Fashion Designers

A&E Premiered Jan 01, 2009 Unknown


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Episode Guide


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    • Vera Wang: Attention to Detail
      Her name is synonymous with elegance, simplicity and quiet glamour. Her understated designs grace brides and movie stars with one goal: to make the woman beautiful. Vera Wang's customers wear the clothes-the clothes don't wear them. Vera Wang was born in 1949 to Chinese immigrants. Her father's success as an entrepreneur gave Vera and her brother a life of privilege on New York's Upper East Side. Her mother's impeccable style had a lasting impact. As a young girl, Vera fell in love with ice-skating, a sport she seriously pursued for 15 years. The dedication and practice it demanded were fundamental to her growth as an athlete and later, as a businesswoman. Vera attended Sarah Lawrence, but dropped out to pursue an interest in fashion. She became the youngest fashion editor at VOGUE. She remained there for 17 years until becoming a design director at Ralph Lauren. Her 1989 wedding led to a new career. When Vera could not find a suitable dress for the lavish affair, she had one made. She realized there was a need for elegant, understated, yet sexy gowns. So she started designing them. In 1990, she began a business for brides. It flourished. Another turning point came when she dressed skater Nancy Kerrigan for the 1994 Olympics. Vera's work generated interest from Hollywood. When Sharon Stone, Jane Fonda, Holly Hunter and Halle Berry are asked, "Who are you wearing?" Their answer is "Vera Wang."moreless
    • Calvin Klein: A Stylish Obsession
      Calvin Klein has always been well-dressed - whether as a child by his mother or today by his own doing in an outfit with a label bearing his name. And that name - Calvin Klein - has defined and survived fashion trends for nearly 3 decades. Born November 19, 1942 in the Bronx section of New York, Calvin Klein was the favored child of three. His mother doted on him and he would tag along with her to the discount department stores while she shopped rather than play stickball with the other kids. He was a loner who was talented with a pen and often sketched. There was a neighborhood kid who could relate to Calvin's independent spirit and he was Barry Schwartz who to this day is Calvin's best friend and business partner. A work ethic was ingrained in Calvin as a young boy. Both of his parents worked and education was encouraged. Calvin always knew that he wanted to be a fashion designer, even before doing so fashion. Calvin left the Bronx for New York City's High School of Art and Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Soon after graduation, he married the beauty from the Bronx, Jayne Centre and in 1967 they had a baby girl, Marci. Calvin worked hard to support his family. Making $75 a week, he would sketch designs from the European runways for his employer, coat mogul Dan Millstein. This tactic of copying was typical for fashion at the time as no original ideas were coming out of America. But Calvin wanted to change all of that. Calvin wanted to start his own fashion company and nothing was going to stop him, not even the fact that he was nearly broke and still working at his father's grocery store to make extra cash. At the age of 26, with a loan of $10,000 from Barry Schwartz who had inherited his father's business, Calvin founded his company. With Barry as his partner, they had plans of conquering, or at least clothing, the world. They set up shop in a small showroom on 7th Avnue. A buyer from the fashionable department store Bonwit Teller was passimoreless
    • Donna Karan
      Donna Karan
      Episode 1
      Called the most important female designer of women's fashions since Coco Chanel, in 1984, she launched her own company with clothes for women just like her: powerful, sensitive, sexy, bright women in business. Before Donna, executive clothes for women were mannish. Donna made them sensual, luxurious, and yet easy to wear with the creation of her trademark Seven Easy Pieces a group of interchangeable clothes that could be worn from day into evening. Her design philosophy is simple. "I stand in the mirror just like every other woman in the world", says Donna. "How am I gonna look? What looks good? You know? Am I too fat? My legs are too this. My waist is too this. So from those faults come understanding a woman's body. It's with that insecurity that I'm able to design. It's like accenting the positive, and deleting the negative." By 2000, that philosophy was the foundation of an empire earning a billion dollars a year including eyewear, fragrances, home furnishings, and the hugely successful DKNY line of hip, street smart sportswear.moreless