a couturière. By 1914 Lanvin was an established Couturier. She passed away in 1946. After her death, the House continued.

Guy Laroche
Was born in La Rochelle, France in July 16, 1921. Laroche started his career as a milliner. In 1950, Laroche joined Jean Desses. Opened his own House in the late 1950s. His first ready-to-wear collection appeared in 1950. In 1966, Laroche introduced Fidji, his first women’s fragrance. Laroche passed away in 1989.

Launer Bags
Founded in 1941 by Sam Launer. After his death in the 1960s, his son took over the business. The bags are made in England by the highest quality skilled crafstmen. Each Launer bag is stamped in gold with the Royal Warrant "By Appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11". In 1991, Her Majesty the Queen visited the Launer factory. The Launer factory is in Walsall, near Birmingham.

Launer Bags
Founded in 1941 by Sam Launer. After his death in the 1960s, his son took over the business. The bags are made in England by the highest quality skilled crafstmen. Each Launer bag is stamped in gold with the Royal Warrant "By Appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11". In 1991, Her Majesty the Queen visited the Launer factory. The Launer factory is in Walsall, near Birmingham.

Ralph Lauren
Born Ralph Lifshitz on October 14, 1939, in the Bronx, New York. Studied business at City College in Manhattan. Later, worked by day at two glove companies as a salesman. Lauren then worked for a tie manufacturer named A. Rivetz & Co. While working at A. Rivetz & Co. Lauren began designing ties. With a $50,000 loan, Lauren founded the company Polo Fashions in 1968.

Yves Saint Laurent
Born in Oran, Algeria. Saint Laurent studied in Paris. Hired by Christian Dior after winning first place in a competition. In 1961 Yves Saint Laurent opened his own House. Presented his first collection under his own name in 1962.

Lucien Lelong
Was born in Paris, France on October 11, 1889. In 1918 he opened his own House. He did not actually create his own designs, but worked through other designers. From 1937 to 1947 Lelong was President of the Chamber Syndicate de la Couture Parisienne. He passed away in 1958.

Rouff Maison
Opened his House in Vienna in the 1980s. In 1928, the House was taken over be Maggie Besancon de Wagner. Maison was renownded for elaborate day wear.

Marks and Spencer
Founded in 1894, by Michael Marks and Tom Spence. Early items were mainly Bloomers and Camisoles. Marks and Spencer made their reputation in the 20th century witha policy of only selling British-made goods. Long term relationships with British manufacturers were entered into and sold the goods under the "St Michael" brand (trademark registered in 1928). The company expanded overseas in the 1970s. In 1975, they opened stores in continental Europe. By late 1990s, there were more then 500 Marks and Spencer stores worldwide. Marks and Spencers goods are recognized by their St Michael trademark.

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Edward Molyneux
Born in London, England in 1891. Molyneux started his career as a freelance sketcher. Won a competition by Lucile in 1911, then later worked in her House in London. In 1919, Molyneux opened his own House in Paris. During World War II, he moved his firm to London and returned to Paris in 1946. Molyneux closed in 1950. Edward Molyneux passed away in 1974. Molyneux served as an infantry captain with the British army during World War II.

Digby Morton
Was born in Ireland in 1906. He studied art and architecture. Morton moved to London in 1928 to work for Lachasse. Opened his own House in 1933. Morton designed uniforms for the Women's Voluntary Service in the U.K in 1939. Morton was a founder member of the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers. In 1957, his House closed. He passed away in 1983.

Francisco Moschino
Born February 27, 1950 in Abbiategrasso, Lombardy, Italy. Franco Moschino was an illustrator for Gianni Versace. In 1977, he became a designer for Cadette. In 1983, Moschino launched his own label. Started with jeans and casual wear, followed by shoes, lingerie, eveningwear, and perfume. Moschino died at the young age of forty-three.

De La Renta Oscar
Was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Studied art at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. Worked for a short time as a sketcher for Balenciaga. In 1961, De La Renta Oscar moved to Paris as an assistant to Antonio del Castillo at Lanvin. Moved to New York on 1962 where he worked for Elizabeth Ardin as a designer. Later, De La Renta Oscar designed for Jane Derby, and after her death, took over the firm under his own name.

Jeanne Beckers
Born in Saint Denis, France in 1869. Joined Maison Rouff as a House mannequin. Opened her own House in 1891. Opened House in London, Buenos Aires and Madrid. Jeanne Paquin was the first women in her field to be awarded the Legion d'Honneur. Paquin retired as a designer in 1920. The House closed in 1956. Madame Paquin passed away in 1936.

Jean Patou
Was born in Normandy, France in 1880. Patou started with two small dressmaking shops in Paris. In 1912, Patou founded Maison Parry. Served in army during W.W.1. Jean Patou passed away in 1936. Patou is credited with introducing sportswear for women, the inventor of knitted swimwear and the tennis skirt. The House of Patou continued after his death.

Gruppa La Perla
Was founded in 1954 by Italian designer Ada Masotti. Dhe worked from a small workshop in Bologna. In the 1960s, Dr. Alberto Masotti joined the company. In the 1980s, the company diversified into other preoducts including perfume and swimwear. In the 1990s, Gruppa La Perla opened boutiques in major cities around the world.

Andrea Pfister
Was born in Pesaro, Italy in 1942. In 1961, Andrea Pfister studied at the Ars Sutoria Institute of Footwear Design in Milan. Later, he moved to Paris and designed shoes for the haute couture collections of Lanvin and Jean Patou. In 1967 Andrea Pfister opened his own shop in Paris. In 1968 he opened a small factory in Italy. By the 1970s, Andrea Pfister was also making belts, bags, etc. Pfister has designed shoes for Elizabeth Taylor, Madonna and others.

Pochette Handbag
The Pochette was at its most popular during the 1920s, 1930s and 1950s. It eveloved from the soft fabric bags of around 1916. By the 1920s, Pochettes were flat and slim. The Pochette became the dominant handbag for both day and evening wear. Although the Pochette lost favour in the 1940s, it again resurfaced in the 1950s as a clutch bag.

Jean Poiret
Born in Paris, France. At an early age he was apprenticed him to an umbrella maker. Joined Doucet in 1886. Later Poiret moved to Worth. In 1904, he opended his own House. He developed a name with his controversial kimono coat. Poiret was forced to close his House during W.W.1. During the War Poiret served in the military by streamlining uniform production. After the war Poiret reopened. The House finally closed in 1929.

Prada
founded in 1913, by Mario Prada in Milan, Italy. Originally known in Italy as "Prada Brothers". By the 1920s his store was popular with the European Aristocray. Miuccia Prada took over the company in 1978. She received an International award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 1993. She won "Designer of the Year" award in 1995. In the 1980s, Prada produced its first clothing collection.

House Of Redfern
Founded by John Redfern. John Redfern was born in England in 1853. Originated in the 1880s. Started in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, but eventually spread to London and New York. In 1888, Redfern was appointed dressmaker to Queen Victoria. In 1916, he created the first women's uniform for the Red Cross. The Houses closed in the 1920s. Redfern passed away in 1929.

Nina Ricci
Was born in Turin, Italy in 1833. Started as an apprentice with a Paris Couturier. In 1908 Nina joined the house of Raffin as a designer and stayed there for 20 years. She eventually became his partner. In 1932, Nina Ricci opened her own House. Nina Ricci retired in 1945, but the House continues. She passed away in 1970.

Russian Boots
Russian boots which appeared around the 1920s, were straight topped, kneehigh leather, Wellington boots with a pointed toe and a Louis heel. By 1927, the boots had added a zipper. The boots were mostly leather and suede.

Luciano Soprani
Was born in Reggiolo, Italy in 1946. He originally studied agriculture. Joined Maxmara in 1967. In 1975, Luciano Soprani became a freelance designer. Luciano Soprani designed for Basile, Gucci and others. Displayed his first collection under his own name in 1982. He passed away in 1999.

History of Stockings
In the early centuries people covered their legs in a rough fitting type of stocking. Then in the 1300s, Hose was refered to as two long stockings. By the 1600s, England was the worlds largest Hose manufacturer. Hosery production became mechanized in the 1850s. In the 1900s, the soft and transparent stocking became the fashion. Nylon stockings became popular after World War II and almost completely replaced the silk stocking. Until the 1960's they usually had seams. In the 1960's many women began to wear pantyhose instead of stockings.

Emanual Ungaro
Born in Aix-en-Provence, France in 1933. Started as a tailor in the family business. In 1955, joined Balenciaga in Paris. In 1961, he joined Courreges. In 1965 he opened his own House. In 1968, he created his first pret-a-porter collection, Parallèle. He also opened a boutique at 2, avenue Montaigne in Paris. In 1973, Ungaro launched his first menswear collection, Ungaro Uomo. In 1983, he released his first perfume, Diva.

House Of Louis Vuitton
In 1851, Louis Vuitton, who was the son of a carpenter, travelled to Paris. Worked as a trunkpacker for wealthy women. Later, Vuitton began to design and manufacture luxury trunks. In 1867, Vuitton won awards for his designs. In 1896, the monogram patterned canvas with the interwined LV initials was introduced. These days owning a genuine Vuitton bag is a real status symbol.

Vivienne Westwood
Born in 1941 in Tintwistle, Cheshire, England. Vivienne studied at the Harrow School of Art (University of Westminster). Westwood set up a Boutique in Londons Worlds End in 1971 called Let It Rock with Malcolm McLaren. The shop gained fame when the Sex Pistols wore clothes from the shop at their first gig. Westwoods fashion became the street style of the Punk Era. In the 1980s, she pioneered the New Romantics look. In 1981, Westwood had her first runway show, the Pirate collection in London. In 2006, Westwood accepted a DBE in the New Years Honours List "For Services to Fashion". Vivienne has twice been awarded the British Designer of the Year.

The House of Worth
Founded by Charles Frederick Worth in 1858. Worth was born in 1825. He is considered the Father of Haute Couture. He worked at several prosperous London drapery shops before moving to Paris in 1846. There, he was hired by Gagelin and Opig. He opened the dressmaking establishment of Worth and Bobergh in 1858. Worth and Bobergh shut down during the Franco-Prussian War. It re-opened in 1871, without Bobergh, as the House of Worth. After Charles death, his sons took over the House. In 1954, the House merged with Paquin. Then in 1956 was closed.

Carla Zampatti
Born in Italy and went on to become one of Australia's fashion pioneers. She started designing in 1965. Zampatti created her own style of fashion which was a blend of Australian and Italian. Carla Zampatti has won a host of awards including, Member in the Order of Australia (OAM), Lyrebird Award, the Bulletin/Qantas Businesswoman of the Year Award, the "Ufficiale of the Italian Republic", and voted Designer of the Year in the 1994 FIA awards. Her designs are worn by some of the best known women in Australia, including the wives of Prime ministers.

Marc Jacobs
Was born in 1960 in New York. Marc studied at the High School of Art and Design in New York City and graduated in 1981. For awhile he worked as a stockboy at Charivari in New York. Jacobs then attended Parsons School of Design and won the Perry Ellis Golden Thimble award. Jacobs also was awarded the Chester Weinberg Gold Thimble Award and the Design Student of the Year Award. In 1984, Marc was awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America's prize for new talent. He joined Perry Ellis in 1988. He left in 1993, and with With Robert Duffy, formed Jacobs Duffy Designs Inc. Jacobs was voted Womenswear Designer of the Year by the CFDA in 1997.

Dorothy Jeakins
Was born in 1914 in California. Jeakins attended Fairfax High School where she was offered a scholarship to study at the Otis Art Institute (now Otis College of Art and Design). Dorothy got her first work as a Disney artist during the 1930s. She then gained a job as a fashion illustrator for I. Magnin's department store. After being spotted by director Victor Fleming, Jeakins was hired as a sketch artist for the movie, Joan of Arc (1948). Jeakins was awarded an Oscar for her work. Dorothy went on to win another two Oscars, for Samson and Delilah (1949, shared with Edith Head and others), and The Night of the Iguana (1964), as well as another 12 nominations. From 1953, Jeakins served as the designer for the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Company. Dorothy Jeakins passed away in 1995.

Elisa Jimenez
Was born in 1965 in Texas, United States. Jimenez studied at the University of Texas where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a minor in anthropology. Later, Elisa attained a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arizona. In 1996, Jimenez featured her "Hunger World" line of clothes. Vogue has acknowledged Jimenez as being one of the top American Designers in the independent realm. Her designs have appeared in the pages of Harper's Bazaar, Elle, Paper Mag, Jane, and Trace. In 2001, Time magazine published a full page on Elisa Jimenez.

Betsey Johnson
Born August 10, 1942, in Connecticut. Johnson studied at the Pratt Institute, and later at the Syracuse University. Early in her fashion career, Betsey won the Mademoiselle Guest Editor Contest. Johnson then became in-house designer for the Manhattan boutique, Paraphernalia. She opened opened her own boutique called, Betsey Bunki Nini, in 1969. Johnson won the, Coty Award, in 1972. Betsey was inducted into the Fashion Walk of Fame, in 2002. Her range has expanded include lingerie, jeans, shoes, handbags, hats and more.

Wolfgang Joop
Was born in 1944 in Potsdam, Germany. Joop completed his Abitur at the Wilhelm-Gymnasium high school in Braunschweig, then studied advertising psychology in Braunschweig. In 1968, Wolfgang started formal studies of art. Joop and his then wife Karin won three prizes in a fashion competition sponsored by the German magazine, Constance. From there, Joop became a fashion editor at the women's magazine, Neue Mode. From there, Joop weent to work as a freelance journalist. In 1978, Joop gained international success with his first fur collection. By 1982, Wolfgang had presented his first prêt-à-porter women's collection. In 1985, Joop presented his first men's collection. In 1987, Joop presented his first perfume collection. Joop was honored with the Fil d'or, a major design award in 1983. In 1984, Wolfgang Joop received the Golden spinning wheel from the European Silk Commission.

Charles Jourdan
Born in 1883, in France. Jourdan was trained as a shoemaker and after ater World War I, he opened his own shoe shop in the Drome region of France, in 1919. By 1921, Jourdan had expanded so fast, he moved to a factory on Boulevard Voltaire. Jourdan became the first shoe designer to place advertisements in high-end fashion magazines. In 1950, the business expanded to the United Kingdom. In 1957, Jourdan opened his first boutique in Paris. Handbags and ready-to-wear clothing were added to the Jourdan line in 1975. In 1976, Charles Jourdan died. The company continued under the control of his sons.

Herbert Kasper
Born in New York City, on December 12, 1926. Kasper studied English at the New York University from 1949-53. He then studied fashion at Parsons School of Design, New York from 1951-53. In 1953, Herbert went to Paris where he studied at the l'École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. For a while Kasper worked in Paris as a free-lance assistant designer before returning to New York and founding his own label. In 1963, he started designing for Joan Leslie in New York, becoming vice president in 1980. He left in 1985. Herbert Kasper recieved numerous awards including the Coty American Fashion Critics award, 1955, 1970, 1976; Cotton Fashion award, 1972; Maas Brothers Pavilion design award, 1983; Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Governor of Alabama award, Ronald MacDonald House award, 1984.

Amazone sous Louis XV. 1855.

Daryl Kerrigan
Was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1964. Kerrigan attended the National College of Art and Design in Dublin where she studied fashion. In 1986, Daryl moved to New York. Kerrigan gained a job sorting second hand clothing for thrift-shop dealers. After that, Kerrigan designed customs for various films. Daryl finally founded her own salon in 1991, in the East Village.

Emmanuelle Khanh
Was born (Renée Meziére) in 1937, in Paris France. From 1957 to 1963, Emmanuelle worked as a model for Balenciaga and later Givenchy fashion house. Khanh started drawing and making her own designs with some appearing in Elle fashion magazine. The magazine IT carried an article about Khanh in 1960. In 1962, Emmanuelle Khanh joined with Christiane Bailly, to design their own label, Emmachristie. Khanh finally released clothing under her own name in 1982. Then in 1987, she created Emmanuelle Khanh International. In 1989, Emmanuelle Khanh was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, Paris.

Muriel King
Was born in Bayview, Washington, in 1901. King studied art at the University of Washington. After University, Muriel worked as a fashion illustrator for both Harpers Bazaar and Vogue. King went to Europe in 1927 where she freelanced as a fashion artist. Muriel then returned to the United States and eventually opened her own salon at East 61st Street, New York. King went on to design the personal wardrobe for movie actress Katherine Hepburn. From 1935 to 1944, Muriel designed costumes for Eight major movies. King retired in 1957. She passed away in 1977.

Sophie Kokosalaki
Was born in Athens, Greece, in 1974. Kokosalaki studied literature at the University of Athens before later moving to London and gaining her Masters degree in fashion design at Central St. Martins College of Fashion. Sophie founded her own company in 1999. Kokosalaki designed the opening and closing ceremonial outfits for the 2004 Summer Olympic Games. In 2002, Sophie received the Elle Designer award and Art Foundation Award for Fashion. In 2006, Kokosalaki was appointed Creative Director of Vionnet fashion house, but she resigned in 2007.

Michael Kors
Was born in 1959, in New York. Kors studied fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. For awhile, Michael worked as a sales assistant at Lothar's boutique, New York. In 1981, he launched Michael Kors womenswear. In 1995, Michael Kors was awarded the Elle/Cadillac Fashion Award for Excellence. In 1999, Kors received the CFDA award for womenswear designer of the year. In 2003, he received the CFDA award for menswear designer of the year. In 2000, Kors introduced his first fragrance. Michael Kors was also the featured Designer at Neiman Marcus Crystal Charity Ball luncheon in 2000.

Derek Lam
Was born in 1967 in San Francisco. Lam graduated from the Parsons School of Design in 1990. Derek gained experience in the fashion world working as a designer for Michael Kors and in Hong Kong. Lam founded his own label in 2003 and debuted at the New York Fashion Week in September, 2003. Lam won the CFDA Perry Ellis Swarovski Award for new designers in 2005.

Pino Lancetti
Was born in 1932 in Perugia, Italy. Lancetti studied at the Art Academy of Perugia. Pino moved to Rome during the 1950`s and sold his sketches to designers. In 1954, Lancetti opened a workshop in the Via Margutta. In 1961, Lancetti founded his own label. Pino presented his first collection at the Pitti Palace in Florence. In 2001, the Lancetti business was sold. Pino Lancetti passed away in 2007.

Helmut Lang
Born in 1956 in Vienna, Austria. Lang grew up with his Grandfather who was a shoemaker. In 1979, Helmut set up his own fashion boutique. By 1986, Lang had presented his first show in Paris. In 1997, Lang shifted his company's headquarters to New York. His designs were sold in upscale department stores, select retailers and signature Helmut Lang stores. In 1999, Lang entered into a partnership with Prada Group which resulted in the acquisition of the Helmut Lang brand by Prada in 2004 and Mr. Lang's departure from the label in 2005.

Beth Levine
Was (born Elizabeth Katz), in 1914 in Patchogue, New York. During the 1930s, Beth moved to Manhattan and worked as a shoe model. Later, Beth became a stylist. She married Herbert Levine in the 1940s. In 1948, together they founded a new company under the name, "Herbert Levine". Beth Levine was the name featured as the primary shoe designer. In 1967, Levine was awarded the Coty Award for design innovation. Beth Levine became very popular when Nancy Sinatra wore Levine`s boots in publicity shots for the hit song, These Boots Are Made for Walkin. Beth Levine died on September 20, 2006.

Max Mara House of Fashion
Was founded in 1951, by Achille Maramotti. Achille Maramotti was born in Reggio Emilia, Italy in 1927. He was already designing clothes at a young age. His mother had founded a tailoring school in 1923. The first Max Mara shop was opened in Reggio Emilia. Although, originally Max Mara sold mens formal wear, these days it is a womens fashion house. In 1993, Max Mara opened their flagship store in New York. Achille Maramotti died January 12, 2005. These days, Max Mara is one of the largest Italian fashion houses.

Desiree Mejer
Was born in Cadiz, Spain in 1968. In 1992, Desiree moved to London. Mejer foundee her own label in the early 1990`s and had her first presentation in 1997. Her business, Fake London has grown into an international brand. Mejer was the first designer to mix sportswear with luxury fabrics.

Carlos Miele
Born in Brazil in 1964. Miele gained attention and praise for employing women from the slums and poor areas of Brazil and paying them five times the Brazil average wage. Carlos has salon based in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Miele has helped revive old-world Brazilian artisan techniques in his clothing.

Nicole Miller
Born in 1952 in Lenox, Massachusetts. Miller studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, and during her sophomore year studied at the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. In 1982, Nicole founded her own label, then in 1986 she joined with Bud Konheim to open a boutique. Miller originally started with womenswear, but later expanded into menswear, cosmetics, bridal gowns and accessories. In October 2003, Miller launched her sportswear line, millergirl.

Frederic Molenac
Born in 1964 in Pau, France. Molenac studied at the Bercot Institute. In his early years, Molenac did design work for Claude Montana, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Myma shoes and Mailfix underclothing. In 1987, Frederic founded his own label. In 1995, Molenac became the Head Designer at the house of Madame Gres. He eventually keft to go back out on his own.

Mark Montano
Born during the 1960`s in Colorado, United States. Montano studied fashion Design and marketing at the Colorado State University. Mark then studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology and did his internship for Oscar de la Renta. In 1989, Montano opened his own boutique in East Village, New York. Mark has gone on to expand his busy life to include writing for magazines, writing a weekly column for numerous newspapers, appearing on TV, public speaking and writing a book. Mark Montano is the youngest member that has been inducted into the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

Hamish Morrow
Born in 1968 in South Africa. Morrow moved to London attended Central St. Martins and the Royal College of Art. Hamish obtained an MA in Menswear Fashion Design. Hamish then worked with John Bartlett at Byblos in Milan, Italy. In 2000, Morrow founded his own label. Aside from his own label, Morrow also does design work for other labels. In 2005, Morrow launched a luxury sportswear collection.

Erik Mortensen
Born in 1926 in Frederikshavn, Jutland, Denmark. Mortensen started his fashion career under Danish couturier Holger Blom, in Copenhagen. Then in 1948, Erik joined the house of Pierre Balmain where he stayed for 43 years. Mortensen then went to work for the house of Jean-Louis Scherrer until 1994. Mortensen won the France Haute Couture Golden Thimble Award in 1983 and 1987. Erik also wrote a book about his life working at Pierre Balmain. He passed away in 1998.

Roland Mouret
Born in Lourdes, France in 1962. In 1979, Mouret studied for three months in a Parisian fashion college. For a while Roland worked as a model and later as an art director. Although Mouret lacked much formal education in fashion, he had a natural and gifted flair for fashion. In 1998, Mouret founded his own fashion company and debuted at the London Fashion Week during the Fall 2000 season. Roland eventually moved to New York. He eventually resigned from the company and in 2007 made his comeback under the name, RM.

Thierry Mugler
Born in 1948, in Strasbourg, France. Mugler studied design before moving to Paris in 1970, where he worked as a window-dresser. Thierry founded his womens label in 1974. In 1978, he also started designing for men. He opened his first boutique in Paris in 1978. In 1983, he opened fhis first factory in Angers. In 1992, Mugler launched his fragrance for women, "ANGEL", which went on to become one of the biggest selling perfumes in the world. Clarins took control of the company in 1997. He published two books, Thierry Mugler (1988) and Fashion Fetish Fantasy (1998).

Jean Muir
Born in 1928 in London, England. Muir studied at the Bedford Girls' Modern School (now, Dame Alice Harpur School) in Bedford. At age 15, Jean started work as a salesgirl at Liberty. From 1956 to 1961 she worked for Jaeger as a designer. Muir started producing clothes under her own label in 1961, called "Jane and Jane". Then in 1966, she founded her own company, Jean Muir Ltd. Jean Muir passed away in 1995. In 1984, Muir was awarded a CBE. She was also a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers. Jean Muir was also awarded the Minerva Medal, the Society's highest award. She won the Museum of Costume's Dress of the Year award three times.

Lars Nilsson
Born in Sweden in 1967. Nilsson studied at the Virginska Skolan fashion school in Stockholm, then at the Chambre Syndicale fashion college for Haute Couture in Paris. Lars did an internship at Chanel under Monsieur Paquito, before moving to Christian Lacroix. Nilsson then worked for Pierre Balmain, then for John Galliano at Dior. In 1999, he moved to New York. He worked for a short while at Ralph Lauren before joining Bill Blass. From 2003 to 2006 Nilsson worked for the house of Nina Ricci.

Norman Norell
Was (born Norman David Levinson), in 1900, in Indiana. Norell attended Parsons School of Design in New York, then later studied fashion design at Pratt Institute. In 1922, Norwell joined the New York studio of Paramount Pictures where he designed clothes for the stars. Norell also went on to design costumes for Broadway. In 1943, Norell won a Coty Fashion Award. Later, Norman started teaching at the Parsons School of Design. He teamed up with Anthony Traina to form the fashion company, Traina-Norrell. Norman Norell died in 1972.

Jessica Ogden
Born in Jamaica during the 1960`s Ogden attended and graduated from the Byan Shaw School of Art. Jessica worked for NoLogGo where she gained valuable experience. In 1993, Ogden founded her own label. Ogden works on a personal basis with many of her clients, making "one off" pieces for them. Jessica also sells her unique collection to stores around the world. In her 2002 show, Jessica used an empty church in London with no chairs, forcing everyone stand up. In 2002, Jessica Ogden was awarded the Vidal Sassoon Award for Cutting Edge Talent.

Justin Oh
Born during the 1970`s in in Malaysia. Oh studied at Central St. Martins College of Fashion in London and the Royal College of Art in London. Justin went on to work in Paris for Charles Jourdan. Oh also worked for Japanese designer, Yohji Yamamoto. In 1996, Justin Oh founded his own label in London, "Justin.oH". By 2000, Justin had added mens shirts and shoes. He has now expanded to other parts of the world with his label.

Bruce Oldfield
Born in 1950 in London, England. Oldfield soent his childhood growing up in an Orphanage. Bruce studyied fashion at Ravensbourne College of Art in Kent. In 1972, Oldfield started studying at St. Martin's school of Art in London. After graduation, Bruce became a freelance designer. Oldfield held his first show in 1973 in the US. In 1978, Bruce started making couture clothes for individual clients, including Princess Diana. In 1984, Oldfield opened his Beauchamp Place shop. In 1985, fashion writer Suzy Menkes, selected Oldfield`s design as, Dress of the Year. In 1990, Bruce Oldfield was awarded the OBE for services to fashion and industry. In 2004, he published his autobiography "Rootless".

John Orry-Kelly
Born in 1897 in Australia. Orry-Kelly wanted to be an actor, so in 1923 he left Australia to live in New York. John gained a living illustrating titles for the silent films of that time. From there, Orry-Kelly gained work designing costumes and scenery for Shubert reviews and George White's Scandals. In 1932, Orry-Kelly moved to Hollywood. Once there, he soon found a job with Warner Brothers Studio. Orry-Kelly went on to design for both movies and musicals. In 1943 he left and started work for 20th Century Fox. After that, he moved into freelance for other studios. John Orry Kelly passes away in 1964.

Lars Nilsson
Born in Sweden in 1967. Nilsson studied at the Virginska Skolan fashion school in Stockholm, then at the Chambre Syndicale fashion college for Haute Couture in Paris. Lars did an internship at Chanel under Monsieur Paquito, before moving to Christian Lacroix. Nilsson then worked for Pierre Balmain, then for John Galliano at Dior. In 1999, he moved to New York. He worked for a short while at Ralph Lauren before joining Bill Blass. From 2003 to 2006 Nilsson worked for the house of Nina Ricci.

Norman Norell
(born Norman David Levinson), in 1900, in Indiana. Norell attended Parsons School of Design in New York, then later studied fashion design at Pratt Institute. In 1922, Norwell joined the New York studio of Paramount Pictures where he designed clothes for the stars. Norell also went on to design costumes for Broadway. In 1943, Norell won a Coty Fashion Award. Later, Norman started teaching at the Parsons School of Design. He teamed up with Anthony Traina to form the fashion company, Traina-Norrell. Norman Norell died in 1972.

Jenny Packham
Born 1965 in Southampton, England. Packham studied at the Southampton Art College, then she attended St. Martin's College of Art, London, where she studied textile and fashion design, graduating with 1st class honors. In 1988, Packham founded her own label. Since then, Jenny has become one of the leading International evening and bridal wear designers in the world. Jenny has become a regular at the London Fashion Week every season. Packman has been awarded eight Conde Naste awards for her bridal wear. In October 2000, Packham was the guest designer for Evangeline Rose Exclusive Bridal Designs.

Mollie Parnis
Was (born, Sara Rosen Parnis) in 1902 in New York. In her early years Mollie studied law at Hunter College, New York. Parnis worked in sales for a blouse manufacturer, then as stylist for David Westheim Company, New York. In 1933, Mollie and her husband founded their own business, Parnis-Livingston. During the 1940s, Mollie launched own label. In 1979, she released the Mollie Parnis Studio Collection of ready-to-wear. In 1984, her salon closed, but reopened again in 1985 with an At-Home division. Mollie Parnis passed away 18 July 1992, in New York.

Guy Paulin
Born in 1945 in Lorraine, France. Paulin had no formal training, but was able to sell some fashion scetches to the Parisian department store Printemps, where he worked as a life operator. From there, Guy gained a job as design assistant to Jacqueline Jacobson at Dorothée Bis. From there, Paulin gained a job with Paraphernalia in New York. Paulin founded his own business in 1968 in New York, but closed two years later and returned to Paris. Guy joined up with the Italian Girombelli group and designed for Sportsmax. In 1983, Paulin succeeded Karl Lagerfeld as director of design at Chloé, but left in 1985. In 1985, he founded the S.A. Guy Paulin design studio. Guy Paulin passed away June 1990, in Paris.

Phoebe Philo
Born in 1973 in Paris. Philo graduated from the prestigous Central St. Martins fashion college in London. In 1997, Phoebe started work for Chloé as Stella McCartney's design assistant. When McCartney left, Philo took control as creative director in 2001. Philo presented her first collection for Chloe in 2002. Philo was named Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2004.

Robert Piguet
Born in 1901 in Yverdon, Switzerland. In 1918, Robert immigrated to France. From 1918 to 1928, Piguet studied fashion design under Redfern and Paul Poiret. In 1933, Piguet founded his own salon. The salon went on to hire many famous designers including: Marc Bohan, Antonio Castillo, Christian Dior, James Galanos and Hubert Givenchy. In 1944, he introduced his perfume, Bandit. Piguet retired in 1951. Robert Piguet passed away in 1953.

Walter Plunkett
Born in 1902 in Oakland, California. He studied law at the University of California and was a member of the California-Alpha chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. In 1923, Plunkett shifter to New York City and gained work as a costume and set designer. After then moving to Hollywood and doing some work as a movie extra, in 1926 he was appointed head of the Wardrobe department of RKO Studios. Then in 1947, Walter joined MGM studios. Probably his best known work is for the two films, Gone with the Wind and Singin' in the Rain. Plunkett shared an Oscar with Orry-Kelly and Irene for An American in Paris, in 1951. Plunkett retired in 1966. He passed away in 1982.

Clare Potter
(Clare Meyer) was born in 1904 in New Jersey. Potter studied fashion design at the Art Students League and the Pratt Institute. Clare started work for Edward I. Mayer Inc and eventually became a designer there. Then in 1930, Potter gained work as a designer for Charles W. Nudelman Inc. in New York. Potter is one several designers credited with inventing American sportswear. In 1937, Clare won the Lord and Taylor womens sportswear award. In 1939, she was awarded with a fashion award from the Neiman-Marcus store. Potter was awarded the prestigious Coty Award for American designers in 1946. In 1948, she launched a ready-to-wear company called, Timbertop, with Martha Stout. In the 1960's, Potter founded a wholesale company in New York. Clare Potter passed away in 1999.

Paco Rabanne
(Francisco Rabaneda Cuervo) was born February 18, 1934 in San Sebastián, Spain. He moved to France and studied architecture at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, in Paris. Rabanne sold plastic jewellery to Balenciaga, Dior and Givenchy. In 1966, Paco founded his own fashion house. Rabanne gained attention for his use of unconventional materials such as metal, paper and plastic. Paco went on to design for 35 films, as well as numerous ballets and plays. Some of his famous clients included Brigette Bardot, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. Rabanne was awarded the Golden Thimble at the lst International Festival of Fashion in 1989. Paco presented his final collection in 1999.

Zandra Rhodes
Born in 1940 in Kent, England. Her mother, who was a fitter in a Paris fashion house. Rhodes studied at Medway College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London from where Zandra graduated with first class honours and a special design award. From 1964 to 1967 Rhodes taught at the Royal College of Art. In 1969, Rhodes founded her own fashion salon in West London. In 1970, Rhodes made the cover of Voigue magazine. Her clients included Diana, Princess of Wales and Freddie Mercury of Queen. In 1997, Rhodes was made a Commander of the British Empire by the Queen.

Patrick Robinson
Born in 1967 in the United States. Robinson studied at the Parsons School of Design in New York and also at their Paris branch. Patrick has worked with leading designers including Albert Nipon, Giorgio Armani Le Collezioni, Perry Ellis, Paco Rabanne and Anne Klein. Since 1994, Robinson has also been a member of the Council of Fashion Designers. In 1997, Patrick founded his own Sportswear label. In April 2003, Robinson was appointed Creative Director of Perry Ellis Womens Sportswear. He left in December 2004.

John Rocha
Born in 1946 in Hong Kong. In 1970, Rocha moved to London and studied at the Croydon College of Design and Technology. Rocha shifted to Ireland and gained fame for his, "Chinatown label" in Dublin in the 1980s. From 1987 to 1989, John worked in Milan, then returned to Ireland. He launched the John Rocha at Waterford Crystal collection in 1997. John Rocha was awarded the Commander of the British Empire by the Queen in 2002, for his contributions to British fashion.

Narciso Rodriguez
Born in 1961 in Newark, New Jersey. Rodriguez attended the Parson's School of Design, New York where he studied fashion design. Narciso worked as a designer for Anne Klein, then for Calvin Klein, and then for Cerruti. Rodriguez then moved to Spain in 1997 to work for the house of Loewe. Narciso was awarded the Designer of the Year Award by the US Hispanic Society in 1997. In 1998, Rodriguez received the Perry Ellis Award from the CFDA. In 2005 and 2006, Rodriguez was awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America Womenswear Designer of the Year Award.

Edina Ronay
Born in 1943 in Budapest, Hungary. Ronay studied at St. Martin's School of Art and Londons Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She got her early start in the London markets selling hand-knitted sweaters. Edina and Lena Stengard founded the business, "Edina and Lena" and started exporting sweaters. In 1984, Ronay founded her own fashion label. In 1999, Ronay entered into an agreement with the London store of Debenhams. Her father is, Egon Ronay, a food critic who wrote and published a famous series of food guides.

Gilles Rosier
Born in 1961 in Paris, France. Rosier studied in Paris at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture. Gilles then went to work for a number of fashion houses including Pierre Balmain, Christian Dior and the French house Leonard. In 1992, Rosier founded his own label. He originally launched the GR816 label, then he launched a label under his own name. He worked also for the house of Lacoste before joining the house of Kenzo in 199 and eventually becoming the head designer. He eventually left Kenzo and in 2004, Rosier presented his own label at the Milan fashion week.

Cynthia Rowley
A well known Fashion Designer that was born in 1959, in Barrington, Illinois. Rowley attended Barrington High School in Barrington, Illinois, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She started designing in her childhood. These days, the Cynthia Rowley boutiques are across the United States and Japan. Cynthia was awarded the New Fashion Talent Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The Rowley collection includes: jeans, shoes, hosiery, umbrellas, handbags, leather goods and more. Rowley is the co-author of the Swell books and co-creator of Swell-related television programs. She also appeared as a judge on the reality televison programs Project Runway and Design Star.

Sonia Rykiel
Born in 1930 in Paris, France. In her youth, Sonia did the window displays in a Parisian textile store. In 1962 when Sonia was pregnant, she was unable to buy any soft sweaters, so she set out to design her own. From there, Rykiel started selling her sweaters through her husbands label, "Laura". Her Poorboy Sweater made the cover of Elle fashion magazine. In 1967, Rykiel was crownded, "Queen of Knits" by the Americans. Rykiel opened her first boutique in 1968. Sonia Rykiel was voted one of the world's 10 most elegant women in 1980. She is the author of numerous fashion books, including an A to Z of fashion.

Jil Sander
(Heidemarie Jiline Sander), was born in 1943 in Wesselburen, Germany. Sander studied textile design in Krefeld and graduated as a textile engineer in 1963. Jil then spent two years as an exchange student at University College in Los Angeles. For a while Sander worked as a fashion editor at German women's magazine Petra. In 1967, Jil opened her first boutique in Hamburg. She started out by selling a few of her own designs plus some of other designers. She founded the fashion house, Jil Sander GmbH in 1968. In 1975, Jil presented her first collection in Paris. In 1989, her company became a public limited company. In 1999, Prada Group bought a 75% share of the company.

Fausto Sarli
Born in Naples, Italy. During his early fashion career Sarli worked with Emilio Schuberth and de Luca. In 1954, Fausto won a STAMI award for his designs. In 1957, he won a young fashion talent competition. Sarli made his first presentation at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence. In 1958, Sarli founded his own house, in Naples. He then opened ateliers in Rome and Milan. In 1987, Sarli was awarded the "Golden Lion". In 1992, Sarli expanded into accessories.

Arnold Scaasi
(Arnold Isaacs) was born in 1931 in Montreal, Canada. Scaasi is Isaacs spelt backwards. Scaasi studied at the Cotnoir-Capponi School of Design in Montreal and the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne in Paris. Arnold started out with an apprenticeship with the House of Paquin, then he did two years in new York with Charles James. From there, Arnold started freelancing. Scaasi made the cover of Vogue Magazine in 1955. Scaasi won the prestigious Coty Fashion Critics Award in 1958. In 1964, Scaasi opened a couture salon. Scaasi gained world wide attention in 1968, when Barbra Streisand wore his sheer overblouse and pants ensemble to collect her Academy Award for Funny Girl. In 1996, Scaasi was awarded with the Council of Fashion Designers of America Lifetime Achievement Award.

Elsa Schiaparelli
Born September 10, 1890 in Rome, Italy. In 1927, Elsa opened her first salon selling sportswear. In 1931, Schiaparelli gained worlwide attntion with her design of a divided tennis skirt for Lili de Alvarez. Schiaparelli was also the first to use shoulder pads in her designs. From 1936 to 1939, Elsa worked with surrealist artists, Jean Cocteau, Salvador Dalí and Alberto Giacometti. Schiaparelli designed Zsa Zsa Gabors costumes for the film Moulin Rouge (1952). In 1954, her couture house went bankrupt. Elsa moved to the USA. Schiaparelli dies November 13, 1973.

Jean-Louis Scherrer
Born in 1936 in Paris, France. Scherrer originally studied ballet at the Conservatoire de Danse Classique in Paris. Jean-Louis then studied fashion design at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. From 1955 to 1957, Scherrer at worked at Christian Dior. He then designed for Louis Féraud from 1959 to 1961. In 1962, he founded the Jean-Louis Scherrer label. In 1971, he introduced his signature fragrance. In 1980, Scherrer was presented the Dé d'Or award, Paris. Japanese house of Seibu purchased the house of Jean-Louis Scherrer in 1992. Seibu sold the house to France Luxury Group in 2001.

Mila Schon
(Maria Carmen Nustrizio Schon) was born in 1919 in Dalmatia, Yugoslavia. When Mila was a child, the family shifted to Italy. With no experience, Schon founded her own fashion business in 1958 in Milan, Italy. In 1965, Schon presented her first couture collection the Palazzo Pitti in Florence. In 1971, Mila released her menswear line. In 1967, Schon was awarded the Fashion Oscar. Schon designed the uniforms worn by the Italian national team for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. These days, Fashion group Mariella Burani now own the house of Mila Schon.

Willi Smith
Born in 1949 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Smith studied commercial art at Mastbaum Technical High School. He then studied fashion illustration at Philadelphia College of Art. Willi then attended the Parsons School of Design in New York. Smith freelanced for a short while after completing his studies. In 1973, Smith, and his sister founded their own clothing company, but it soon failed. In 1976, Smith and Laurie Mallet founded a new company, "Williwear". Willi Smith won the coveted Coty Award in 1983. Willi Smith passed away in 1987.

Kate Spade
(Katherine Noel Brosnahan), was born in 1962, in Kansas City, Missouri. She attended Arizona State University where she Majored in Journalism. After her studied, Kate worked for Mademoiselle in Manhattan. Spade eventually left to pursue her own business in fashion. In 1993, along with her husband Andy, they founded their New York-based design company, "kate spade handbags". Kate Spade opened its first shop in New York City's SOHO, in 1996, She has expanded to other cities since then. Kate was awarded, "America's new fashion talent in accessories", by the council of fashion designers of america (cfda) in 1996. These days, Kate Spade has extended her range to include beauty products, shoes, perfume, raincoats, pajamas and more.

Steven Sprouse
Born in 1953 in Ohio. Sprouse had an interest in fashion design from his childhood, and by 14 years old he was sketching for Blass in his holidays. Steven studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, but left after just 3 months. From there, Sprouse gained an apprenticeship with Halston for three years. Sprouse gained a name for himself after designing stage clothes for Debbie Harry of the rock group Blondie. In 1983, Steven presented his first collection. His designs were often referred to as club clothes at couture prices. His clothes used expensive fabrics, and each garment was hand-finished.

Steven Sprouse
Was born in 1953 in Ohio. Sprouse had an interest in fashion design from his childhood, and by 14 years old he was sketching for Blass in his holidays. Steven studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, but left after just 3 months. From there, Sprouse gained an apprenticeship with Halston for three years. Sprouse gained a name for himself after designing stage clothes for Debbie Harry of the rock group Blondie. In 1983, Steven presented his first collection. His designs were often referred to as club clothes at couture prices. His clothes used expensive fabrics, and each garment was hand-finished.

Tomasz Starzewski
Was born in 1962 in London, England. Both his mother and grandmother had worked in the fashion industry. Starzewski studied at the St. Martin's School of Art. Tomasz founded his own fashion salon in the Old Brompton Road, London in 1981. More Salons soon followed. Starzewski gained a lot of media attention when when Victoria Lockwood wore a Starzewski dress for her marriage to Charles, Viscount Althorp. Tomasz also designed for Diana, Princess of Wales. He made an appearence on the Da Ali G Show.

Victor Stiebel
Born in 1907 in Durban, South Africa. Stiebel went to England and studied at Cambridge University. In 1929, Victor started work as an apprentice to Reville and Rossiter, in London. In 1932, Stiebel opened his own fashion salon. But with the start of World War Two, Siebel was forced to close his salon. After the war, Victor joined the house of Jacqmar. Then, in the 1950's he re-opened his own house. He designed uniforms for the women's service WRENS and the WRAF. Stiebel was a member of the Incorporated Society of London Fashion Designers. Victor Stiebel passed away in 1976.

Anna Sui
Born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1964. After Graduation, Anna moved to New York City and attended the Parsons School of Design. Sui then went on to work for a number of junior sportswear companies. Anna Sui launched her first runway show in 1991. In 1992, Anna opened her first boutique shop in New York City's Soho District. In 1997, Sui opened in Tokyo her first freestanding boutique. These days, Anna Sui has become one of Japans top fashion brands. Sui launched her signature fragrance and cosmetic line in 1999. The Anna Sui collection is sold in more then 50 countries around the world.

Angelo Tarlazzi
Born in 1942 in Italy. Tarlazzi found work at the house of Carosa, where he designed ball gowns. Angelo moved to Paris in 1966, and worked at Jean Patou. By 1971, Tarlazzi was in New York where he was doing freelance. In 1972, he returned to Paris and once again to Jean Patou. Tarlazzi left Patou in 1977, and founded his own ready-to-wear label. In 1989, Angelo found himself working for the house of Guy Laroche. In 1995 he moved again, this time to the Paris house of Carven. In 1998, Tarlazzi once again returned to his own label.

Gustave Tassell
Was born in 1926, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Tassell studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Gustave moved to New York and started work for he worked Hattie Carnegie in the advertising and display department. He later worked there as a fashion designer. In 1952, Tassell moved to Paris where he worked as a sketch artist. In 1964, Gustave went to Los Angeles and founded his own design business. In 1961, Tassell was awarded the prestigious Coty Award for American designers. From 1972 to 1976, Tassell worked as the designer for the house of Norman Norell in New York. In 1976, Tassell went back to his own business. Awarded the International Silk Association Award and the National Cotton Council Award.

Rebecca Taylor
Born in 1970 in New Zealand. Taylor studied at St Catherine's College in Wellington, then at the Wellington University Design School. Rebecca left New Zealand for the the United States, and gaines a job working for designer Cynthia Rowley in New York. In 1997, Rebecca founded her own label. It was founded with business partner Elizabeth Bugdaycay. In 2000, Rebecca was nominated for the CFDA Perry Ellis Young Designer Award. In 2000, Taylor also opened a salon in Japan.

Carmen de Tommaso
Was born in Chateauroux, France in 1909. She first studied architecture, but changed to fashion design. In 1945, Carmen de Tommaso founded her own fashion house in Paris, called "Carven". By 1968, Carven had its own jewellery line and added menswear to its collection. Carven won the tender to produce uniforms for the air hostesses of Air France in 1974. The Musee Galleria of the Fashion Mode in Paris held a Retrospective Exhibition of Madame Carven's collections from 2000 to 2002.

William Travilla
Was born in 1920 in California. In 1941, Travilla went to Hollywood and worked on several B grade movies. William worked for Columbia from 1942 to 1943. From 1946 to 1949, Travilla worked for Warner Brothers. In 1949, Travilla won an Oscar for the Errol Flynn Adventures of Don Juan. He joined Fox studios. He designed for a number of movies, including, Valley of the Dolls in 1967. Travilla recieved three more Academy Award nominations, How to Marry a Millionaire in 1953, There's No Business Like Show Business in 1954, and The Stripper in 1963. William Travilla passed away in 1990.

Pauline Trigere
Was born in 1909, in France. Her mother was a tailor, so at a young age Pauline learnt to sew. Trigere found work as a trainee cutter at Martial et Armand in Paris. But at age 25, Trigere moved to New York. Here she found work at Ben Gerschel, and then later at Hattie Carnegie. Trigere opened her own fashion house in 1942. Pauline started producing ready-to-wear lines, and then later produced costume jewel. Pauline Trigère died in 2002.

Nicola Trussardi
Was born June 17, 1942 in Lombardy. Trussardi attended and graduated in economics from the Catholic University of Milan. In 1910, his Grandfather had started a glove-making business which went on to become a family business. In 1970, Nicola Trussardi took control. Nicola soon expanded the business to include luxury accessories. In 1973, Nicola created Trussardis spiky greyhound logo. By the 1980s, Trussardi had moved into a wide range of clothing. Nicola Trussardi dies April 15, 1999, after a car crash.

Richard Tyler
Was born in 1946 in Melbourne, Australia. His mother was a dressmaker. Leaving school, Richard found a job with a tailor. In 1964, Tyler opened a store in Melbourne, Zippity-doo-dah. Tyler became popular during the late 1960`s and 70`s as a designer for rock stars. In 1984, Richard moved to live in California. In 1998, Tyler opened a Los Angeles showroom, Tyler Trafficante. From 1993 to 1994, he was the head designer for Anne Klein. From 1996 to 1998, Tyler was the design director of Byblos. From there, he designed under his own label. His Awards include, Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) New Talent award in 1993, CFDA Womenswear Designer of the Year in 1994, Designer of the Year Award (CFDA) in 1996, Gumleaf award by Australian American Chamber of Commerce (contribution to Australian and American Culture) in 2001.

Joan Vass
Was born in 1925 in New York. Vass studied at Vassar College, then the University of Wisconsin where Joan graduated in philosophy. Joan also did graduate work at the University of Buffalo in aesthetics. Vass worked as a curator for Christies, then at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In the 1970`s, Joan started designing hand-knits which she sold to Henri Bendel, New York. In 1977, she founded her own company, Joan Vass, Inc. In the 1990`s, Vass launched her jewelry line and Joan Vass Spa. Awards include, Smithsonian Institution, Extraordinary Women in Fashion award in 1978, the Coty American Fashion Critics award in 1979 and 1981, the Prince Machiavelli Prix de Cachet award in 1980.

Philippe Venet
Born in Lyon, France in 1929. Venet started his fashion career as an apprentice to Pierre Court. In 1951, Philippe moved to Paris and joined the house of Elsa Schiaparelli. From there, Philippe moved to the house of Givenchy. In 1962, Venet founded his own couture house in Paris. In 1963, Philippe designed the costumes for the film "In the French Style". In 1995, Philippe Venet was awarded the Dé d'Or award. Although the fashion house closed in 1996, the house of Venet continues to sell perfumes in his name.

Ocimar Versolato
Born in 1961 in Brazil. As a child, Ocimar worked in his mothers sewing shop which had grown into a couture salon. Ocimar Versolato moved to Paris in 1987 and studied at the prestigious Bercot Fashion Design School. Versolato then went to work for Paris couturier Herve Leger, then with the house of Lanvin. In 1994, Versolato launched his own Ready-To-Wear Collection. Ocimar founded his own salon and presented his first Haute Couture Collection in 1998. His awards include, in 1996 the Jeunne Createur de L’Année Switzerland, in 1996 the Jeunne Createur de L’Année France, in 1999 the Brazilian Personality, in 1999 the Latin American Fashion Designer USA, in 2000 the Premio de Qualidade Brasil, in 2001 the VOGUE latin fashion awards for Best designer - USA.

Giovanni "Gianni" Versace
Born December 2, 1946 in Italy. As a child, Versace learnt about dressmaking from his mother. At age 25, Giovanni moved to Milan to work in fashion design. Versace designed for Fiori Fiorentini, De Parisi, Genny, and Complice. Versace presented his first signature collection for women at the Palazzo della Permanente Art Museum of Milan. In 1978, he opened his first boutique in Milans Via della Spiga. In 1982, Versace started making costumes for the theatre, opera and ballet. Versace suffered a tragic death when in 1997 he was shot outside his home in Florida.

Adrienne Vittadini
Was born in 1944 in Budapest, Hungary. In 1956, Adrienne and her family immigrated to the U.S. Vittadini studied at the Moore College of Art in Philadelphia. In 1965, Adrienne went to Paris where she was an apprentice for Louis Feraud. Vittadini then moved to New York and founded her own label. Over the years, Vittadini extended her range to include clothing, handbags, swimsuits, shoes, eyewear, and perfumes. In 1992, Adrienne was named as one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful People in the World". Vittadini sold her fashion company in 1996. She was awarded the Coty American Fashion Critics award in 1984.

Catherine Walker
Born in 1945 in France. Walker studied at the University of Lille, France where she received a Doctorate in Philosophy. Catherine moved to England, where later on she undertook a design career. She originally sold children’s clothes, then later she moved into couture. In 1978, Walker founded her couture house in London, the Chelsea Design Co. Ltd. In 1990, Walker was awarded the Designer of the year for Couture. In 1991, she was awarded Designer of the year for Glamour. Catherine Walker also designed clothes for Diana, Princess of Wales over a 16 year period.

Ermenegildo Zegna
Born in 1892 in Italy. In 1910, Ermenegildo Zegna founded his company in Trivero, Italy. The company grew rapidly and employed over 1,000 workers by the 1930s. Zegna earned a reputation for producing fine quality wool suits. In 1938, Zegna suits went on sale in the United States. In 1966, Ermenegildo Zegna died. His sons, Aldo and Angelo took over of the company.

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