Monday, March 14, 2011

Liz Claiborne revolutionized fashion

"Well behaved women seldom make history." - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

When Liz Claiborne announced to her parents her plans to pursue a career in fashion, they did not approve. Her father let her out of the car, handed her $50 said "good luck" and didn't speak to her for the next 20 years. Harsh, right? Years later in 1976 Liz Claiborne founded a women's clothing company, Liz Claiborne Inc., making her the first woman to found a company. In 1985, Liz Claiborne Inc. grossed more than $500 million earning the company a much coveted spot in the Fortune 500 list and making Liz Claiborne the first woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Impressive!

Liz Claiborne's innovative style gained her prominence in the fashion industry not only in America but internationally as well. She designed colorful seperates that could be mixed-and-matched with other pieces to create outfits. Her style included a mix-and-match collection of skirts, shirts, jackets, vests, pleated skirts, peasent blouses for working women. When asked about her designs, Liz replied, “I wanted to dress busy and active women like myself, women who dress in a rush and who weren’t perfect...I knew clothes could do a certain thing for you from a flattering point of view."

I admire Liz Claiborne's non-comformist spirit. She challenged how women dressed out in the world. She facilitated the idea of women stepping outside their homes wearing pieces that did not match as it was customary prior to the 1970s. Often times Liz Claiborne is over looked in vintage wardrobe discussions. I believe her commitment to address the style needs of a growing number of women entering the work force in the 1970s; helping women compete on an equal footing with men in corporate settings without loosing femininity earn Liz Claiborne a rightful place in any dialogue concerning vintage.

A quote to perfectly summarizes Liz Claiborne:
"Her designs conveyed a potent blend of intelligence, strenght, and femininity."

Audio & Photos-Remembering Liz Claiborne
Liz Claiborne 1929-2007
"Liz Claiborne on August 30, 1949 waves as she arrives at Penn Station in New York en route to Paris for a ten day trip after winning a Happer's Bazaar sponsored design contest."


Liz Claiborne still looking fabolous in her later years.

If you have the chance to add vintage Liz Claiborne pieces to your wardrobe, go for it! The dreams, love, and vision of this revolutionary fashion icon are embedded in them.

Here are some amazing vintage 1970s and 1980s Liz Claiborne pieces I discovered. Each of them can be found on etsy. Click on each picture and it will automatically direct you to the etsy shop where you can buy it. Hint: Liz Claiborne pieces with the ILGWU union made tag are coveted and highly sought after.

'Liz Claiborne picks' by CovetedVintage

A tribute to Liz Claiborne

















Any thoughts on why Liz Claiborne is left out from vintage wardrobe discussions?