This wrap dress queen was recently featured on MTV’s The City for one of her many reality tv show collaborations. But she is more than a boss or a fashion critique. Much, much more.

Born on December 31, 1946 in Brussels, Belgium, DVF‘s real name was Diane Simone Michelle Halfin. Her Jewish middle class family consisted of her father was Leon Halfin who was Russian and served in WWII and her mother was Liliane Nahmias, a Greek Holocaust survivor.

She attended finishing schools in Switzerland, Spain and England. In 1965 she went to the University of Madrid and transferred the next year to the University of Geneva in Switzerland and studied economics. It was there that she met Austro-Italian Prince Egon von Furstenberg, heir to the Fiat automobile fortune. They got married in Paris July 16, 1969. When she realized she was to be married to him she decided she wanted a career and make something of herself and not just the girl who married up. Of course, for her wedding she wore her own design that was made by the house of Dior.

In 1969 she worked as an apprentice with Italian textile manufacturer Angelo Ferretti and began making his signature simple jersey dress .

Late 1969 the von Furstenbergs changed location and moved to New York City so the Prince could work on Wall Street. It was in New York that she was making samples out of her dining room of her Park Avenue apartment.

Her top cheerleaders Bill Blass, Kenny Lane, and Diana Vreeland encouraged her to put together a collection of her dresses. In April of 970 she had her first show at the Gotham Hotel in NYC within a moderate price range of 25-100 dollars.

In April of 1972 she established her own manufacturing business to make more clothing on a large scale. Richard Conrad and her father’s $30,000 loan were the keys to Diane’s first showroom on Seventh Avenue. It was there that she created her sweater dress named Angela after the black activist Angela Davis. She then birthed her wrap dress that topped $1 million dollars within the first few months. She was selling 20,000 wrap dresses per week.

Just as her career was taking off her marriage was dying. In 1975 her and the Prince separated and in 1983 they divorced and Diane kept their two children, Alexandre and Tatiana.

Her business only continued to grow after the split. She added more to her line such as furs, jewelry, shoes, scarves, sunglasses and the works, even house wears.

In 1977 she published her book Diane von Furstenberg’s Book of Beauty.

Diane is much like our other business savvy designer, Liz Claiborne, in that she appealed to working women with her clothing. However her approach was to give them more luxurious clothing that would work for them during their work days. As if she wasn’t already doing enough, she even included nurse uniforms and eye glasses which contributed to her $1 billion in sales in the 80’s.

In 1985 she took an unexpected turn and moved to France to live with novelist Alain Elkann and founded a publishing house. 4 years later they broke up and she moved back to the US to her trusty farm in Connecticut that she lived in through her first marriage and break up.

In 1991 she made another book Beds and in 1993 The Bath for celebrity homes and bathrooms. Her commercial success only grew larger and larger with the years. In 1993 she also brought Lowel Nesbitts studio upon the death of the artist. The studio was famous for the figures and celebrities who once gathered there and even had a indoor swimming pool. She used this space until the early 2000’s until it was sold and demolished.

She tapped into the home shopping network by marketing her dresses, furniture and other items on cable TV in the mid 90’s. During her first segment, she sold $1.2 million in the first 2 hours.

In 1997 she published yet another book, this time a memoir ” Diane: A signature Life.” She also relaunched her clothing line this year and her wrap dress was once again warming the hearts of women everywhere.

In 2001 her love life caught up with her career and she married American media mogul Barry Diller, someone who had been off and on with since the 70’s.

Award Center

  • 2006 President of the CFDA
  • 2005 CFDA life time achievement award
  • 1986 May of the City of New York’s Statue of Liberty Medal
  • 1984- 1988 Savvy Magazine Award
  • 1984 Einstein College of Medicine Spirit of Achievement Award
  • 1983 City of Hope Spirit of Life Award
  • 1977 Fragrance foundation award

More recently, actually from today, was the CFDA meeting held to discuss the future of fashion week. What was once a trade show is now becoming a burden for designers and their financially failing lines. It is costing them more then they are getting back and all the designers expressed their concerns to Diane, the president, in a town hall meeting style. Though no consensus was reached, Diane did reassure everyone that she will have a solution before she leaves office.

Well I think Diane is the B O M B D O T C O M because I mean who else do you know modeled a dress after a black activist ? I am honestly love everything she has done and I think she is a woman to emulate. She married up and decided that she wanted to work and be independent, how many times have you heard that. Usually woman take the lazy route when they marry royalty, but not Diane. I’m so loving her Bestey Johnson-esque, Lavin-like clothing. It is fun and well constructed. She knows what women want and she has been knowing that since the beginning of her career.

I am also impressed that she takes her business very seriously. For example she did not hesitate to sue Target and Forever 21 for copying her designs. She also speaks out against the unmentionables: underweight models and lack of diversity on the runways. Did I mention that she opens her studio regularly to host cultural events? Honestly, who could be a better role model ?

She is a woman who makes her own money, obtains her own success, stands up for what she believes in , and continues to grow as the years pass by and personally, I NEED to be like that. I’m also definitely not surprised that she is still making money through this recession, only the best of the best are. Her economics background, people-person personality, and eye for what women want are all factors that play into her success through out the years.

I am so impressed with her. That’s the bottom line.

Citations : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,

Even though Zahra may be a local Philadelphia designer, I am quite positive you heard her name, or you will in the near future. Like Liz Claiborne, she too is a designer and a business woman. She believes that is what makes her stand out, and I think she is right.

On March 11,2009 she opened her first 1,800-square-foot clothing store at 1905 Walnut St selling only her merchandise. Her designs fuse Pakistan and American cultures to make an irresistible and well developed line. How irresistible, you ask? Well so much so that her first line EVER ( Fall 2009) was featured in Glamour Magazine, picked up by 26 boutiques in areas like London, Paris, and NYC, and her clothing is available in show rooms in LA and London.

Zahra is making her way through the fashion world on a different path than most up and coming designers. While others wait for deals from department stores and Boutiques, Zahra opened a boutique of her own. That is a huge investment. She got the start up money the old fashioned way, she saved. While the final price tag on her investment is unknown, she does disclose that it is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Recently, she has secured a loan from the bank in order to open two more boutiques, one in MD and another in Connecticut or Washington.

Her journey to becoming a designer and entrepreneur is also one for the books. She was the daughter of a wealthy Pakistani landowner and she was treated like a princess, she even had tailors that custom made the family’s clothing. After her arranged marriage she moved to Canada to play the role of housewife. After having two kids and pretty mundane life, she and her husband split. She tried to find a job with no moral support from her family.

She landed a job as a loan officer and after only two months she secured her first mortgage and was promoted to Executive Vice President. In 2007 she began researching fashion and from there things began to move full force ahead. With no formal training she did a few sketches of her vision. She then found a pattern maker and sample makers on craigslist, bought a studio in PA and quit her job in April of 2007.

The industry was brutal to this new designer, she was rejected at every show room in NYC. But she did not give up. Which brings us to where she is today, in a fabulous Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia show room with a $6,000 chandelier hanging from the ceiling, ottomans all around, and clothing lining the walls that is affordable and diverse in its fabric and design.

Even if you were not able to make it to her store in Philly , not to worry, she has a shop online website up and running ( yes already) that is ready to take your order nation wide.

Her clothing is unique and I am sure that I can find nothing else like it even if I tried. In every piece I can see a little bit of her heart and soul. Not to mention she traveled around the world to Paris, London and Pakistan to find her fabrics.

This Moorsetown resident is on an express Acela train straight to the top and I won’t be surprised if she is in the 2010 Bryant Park Fashion week Canoodling with Celebrities and Top Designers. Check out her store and website: 1905 Walnut Street, (877) 204-1131,

Also look at her look book here. I guarantee you are going to fall in love with the Fall 2009 line. I promise. As a matter of fact, Zahra, can I please do a pre-order on that cream coat my goodness. Below I going to post some of her pieces that I think are TDF ( to die for). If you don’t already love her, you are about to.







Wow, I can’t believe I have yet to write about this man whose styling has given Beyonce her futuristic and now trademark look. You see, I love Beyonce, so I absolutely love any designer that blesses her with costumes that would define her Sasha Fierce (and sometimes Beyonce) persona.

But honestly, have you ever seen a picture of this guy? I know I never have and when I was doing my research I nearly choked on my water. What designer do you know makes these kind of costumes ……

And looks like this…..

In his case, we definitely can not judge a book by its cover. But what we can judge Thierry by is his work, which is unique and truly artistic. Personally, when I look at his sketches and his designs I think of Picasso and his cubist (is that a word) paintings. His designs also add in a mixture of robotic characteristics, which in some circumstances could be unflattering for women, but Thierry knows what he is doing. He was so far ahead of his time when he began that not many could actually appreciate some of his best known work. His designs are what people in the 80’s might have believed we would all be wearing in this time of 2009. Heck, I can’t understand why we aren’t all wearing his designs already on a daily basis.

Let’s dig deeper into the life of this unsuspecting designer.

Born in 1948 in Strasbourg, France, Thierry Mugler had an inkling for fashion design all his life. Like Walter Baker, he started off on a different career path , but Theirry’s was a little more unconventional. He trained in ballet while studying design and making clothing for his friends. He attended Lycée Fustel de Coulange, 1960-65, and the School of Fine Arts, Strasbourg, 1966-67.

He also designed on the side while he was a window designer in Paris in 1970. His first lime Cafe de Paris was not made until 1973. He made a woman’s line in 1975, and a men’s line in 1978. His runway garments were really extreme and exaggerated. Unfortunately , his fashion house did not last through the 90’s. And in 2003 his couture collection was shut down.

Before his line was closed he managed to, in 1985, create the costumes for the musical “Emilie Jolie”. He designed clothing that was hip with the times, bat winged shirts and lots of Lycra.

In 1998 he managed to be one of the few French designers to own his own factory and he was the first designer to create a virtual fashion show for the Internet.

He didn’t let the collapse of his fashion line stop his creative genes. He went into business with a skincare company called Clarins to make fragrances, which Mugler’s company is best known for today. Sometimes he even outsells Chanel No. 5 in France, how unimaginable is that? But honestly, I am def. sure all his money comes from perfume. Check out this list of fragrances( and I am not even sure it’s the whole thing):

Angel 1992 Women The first oriental gourmand fragrance[vague]; the #1 perfume in France and the #8 perfume in the US (according to NPD Research[vague])
A*Men 1996 Men Known as “Angel Men” in US/Canada and Middle East due to trademark issues
Innocent 1998 Women Known as “Angel Innocent” until 2004
Mugler Cologne 2001 Unisex Inspired by a soap; contains proprietary “S-molecule”[vague]
B*Men 2004 Men Currently[vague] being phased out of retail distribution
Angel Garden of Stars 2005-06 Women Floral versions of Angel (peony, violet, lily, and rose)
Alien 2005 Women First new Mugler women’s fragrance not based on the Angel concept; modeled by Tina Baltzer
A*Men Summer Flash 2006 Men Men’s fragrance based on A*Men
Mugler Cologne Summer Flash 2006 Unisex Adds a cooling ingredient to Mugler Cologne
Innocent Summer Flash 2006 Women Women’s fragrance based on Innocent
Innocent Secret 2006 Women Made for Victoria’s Secret stores
Perfume: The Coffret 2006 Unisex Movie tie-in to Perfume: The Story of a Murderer; consists of 15 fragrances; price $700 US
ICE*Men 2007 Men Faced by Greg Plitt; launched worldwide in April 2007 (March 2008 in US)
Eau de Star 2007 Women Launched worldwide in April 2007 (October 2007 in US)
Miror Miror! 2007 Women A line of five women’s fragrances; limited distribution and priced higher than other Mugler products
Innocent Illusion 2008 Women A flanker of Innocent
A*Men Pure Coffee 2008 Men Flanker to A*Men with Arabica Coffee note
Angel Sunessence 2009 Women Summer light version of Angel
Alien Sunessence 2009 Women Summer light version of Alien

With his fragrance market success, he reopened his couture line in 2008, spear headed by Rosemary Rodriguez, even adding some eye glasses to his portfolio.

Outside of the consumer market, he has signed up with Cirque du Soleil in 2003 for its show “Zumanity” which is Cirque’s first show for an adult audience. Good, don’t let all those muscles go to waste !

He also published two books on his designs Thierry Mugler (1988) and Fashion Fetish Fantasy (1998).
, inspired by Stalinist propaganda ( hmm). He directed a video in 1992 for George Michael’s Too Funky featuring Mugler’s famous motorcycle dress.

Let’s talk about his biggest venture here in the US– collaborating with Beyonce to do all her costumes for the multi-million dollar I AM.. Tour. Beyonce chose him after viewing his designs in the Metropolitan Museum for the Art’s Costume Institute Superheroes exhibit in May of 2008. ( Hmm I wonder if that inspired some of the songs on her album) Mugler will make 58 pieces for Beyonce, her dancers, and her band. However, he won’t contribute all of her looks, she has to save room for her Dereon Line. He will serve as the creative advisor of the tour, designing some lighting and even choreography for her shows. Additionally he will direct three portions of the production, Dangerously in Love, Ave Maria, and The Finale. ( Let me just add, those were the best parts of the show, loved it! )

Thankfully, Mugler’s fashion house has revived itself and come back in full effect. We can see his influences in many other designers line Balenciaga, Dolce and Gabbana and McQueen. However no one has managed to come close to his style. He is the only designer I know that can make an outfit which needs no one accessory. Not a hat, not an earring, not a bracelet, nothing. No wonder during the Beyonce concert all her jewelery was flying off, her Thierry Mugler outfits were simply rejecting them.

Thierry has done everything from design, dancing, photography, publishing, and made fragrances. He hasn’t let anything stand in the line of his desires and dreams. We all need to take note from him, because even though his line did fail at one point it came back stronger than ever. Additionally, he didn’t quit on life after that set back, but he moved on and kept the creative juices flowing. In recognition of his hard work and dedication Thierry Mugler was invited to sit on the Comite Colbert; thereby joining the top 75 French companies that share the passion for excellence, creativity, and luxury in the production of their merchandise.

However, his contributions to the fashion world have been amazing and untouchable. He has worked with the idea of shaping a perfect woman, not perfecting the shape of a woman, which is very different. His designs are well engineered and structured making them look anything but cheap or affordable. His strong, bold, and non conforming designs are unmatched in the industry today. Have you ever heard of a Thierry Mugler look a like/knock off? Yeah, me neither.

So Thierry, thanks for staying strong through all your struggles and obstacles. You have taught me that no matter how many things go wrong, so much more can go right if you stay focused. You also have earned my highest praise for your work on Beyonce’s wardrobe and concert. You have totally revamped her look and her appeal and frankly I love it. You’re the modern day Picasso if he designed clothing and I wouldn’t want you in any other way.

p.s. How about coming out with a work out tape… I could def use some of your muscles!

Today I am going to feature a lesser known designer than the Dolce&Gabbana duo, Mr. Walter Baker. He started his line in 1991, but from the looks of his Designer Profile on, he seems fairly new.

Walter is not your typical, run of the mill designer/CEO. He started off his adult life in Finance. He left finance in order to pursue his true passion, fashion design, and we are ALL so glad he did. Plus I don’t blame him, who wants to crunch numbers when you can sketch gorgeous clothing and watch it come to life. How could Mr. Baker even consider finance with his talent ,impressive collection of original artwork, luxury watches and limited edition pens, that just screams creativity.

Walter Baker has made a huge success of his brand which can be described as contemporary, fun, and great for all occasions. He takes pride in his designs and their ability to “go from day to night without popping a stitch.” He truly knows what a woman wants and how to make her look and feel gorgeous with a flattering fit and a hip design.

What I love about him is that he doesn’t cut corners. He uses expensive fabrics to convey his message through his clothing. His signatures are jackets and feminine tops and dresses. He focuses on details in his clothing to give women confidence and style, which he believes are common trends that connect women all around the world.

What are his secret weapons? His sketchbook and his digital camera which he never leaves home without. No wonder his styles are so universal, he gets his inspiration from the streets of New York, London, Milan and Tokyo.

For the future, he wants to expand his WALTER brand with footwear, eyewear, and home furnishings. THE WHOLE SHABANG.

His designs can be seen on some of the trendiest celebrities, in high end department stores, and in fashion and gossip magazines EVERYWHERE, just check his press page. What I can’t understand is, why isn’t there more interviews and press on Walter Baker himself? I want to know more about him, his inspirations and more about fashions influence on him as a youngster. I want the whole nine yards.

I usually have way more to say about the designer , but there just isn’t that much information to work with, so I am going to talk more about his clothing.

The WALTER line has a lot of different looks. It can be punk and grunge with a lot of edge or it can be sweet and flirty. He can do it all !! I am also loving that he is bringing diversity to his runways. I see women of all colors and heights and that just fills me with joy and happiness.

His youthful, yet fun clothing also makes me want spring to stay all year round. But hey, I can wear whatever I want, whenever I want because STYLE HAS NO RULES!

I do have to say it is insanely hard to work the website and hopefully he is working on that because I really want to see his whole collection large and in LIVING COLOR.

The reason that I chose to write about Walter Baker is that he found his inner designer while in a career that he obviously did not enjoy. The part I think is amazing is that he didn’t stay in his career, hating it, he got up and did something about it. I love his initiative because he could have easily written off fashion designing as a side hobby, not worthy of the devotion of his entire life . He sacrificed a good paying job and threw away years of education to seize his dream and that, to me, is admirable.

Carpe Diem, WALTER, Carpe Diem!

Don’t forget to follow the WALTER brand on

❤ More Pics Below

Her motto: “fit the way you live”

I am certain that you have heard her name more than once, maybe you and your mother have even worn clothing that bares her name, but what else do you know about her? Well she was a pioneer in the business world who paved the way for women like me to own our own companies.

Liz Claiborne, also known as Anne Elisabeth Jane Claiborne, was the first woman to become chairperson and CEO of a Fortune 500 Company. The road that led her there is one less traveled. Let’s take a closer look!
Liz was born in 1929 in Brussels, Belgium. Her family was prominent in Louisiana with an ancestor named William C. C. Claiborne who was the Governor of Louisiana during the War of 1812. When she was 10 her family returned to Louisiana. She attended a boarding school in Maryland, however instead of finishing high school her father, a banker, sent her to Europe. She was to study art informally since he did not believe Liz needed a formal education. Though her parents wanted her to become an artist, Liz knew she wanted to be a designer ever since her mother taught her how to sew.

When she was 21 she won the Jacques Heim National Design Contest sponsored by Harper’s Bizarre and jumped at the chance to move to New York the first moment she could. Unlike many other designers she did not attend Parson’s or a fancy design school, she merely worked as a sportswear sketch artist for Tina Leser and as a designer for Dan Keller, Youth Group Inc, and Johnathan Logan.
At the age of 47 she became frustrated with the lack of clothing for working women. Her boss at the time would not entertain her idea of mix and match coordinated sportswear for women, so she began her own company. She started with $50,000 of her and her husband’s savings money and $200,000 from other investors and more than quadrupled their investments.

Liz Claiborne Inc., established in 1976, was an instant success making $2 million the first year and $23 million 2 years later in 1978. By 1988 she had captured one third of the women’s upscale sportswear market. In 1981 her sales reached $117 million. Absolutely amazing for someone who did not even finish high school, isn’t it ?! Even more amazing was the in 1985 with retail sales of $1.2 Billion she was considered a fortune 500 company. Part of this incredible success can be accredited the the baby-boomers who were graduating from college and going out into the working world in the 80’s. Her company also received recognition as one of the best managed companies in the highly competitive area of women’s fashion.
Another reason for her success was that Liz Claiborne knew exactly what she wanted. She demanded that her clothes be placed together in department stores, something that was unheard of at the time. That decision has impacted the way that department stores are organized today. Thanks to Liz, we don’t have to go searching all over the place to put together a Liz Claiborne outfit.
Liz not only had influence in the business aspect of clothing but in the design aspect. She believed that women shouldn’t be confined to boring colors in the work place, she wanted to add fun and color to their wardrobe which would expand their work attire options. She designed clothes of quality and at an affordable price point so that working women could buy them, wear them, and feel great in them. She didn’t play into trends, her style was relevant across the different age groups and withheld its relevance during the changing seasons.

Liz and her second husband/co-founder, Art Ortenburg who was a textile manufacturer and consultant, retired in 1989 from management after acquiring other companies. During her retirement she donated millions of dollars to environmental organizations, she was definitely a forward thinker because we certainly need those funds today. Additionally, she founded the Liz Claiborne Foundation in 1981 to focus on ending domestic violence and promoting economic self-sufficiency for women and positive development for girls. She also lent her time to Parson’s School and The Fashion Institute of Technology as a lecturer.
In 1990 Claiborne and her husband were elected to the National Business Hall of Fame. She also received an induction into the National Sales Hall of Fame in 1991 and an honorary Doctorate degree from the Rhode Island School of Design the same year. At the 2000 American Fashion Awards presented by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Claiborne received the humanitarian award for her environmental work, more specifically for helping to fight the ivory trade in Africa.
Sadly, in 1997 she was told that she had a rare cancer that affected the lining of her abdomen. In 2007 she passed away after her struggle with cancer, at the age of 78.

Her legacy still lives on today through CFDA’s scholarship to Seniors earning a degree towards fashion design who have showed that they are addressing the lifestyle of working women in 2010. This merit based scholarship is worth $25,000 towards a student’s second semester in senior year or college expenses.

I have to say that I am impressed by the way that she handled the business aspect of her company. Her timing and the quality of her work combined made her a huge hit. She even sold over 15,000 units of a velour peasant blouse. Amazing right!? I would have never thought that her company had this much success. I just remember shopping with my mother before my freshman year in high school, buying 10 Liz Claiborne skirts that were all amazingly adorable and 10 dollars each. Not only that, but recently I went to and typed in my size ( which is a double digit) and got 61 pages worth of clothing, 61! That is astonishing. What is more surprising is that all of my options were cute, affordable, and multifunctional ( wearable for work or for play)

Though some may have said her line never had edge, they can no longer say that today because of the fabulous new addition to their team, Isaac Mizrahi. To add a little extra flavor, her company also acquired Luck Brand Jeans , Kate Spade, Juicy Couture, Kenzie, Kenzie Girl, Monet and Marvella. It also holds the license to DKNY jeans and DKNY active. If that’s not edge, I don’t know what is.

Please, let’s all take a lesson from the late, great Liz Claiborne who impacted not only the fashion world, but the business world, the environment and much much more. This woman was truly amazing. I will continue to wear her brand with honor and pride.

Here’s to you Liz, you ROCK!

Enjoy some pictures of the Fall 2009 Line styled and designed by Isaac Mizrahi. He has kept her same theme and modernized it!

After hearing so much about Jean Paul Gaultier on The Fashion Show on Bravo this pass week and seeing his inspirations everywhere I turned, I decided that he was a suitable candidate for my blog this beautiful Monday night.

I can only hope that you remember him from the infamous cone shaped bra he made for the 1990 Madonna tour, Blonde Ambition. Costumes in movies and films have been heavily influenced by this one design, including Whitney Houston’s outfit in Bodyguard ( I absolutely love that movie). However, Mr. Gaultier means way more to the fashion world than his pointy bra design. Much, much more. Let me tell you why!

Jean Gaultier was born on April 24, 1952 in Arcueil, Val-de-Mame. He is of French descent which evident from his website where I cannot get it to translate to English. His life took a different turn from a lot of other influential designers, as he was not formally trained. At the age of 18, Gaultier was sending out his couture sketches to Parisian stylists. He caught the eye of one designer, Pierre Cardin, who offered him a position as his assistant in 1970. Jean Paul happily obliged.

In 1971 he worked with Jacques Esterel and later that year Jean Patou, two famous Parisian Couture designers. He assisted Michael Gomex and then Angelo Tarlazzi. He returned to work for Pierre Cardin in Manila while working on his individual collection for the U.S.A.

He was only 24 years old in October 1976 when he created his first womenswear collection. The inspiration for his designs came from French Cultural Icons to the London streets. All his collections have said to have inspirations ( whether large or small) from Hasidic Jews and the Indian culture. This clothing line was able to launch with the backing of an unknown Japanese company.

By the middle 80’s his avant garde designs were gaining critics rave reviews. He became known as the bad boy( enfant terrible) of fashion. He was famous for implementing, what some would call, disrespectful influences in his clothing lines. However his clothing was legendary for its street style and punk references. His signature is and always will be his striped navy and white Breton fisherman’s sweater. In the 1980s he redefined a traditionally underwear garments and made them into outerwear, which is demonstrated by his corset dress of 1982.

In 1984 Jean Paul jumped right into menswear. He used his own personal experiences when shopping, claiming he couldn’t find anything he really wanted, especially in terms of sizing. Men had be reportedly buying women’s jackets because of the fabrics and cut and Jean Paul saw this as an opportunity . He made a huge spectacle of his new line during a show where men wore see through skirts and women smoked pipes down the run way, he was inspired by designers like Gianni Versace. Gaultier is also famous for using unconventional models in his shoes such as older men and full figured women(30th anniversery show), pierced and heavily tattooed models, and the obvious switching of gender roles.

Gaultier, also a master tailor, used details such as metal tipped collars and extended shoulder lines to popularize his clothing in European capitals. The tailoring of his jackets gave the wearer a whole new flattering figure, transforming their normally mundane bodies to shrines that should be envied by all.

After the success of his men’s and women’s lines he began to bring to play around with all of his ideas. In 1988 Gaultier decided to expand his brand by incorporating a lower priced line for the younger market that has a nautical influence. This line was replaced by JPG by Gaultier in 1994, a unisex line that played with the idea of blending gender lines in clothing. Gaultier also dipped his toes into the music world by releasing a house new-beat hit How to do that in 1989. He then started a line of perfumes in 1993 called Classique and two years later a men’s fragrance Le Male, which were both wildly successful all over the world. He also introduced fragrances such as Fragile, Fleur du Male, and Gaultier. Those perfumes were not as successful as his premiere fragrances, however they did gain some popularity. Jean Paul was also involved with the first series of Eurotrash , a comedy on British television. He tinkered with furniture, designing a two person chair on wheels and a dresser constructed from luggage. He designed his future collections with inspirations from random aspects of the world such as constructivism in his ’86 Russian collection, inspirations from rock stars for the ’87 collection.

Though his collection was growing in popularity and gaining in markets all over the world, at the end of the 1980’s his lover and partner Francis Menuge died due to Aids. His partner was responsible for making his designs more simple and sober, but upon his partners death, he went back to the sexy and daring clothing that made him controversial and popular.

In 1997 he did something on 2 designers in las 3 decades had done, he created a couture house under his own label. Though he was not formally trained, he worked under Parisian craftsmen who taught him the art and skills needed to highly tailored and detailed designs while still adding his own outrageous style, inspired by places such as imperial India. He is inspired by the landscapes and the faces of Indian women and their colorful clothing. He believes ” Color is life.”

In 1999 a “dream marriage” as described by Gaultier was born when Hermes invested $23 million in his business, taking ownership of 35% stake in the company. This gave Gaultier a world of opportunities to expand his brand. This unexpected union help Jean Paul take control of his licensing operations like jewelry and to expand into timepieces (which he is a collector of) and footwear, all of which would boost his international business. With the money he also renewed his fragrance license with Shiseido and Beaur Prestige Internation, in addition to the luxury hosiery firm, Wolford.

His achievements have not gone unnoticed among his peers. In 2000 he won the CRDA International Award in addition to winning the title of Chevalier, one of France’s highest honors. Because of the success of his revamped brand due to the large investment from Hermes, Jean Paul Gaultier, also named as the successor of YSL, was hired as the creative director of Hermes in 2003/2004.

More recently, in 2008 Jean Paul Gaultier partnered with with producing a premium spring water brand Evian. The team was so successful that they joined forces again and he has designed a elegant glass bottle made of Baccarat crystal that will be limited edition whose proceed will go to RAMSAR fun which protects the water resources of out planet.

With his Spring 2009 collection inspired by the style of Klaus Nomi, Jean Paul Gaultier has shown his dedication to clothing and design and not buying into the industries trends. I am impressed by his ability to be color, gender, and size blind. He is not afraid to send models down the runway with authentic afros, larger bodies, or men in skirts. He doesn’t fall for fads and trends which is why his clothing is highly controversial but also critically acclaimed. Taking risks is important in this industry, but i don’t think Jean Paul G. thinks he is taking risks with his clothing, I think he is merely portraying his vision for the world,without remorse or hesitation, to either hate it or love it; And I have to say, I’m fully on the LOVE side.

Jean Paul Gaultier, thank you for being you and staying true to your beliefs no matter what society thinks. That dedication and originally is much needed in today’s world where every celebrity and wanna-be are exact replicas of each other.

P.S. When I make a little cash, I would really love a custom made Birken, complete with feathers, leathers and the works.

Love ❤

Firstly, I want to say RIP Michael Jackson. You will be missed by many. 😦

” Anyone can get all dressed up and glamorous, but it is how people dress on their off days that [is] the most intriguing. It’s these in between, wayward days when a person’s true style emerges from their everyday life, forming the basis of Alexander Wang’s collection…” This quote from his website is what drew me to write about him. After thinking about it, this is so true. I see people all the time that look so nice when we go to dinner or have a party, but when we go to class or chill on the weekend, they look like a completely different person. Good thing Alexander Wang makes clothing that introduces an urban chic ideas to clothing. He believes that a t-shirt and jeans can be as sexy as an evening gown. He believes in mixing street with luxe which is a growing trend of today.

How did he get started you ask? In a very similar way to all of the fashion greats. He is a California boy, born and raised in San-Fran. to a Chinese American family. At the tender age of 18 he moved to the Big Apple to go to Parsons School of Design. There, you guessed it, he had many internships. He said his goal was to get an internship with Marc Jacobs, and BAM, he got it. And from then on he was sailing through the industry. He interned for Vogue and Derek Lam as well and said he was truly inspired by his small set up.

Two years into Parson’s in 2005 he was already designing his premier collection which was mostly knits. He focused his collection around eighties hip hop and seventies Parisian chic, mixing Run DMC and YSL, which was an uncommon mix. He created his label with business help from his sister in and law and mother who in the beginning, who knew nothing about fashion.

With dreams of having a lifestyle brand, he wanted to start with the manageable knitwear. He truly worked his way up from the bottom. He knew his collection was fabulous because when he took it an editor at Teen Vogue, she said it was great. However, he didn’t jump into trying to get his pieces in Saks or Nordys, he started by simply selling his line to stores in San Francisco. There, the pieces sold out within days. Next stop, a trade show, there, they were struck with success. An amazing 80 stores picked up his line, stores such as Barneys and Bendel. BeeTeeDubs (by the way) those stores are the holy lands for fashion designers everywhere and Alex has taken them by storm at the age of 20.

His look, called that of the lower east side, was described as gritty and edgy. Girls near and far flock for his clothing because of its accessibility and savvy. His elegant spin on hoodies and T Shirts make his line irresistible to on-the-go/ trendy women in their 20’s and 30’s who want to look fabulous while going for a coffee run. Those type of things are his inspiration, things that people do not usually pay attention to. His muse for example is his close friend Erin Wasson, model and stylist who embodies his signature style of ” model off duty.”

Wang’s story continues to get more and more interesting. Word is, he doesn’t even have any external investors other then his family, isn’t that fabulous. What is even more fabulous is all his accomplishments in the form of awards. In 2008 , Alex won the Vogue/CFDA Fund which he was given $20,000 to expand his line and he did just that by adding a whole accessories line in 2008. Most importantly, the Fund winner was given the prize of Dian Von Furstenberg as his mentor, which is priceless. (the runners up would be mentored by Kate spade, Patrick Robinson, and Andrew Rosen which as also fabulous prizes.) In 2009 he was the winner of the CFDA Swarovski womenswear Designer of the year.

Wang has gotten so popular that he has even been solicited to revive a lot of falling clothing companies. He has been chosen to collaborate with Gap( Hitting stores June 16, 2009), Keds(fall of 08), and Uniqlo (May 2008). Additionally he has supported Project Blue, a shop-for-charity initiative that benefits the clean-water advocacy group Oceana, by designing clothing from old donated denim. That clothing was then to be auctioned off on Ebay.

With all his success, he doesn’t let all the hype get to him. He remains humbled as his line’s popularity literally sky rockets overnight. People like Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker sit front row at his shows, those shows that have lines that stretch for blocks. Regardless, he still works hard and strives to prove people wrong who think he is too young to produce quality, renowned clothing; I think he is doing a great job.

From cutting patterns as a young teenager to being revered by huge names in fashion and entertainment such as Anna Wintour, Dree, and Rihanna— all before he is 25. While the awards and praise keep pouring in, Alex continues to impress the fashion world with his creativity and vision. He is a particularly awesome choice for my blog because I, one day, want to design clothes with the idea of luxe and street mixed together. I consider him as one of my main inspirations.

So Alex Wang, please, keep doin’ yo’ thang!