How did Liz Claiborne get famous

encyclopedia

American fashion designer

Liz Claiborne

Born

Anne Elisabeth Jane Claiborne

((1929-03-31) March 31, 1929

DiedJune 26, 2007 (2007-06-26) (78 years)
nationalityAmerican
educationArt school and painter's studio, Belgium (1947)
Nice Academy (1948)

Label (s)

Liz Claiborne
Spouse
  • Ben Shultz (m. 1950; div. 1954)
  • Arthur Ortenberg (born 1957)
relationshipJennifer Farber (niece)

Anne Elisabeth Jane Claiborne (March 31, 1929 - June 26, 2007) was an American fashion designer and businesswoman. Their success was based on stylish yet affordable clothing for career women with colorful tailored items that could be mixed and matched. Claiborne is best known for co-founder of Liz Claiborne Inc., which was added to the Fortune 500 list in 1986 as the first female company to be founded.[1] Claiborne became the first woman to become chairman and CEO of a Fortune 500 company.[2]

Early life and education

Claiborne was born in Brussels to American parents. She came from a prominent Louisiana family with an ancestor, William CC Claiborne, who served as Louisiana’s first governor after statehood during the 1812 War.[1]

In 1939, at the beginning of World War II, the family returned to New Orleans.[1] Claiborne attended St. Timothy's School for Girls, a small boarding school in Catonsville, Maryland, and currently in Stevenson, Maryland. She and her sisters attended Mountain Lakes High School in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey.[3]

Instead of finishing high school, Claiborne went to Europe to study art in painters' studios.[4] Her father didn't think she needed an education, so she studied art informally.[4]

In 1949 Claiborne won the Jacques Heim National Design Contest (sponsored by Harper’s Bazaar),[5][page needed][ISBN missing] and then moved to Manhattan, where she worked for years in the Garment District on Seventh Avenue.[4] as a sketch artist in the Sportswear House, Tina Leser. She also worked for former Hollywood costume designer Omar Kiam who became a fashion designer.[6] She worked as a designer for Dan Keller and Youth Group Inc.[7]

Liz Claiborne Inc. [edit]

Claiborne was frustrated with the failure of the companies they employed to provide clothing for working women. With her husband Art Ortenberg, Leonard Boxer and Jerome Chazen, she founded her own design company, Liz Claiborne Inc., in 1976.[1] It was an instant hit, with sales of $ 2 million in 1976 and $ 23 million in 1978.[7] By 1988, it had acquired a third of the upscale American sportswear market for women.[4]

Marketing strategies developed by Claiborne changed the nature of retail stores. For example, Claiborne insisted that her clothing line be displayed as a department on its own and with any items she sells separately. This was the first time customers in a department store location were able to select many types of garments by brand name alone. This tradition of grouping specialty brands has become the typical arrangement for brands in contemporary stores.

In 1980, Liz Claiborne Accessories was founded by Nina McLemore (who launched her own label decades later in 2001).[8] Liz Claiborne Inc. went public in 1981 and made the Fortune 500 list in 1986 with retail sales of $ 1.2 billion.[7]

Claiborne listed all employees in her corporate directory in alphabetical order to avoid what she perceived to be male hierarchies.[4] She controlled meetings by ringing a glass bell and became famous for her love of red - “Liz Red”.[4] She sometimes posed as a saleswoman to see what average women thought of her clothes.[4]

Personal life, retirement and death

Claiborne's first marriage was to Ben Shultz; it ended in divorce in 1954 after meeting Arthur Ortenberg.[9] In 1957 she and her current colleague Arthur married (1926 - 2014).[10] She had a son from her first marriage, Alexander G. Schultz, and two stepchildren from her second marriage, Neil Ortenberg and Nancy Ortenberg.[1][11]

Claiborne retired from active management in 1989. By then she had taken over other companies, notably Kayser-Roth, which made Liz Claiborne accessories.[1] Her husband retired at the same time, leaving the other founders as active managers.

When they retired, Claiborne and Ortenberg set up a foundation that distributed millions of funds for environmental causes, including funding the television series nature on PBS[1] and conservation projects around the world.[11][10] She received an honorary doctorate in fine arts from the Rhode Island School of Design.[2]

Claiborne had been informed in May 1997 that she had a rare form of cancer that affected the lining of the abdomen.[11] She died of cancer on June 26, 2007 at the age of 78.[12]

Awards and honors [edit]

  • 1990 - National Business Hall of Fame, sponsored by Junior Achievement
  • 1991 - National Sales Hall of Fame
  • 1991 - Honorary Doctorate from the Rhode Island School of Design
  • 1993 - American Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award[13]
  • 2000 - Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America[14]

References [edit]

  1. ^ abcdefGBernstein, Adam (June 28, 2007). “Liz Claiborne, 78; Icon of the fashion industry ”. Washington Post. Retrieved July 21, 2007.
  2. ^ ab“MADE Programs: Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg”. School of Business Administration, University of Montana. Archived from the original on May 31, 2005. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  3. ^Ortenberg, art. Liz Claiborne: The Legend, the Woman, p. 108. Rowman & Littlefield, 2010. ISBN 9781589794948. Accessed August 27, 2020. “Everyone returned to the United States when the war broke out. All three Claiborne children had attended Mountain Lakes High School in New Jersey. Liz, the three, did not have a degree. “”
  4. ^ abcdefG“Liz Claiborne”. The economist. July 5, 2007. Retrieved July 18, 2007.
  5. ^The New York City Encyclopedia: Second edition. Kenneth T. Jackson, Lisa Keller and Nancy Flood. Yale University Press, December 1, 2010
  6. ^Woo, Elaine (June 28, 2007). “Liz Claiborne, 78; A clothing designer for career women built a huge fashion empire ”. Los Angeles times. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  7. ^ abcDow, Sheila, ed. (2002). “Liz Claiborne”. Business leader profiles for students. Detroit: storm. 1: 150–153.
  8. ^Binkley, Christina (July 2, 2014). “Women in power know Nina”. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 31, 2015.
  9. ^“Obituary for Liz Claiborne”. The guard. July 2020.
  10. ^ abLockwood, Lisa (February 4, 2014). “Arthur Ortenberg dies”. Women's clothing daily. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  11. ^ abcWilson, Eric (June 27, 2007). “Liz Claiborne, designer, dies at 78”. The New York Times. Retrieved July 21, 2007.
  12. ^“Sportswear designer Liz Claiborne dead at 78”. Reuters. June 27, 2007. Retrieved July 21, 2007.
  13. ^"American Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Awardees". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement.
  14. ^“Liz Claiborne - CFDA”. cfda.com. Council of Fashion Designers of America.

Further reading [edit]

  • Chazen, Jerome A. "Apparel Industry Notes: Two Decades with Liz Claiborne." Columbia Journal of World Business 31,2 (1996): 40–43.
  • Dalby, Jill S. and M. Therese Flaherty. "Liz Claiborne, Inc. and Ruentex Industries, Ltd." Harvard Business School, case 9 (1990): 690–748.
  • Daria, Irene. The fashion cycle: a look behind the scenes A year with Bill Blass, Liz Claiborne, Donna Karan, Arnold Scaasi and Adrienne Vittadini (Simon and Schuster, 1990).
  • Siggelkow, Nicolaj. "Change in the Presence of Fit: The Rise, the Fall, and the Renaissance of Liz Claiborne." Academy of Management Journal 44.4 (2001): 838-857. Very influential article online.

External links [edit]