Liz Claiborne, born on March 31, 1929, in Brussels, Belgium, was the daughter of a banker for the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company. The family moved to New Orleans in the 1930s, where Liz received a strict Roman Catholic upbringing. At the age of 21, her sketch for a woman's coat won a Harper's Bazaar design competition, and she parlayed this success into a job in New York City's garment district as a design assistant and model. From 1950 to 1955 she designed sportswear, tailored clothing, and high fashion, then from 1955 to 1960 she was a dress designer for the Dan Keller company; From 1960 through 1975, she worked as the principal designer for Youth Guild, the junior dress division of Jonathan Logan. Claiborne recognized a marketplace need for comfortable-yet-professional apparel for professional women. Claiborne started her own company, Liz Claiborne, Inc., on January 19, 1976, and sales for the first year were more than $2 million. The label was known for its quality materials, comfortable fit, colors and fine tailoring, and went public in 1981. Over the next six years, Claiborne expanded her fashion lines to include petites, dresses, shoes, accessories, menswear, and perfume.
Brands include Axcess, Bora Bora, Candie's, Crazy Horse, Curve, Dana Buchman, Ellen Tracy, Elisabeth, Emma James, First Issue, J.H. Collectibles, Juicy Couture, Laundry by Shelli Segal, Liz Claiborne, Lucky Brand, Mambo, Marvella, Mexx, Monet, Monet 2, Realities, Sigrid Olsen, Trifari and Villager. In addition, Liz Claiborne Inc. holds the exclusive, long-term license to produce and sell men's and women's collections of DKNY® Jeans and DKNY® Active, as well as CITY DKNY® better women's sportswear in the Western Hemisphere. The Company also has the exclusive license to produce women's wear under the Kenneth Cole New York and Reaction Kenneth Cole brand names. In 1986, when company sales reached $1.2 billion, it joined the list of Fortune magazine's 500 largest industrial companies in the United States; it was one of only two companies started by a woman included on the list. Liz Claiborne retired in 1989 to pursue environmental and philanthropic interests. Her fragrances and clothing lines continue to inspire new generations. Liz passed away in July of 2007.
Claiborne Perfume was a daytime floral introduced in 1986. Other fragrances include Realities, the Claiborne fragrance for men, Vivid, Curve Soul Perfume, Bora Bora, Candies, Curve Chill, Curve Crush, Curve Kicks, Curve Soul Vintage, Curve Wave, Liz Perfume, Liz Sport, Lucky Number 6, Lucky You, Mambo Perfume, Realities Perfume, Red Sunset Perfume, Spark Perfume, Spark Seduction Perfume, and Sunrise Perfume. The brands have proven to be as endurable and easy to wear as the clothing line.
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