Category: FASHION BIOS – Know the Fashion Giants


Giorgio Armani

Born on 11th July 1934 in the northern Italian town of Piacenza, Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer particularly noted for his men’s wear. His father Ugo – a transport executive and mother Maria – a homemaker, raised Giorgio along with his two siblings – older brother Sergio and younger sister Rosanna.

As he grew up, Giorgio took his career forward in medicine and joined University of Bolonga in 1951. Soon after two years of medical study, in 1953, he was called to work in a military hospital. The experience convinced him that he was not cut out to be a doctor.

After serving the military Giorgio got the job of a window dresser at La Rinascente, a department store in Milan, which he thoroughly enjoyed. Later he also managed to gather know-how on the marketing aspect of the fashion industry. In 1961- 1970, he joined Nino Cerruti as designer and designed his first line of menswear. Soon his sense of designing earned him fame. While continuing to work for Cerutti, Armani also freelanced, contributing designs to as many as ten manufacturers at a time.

During late 1960’s Giorgio grew his personal and professional alliance with Sergio Galeotti, which persuaded him to open a design office in Milan, at 37 corso Venezia in 1973. Following this in the year 1974-75, he founded his own label – Giorgio Armani Spa in Milan. And in the same year, October, he presented his first line of men’s ready-to-wear for Spring and Summer 1976 under his own label. For the same season he also presented his line of women’s wear.

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Calvin Klein 2011 spring summer collection was presented  at the Milan men’s wear fashion show … and it is not the best design of the year that’s for sure!!

Calvin Klein Spring Summer 2011 Menswear Full Show


Calvin Klein – Fall Winter 2010/2011 – Menswear

With an unapproachable attitude, the Fall/Winter 2010/2011 Menswear brings out a minimalist collection that puts in value classy pieces with sophisticated details. Using a modern theme the overall simplicity accentuates every single piece on the runway and gives a new perspective of today’s men’s fashion.

Calvin Klein kept a neutral chromatic theme to come along with their style. Basic items, reinvented through Calvin’s eyes are spotted here and what looks like a simple suit is a classy and flawless look that will be hit-outfit with any occasion and will least you a lifetime.

Going from shades of grey to white, brown and black, this collection gives us a sophisticated allure even though simplicity. The luxurious and modern looks appeal to every personality or kinds of men and mixing together casual sportswear with classy formal suits, Calvin Klein creates a new perspective over men’s fashion.

The main items that catch out attention for their details and shape are: pea coats with sporty pants and massive shoes, shiny leather blazers, long trench coats, leather jackets with small details, abstract printed suits, waist belted trench coats with details, striped hoodie, shiny elegant suits, sport jackets, bomber leather jacket and shapeless minimalist coats.

Donna Faske, who later become fashion mogul Donna Karan, was born in 1948 in Queens, New York. She grew up in Long Island with her step-father who was a practicing tailor and her mother who was a store model. Karan was fashion-obsessed from an early age. In 1968 she joined Parson’s School of Design, which she left, without a degree, to take an assistant position at Anne Klein, one of the top design firms in the country.

Her work was so impressive that, within two years, she was promoted to Associate Designer and at the age of 26 she became the head designer at Anne Klein. At that time, she launched the Essentials line, and her legendary Seven Easy Pieces every woman should have in her closet.

2009 Runway collection- Spring, DKNY

Until 1985 she drove the success of this fashion house to new zenith when she decided to strike out on her own, and ‘Donna Karan New York’ was founded. Her aim was to dress women in comfort, to liberate them from the confines of Eighties power suits.

Mid-eighties Seven Easy Pieces by Donna Karan

The introduction of her DKNY collection in 1988 marks the beginning of a period of amazing growth of the company. She designs for ordinary women like her keeping in mind the entire picture from head-to-toe, from function to aesthetic. With Donna Karan clothing, function comes before styling.

The shoe collection came around in 1989. Donna Karan shoes are designed for modern women. The collection has both trendy forward-thinking designs as well as timeless silhouettes that are essentials to every woman’s wardrobe. Known for both quality and comfort, Donna Karan shoes are crafted from the finest material and considered by many people to be must-haves. Donna Karan shoes include styles like pumps, sandals, flats, and boots, and are loved by women worldwide.

In 1997 Donna Karan quit as CEO of the company, but continues to act as chairwoman and designer in charge of the Donna Karan line. From 2002 on, most of the collection was designed by Peter Speliopoulos, a former Cerruti designer, with Karan contributing little subtleties or even entire new creations. The DKNY line is entirely designed by Jane Chung, who has been with Donna Karan since Karan’s days with Anne Klein.

In August 2008, Donna Karan relaunched her discontinued fragrance lines from the 1990s. These include DK Fuel for Men, Signature, Chaos, and Black Cashmere. They are available exclusively in the United States at Bergdorf Goodman, Manhattan and at Harrod’s, Knightsbridge, London.

Many more consumers and critics were won over in years to come by Ms. Karan’s designs.They have noticed in her a determination and professionalism but also deep stubbornness. Donna is a true New Yorker at heart. Her success in the fashion world is evident: her labels, ‘Donna Karan’ and ‘DKNY’, are major fashion powerhouses, and she is respected as one of the world’s foremost designers.

Spring 2010 runway collection, DKNY

Chronology

1948: Born.

1974: Promoted head designer at Anne Klein and launched legendary Seven Easy Pieces.

1977: Won the Coty American Fashion Critics’ Award and once again in 1982.

1982: Karan created Anne Klein II, originating the concept of bridge and lifestyle dressing in fashion.

1985: Left Anne Klein and founded Donna Karan New York.

1989: Came the shoe collection from DKNY

1992: Emerged DKNY Men Collection of Cashmere suits and sports wear the following year.

2001: Karan introduced a Donna Karan New York Home collection.

2008: Relaunched her discontinued fragrance lines from the 1990s.

Christian Dior

Born in 1905 in Granville, on the Normandy coast, France, Christian Dior was the second of the five children of Alexandre Louis Maurice Dior, a wealthy fertiliser manufacturer. When he grew young, Dior had inclination for arts but, at his father’s insistence, he enrolled at the prestigious Ecole des Sciences Politiques (nicknamed Sciences Po’) in Paris to take a degree in politics.

Dior’s interest towards arts, especially fashion, convinced his father to give him enough money to open an art gallery. Galerie Jacques Bonjean soon became an avant garde haunt with paintings by famous painters. In 1931 the death of Dior’s older brother followed by that of his mother and collapsed the family firm and the gallery closed. For the next few years Dior scraped a living by selling his fashion sketches to haute couture houses. Later in 1938 he was hired by Robert Piguet as an assistant.

In 1939, during World War II Dior served as an officer and later in 1941 he was offered a job by the couturier Lucien Lelong. Dior spent the rest of the War dressing the wives of Nazi officers and French collaborators. Taking advantage of the business opportunities after the world war Dior, backed by his childhood friend Marcel Boussac, launched the new couture house in 1946. On 12 february, 1947 the first Christian Dior couture show was scheduled where he displayed the extremely popular New Look which featured feminine elegance with rounded shoulders, a cinched waist, and a very full skirt. The opulence of his designs contrasted with the grim post-war reality of Europe, and helped re-establish Paris as the joyful fashion capital it had once been. In 1954 he presented the French bean line or Flat look.

1947 - Dior New Look

Throughout the 1950s Christian Dior was the biggest and best-run haute couture house in Paris. Each collection throughout this period had a theme – classic suits, ballerina-length skirts, the H-line in 1954, and A- and Y-lines in 1955.

1954 H-Line suit

1955 Y-Line suit

Dior was first to arrange licensed production of his designs. Furs, stockings, ties and perfume were manufactured in regional centres across the world, spreading his brand name quickly about the globe.

Vogue, Nov. 1954 - featuring Dior's tiny waist dress

In 1957, Dior died of a heart attack after choking on a fishbone at dinner in Italy. Yves Saint Laurent, whom Dior hired in 1955 and was Dior’s assistant of four years, took over as head designer. The first Christian Dior collection after Dior’s death was a sensation. Designed in just nine weeks by Yves Saint Laurent, his trapeze line was successful, but his 1960 bohemian look met heavy criticism from the press. Later Saint Laurent was called for military duty in 1960 and from there on several artistic designers followed including Marc Bohan (1960-1989) and Gianfranco Ferre (1989-1996).

The trapeze dress from Saint Laurent, 1958

Finally in 1996, John Galliano was appointed as the chief designer of Christian Dior by the company’s owner, the LVMH luxury goods group. In his collections for Dior, he knows best how to mix Dior’s traditional style with his own contemporary visions and take fashion to a whole new level of glamour and luxury. Galliano was instrumental in reviving Dior’s image–stirring up continued controversy with such events as a homeless show, featuring models dressed in newspapers and paper bags, and an S&M show.

John Galliano

Christian Dior Couture had built its fame on women’s fashions. But in 2001 the company gambled in for its men’s fashion and it was an instant success. The company got quickly noted among its customers such luminaries as Mick Jagger and Brad Pitt. Dior opened the first Dior Homme boutique in Milan on February 20, 2002 and from then on many flagship boutiques were opened at Tokyo in 2004, Rue Royal, Paris in 2004 and Moscow. Various Dior perfumes were also launched viz. men’s fragrance Higher 2001, Addict in 2002, the Miss Dior Chérie perfume and the Dior Homme fragrance in 2005. Galliano also released his own Dior watches in 2001 which led to the much success. In 2005, Dior’s Chiffre Rouge collection was recognized by the World Watches and Jewelry Show in Basel, Switzerland. In 2005 the fashion house also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birthday of designer Christian Dior.

2002 - Dior's Watch collection piece

Dior Homme received a new Artistic Director in 2007, Kris Van Assche, who presented its first collection later that year. Currently, Dior is featured in countless high-fashion magazines, more prominently Vogue, and advertises its popular Christian Dior Cosmetics and Perfumes via prominent fashionistas and models.

CHRISTIAN DIOR (1905 to 1957), the most influential fashion designer of the late 1940s and 1950s, dominated fashion after World War II with the hourglass silhouette of his voluptuous New Look. He also defined a new business model in the post-war fashion industry by establishing Dior as a global brand across a wide range of products.

Chronology

1905: Born.

1910: Family moved from Granville to Paris.

1923: Joined Ecole des Sciences Politiques for a degree in politics.

1938: Dior became assistant to couturier Robert Piguet.

1946: Opens his own couture house backed by Marcel Boussac.

1947: Debuts his couture collection, New Look which was a success for its voluptuous silhouette and luxurious fabrics. Launched the first Dior perfume – Miss Dior.

1948: Opens a ready-to-wear boutique in New York and negotiate the licensing rights for Christian Dior hosiery, ties and other products.

1954: Unveils his new direction, the French Bean Line or Flat Look.

1955: Yves Saint Laurent joins Dior as a design assistant.

1957: Christian Dior dies of a heart attack in Italy.

1958: Laurent’s trapeze line received success.

1996: John Galliano was appointed as head designer for Dior.

2001: Launched ‘contemporary masculine concept under Hedi Slimane and got success.

2005: Dior’s 100th anniversary was celebrated.

Not to miss:

Presenting Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2010 Collection


calvinklein

Born to Leo and Flore Klein on November 19, 1942 in Bronx, New York Calvin was named Calvin Richard Klein. Interested in fashion since childhood, he chose to spend his much time on sewing and drawing instead of enjoying other traditional boyhood activities. He also spent a great deal of time at Loehmann’s, a high-fashion discount store in the Bronx, to look at the Norman Norell designer samples. Calvin attended New York’s High School of Art and Design and graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 1962.

After leaving school, Klein apprenticed for designer Dan Millstein in New York City’s celebrated garment district. In 1968, Klein and his childhood friend Barry Schwartz launched an apparel line of men and women’s coats in name of company called Calvin Klein Ltd., which later changed to Calvin Klein Inc. Their company soon got a substantial order from the buyer Bonwit Teller, which marked their success and beginning of their recognition in the fashion industry.

Klein expanded his offerings to include women’s sportswear and by 1970s, Klein’s sportswear line had expanded to include women’s apparel, and a whole ready-to-wear signature line of separates such as sweaters, skirts, dresses, shirts, and pants that could be intermixed for a complete day and evening wardrobe.

From classic, sharp designs available mostly in neutral tones, Klein revolutionized the fashion industry with a basic, minimalist style, much the same way as Ralph Lauren has become a staple in the fashion world. But it was in the late 1970s and early 1980s that Klein introduced a whole new concept of designer jeans at an affordable price. Teenage model Brooke Shields, clad in her tight Calvin Klein Jeans, made it known to the world that “nothing stood in the way of her and her Calvins.” And women worldwide proved that they agreed with young Brooke.

And Klein’s revolutionary skills didn’t stop there. In 1982, Klein introduced Calvin Klein Underwear, which turned the perception of men’s underwear to one of a fashionable item that suggested sex appeal.

Klein then moved to a fragrance line, with the introduction of popular fragrances such as Obsession, Eternity, Escape, and Contradiction since the late 1970s. Klein was also the first to release a line of unisex fragrances, Ck One, only underscoring his role as a pioneer. With suggestive advertising that linked sex and sexuality to scents, Klein used the power of advertising to make his fragrance line a phenomenal success and an everlasting brand.

Not only a fashion visionary, Klein has also become known as a marketing genius who changed advertising by continuously pushing the envelope a little further. His controversial ad campaigns started in the late ’80s with the Brooke Shields ad, to the waify Kate Moss modeling Ck One and his lingerie/innerwear line in the ’90s. Klein has become notorious for the nudity, blatant sexuality, and use of underage, prepubescent models in his ads, which have not hurt his success in the least.

Klein has received many accolades for his work and contribution to fashion. He won the Coty Award in 1973, 1974 and 1975 (making him the youngest designer to win these awards), and was awarded the Council of Fashion Designers of America Award for design in women and menswear in 1982, 1983, and 1986 (making history as the first designer to receive both awards in the same year), as well as the CDFA in 1993 for both women and menswear, and the America’s Best Designer of 1993 Award. A member of numerous committees, such as the Council of Fashion Designers of America, Klein is the designer of choice for celebrities such as Julia Roberts, Gwyneth Paltrow and Helen Hunt, and has influenced designers such as Miuccia Prada and Donna Karan.

Rightly known as “Calvin the Conqueror“, he is counted as one of Time’s 25 Most Influential People in America.

No single individual has helped American fashion come into its own more than designer Calvin Klein. In the late 1960s Klein reinvigorated the fashion industry just when it appeared to have been abandoned by a generation of anti-fashion youth. Klein is known for his “casual chic” clothing, stylish but casual designs created for active women. He is undoubtedly one of the most successful American clothing designers today.

Chronology

1942: Born.

1962: Graduated from Fashion Institute of Technology.

1968: Established Calvin Klein Ltd.

1972: Introduced sportswear line.

1973: Won first Coty award.

1975: Inducted into the American Hall of Fame of Fashion.

1994: Received dual CFDA awards for women’s wear and men’s wear.

1996: Named one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans.

Not to miss:

Presenting CalvinKlein Spring/Summer 2010 Women Collection

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