Carolina Herrera (Special Occasion)
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Carolina Herrera formed Carolina Herrera, Ltd. in 1981 in New York. Today, with sales extending around the world, Herrera oversees an international design firm that encompasses her signature fashion collection, a bridal collection, fragrances and accessories. The first Carolina Herrera flagship store opened in 2000 on New York's Madison Avenue in a four-story landmark building, followed by boutiques in Los Angeles, Dallas, Bal Harbour, and Las Vegas. In 2008, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) honored Herrera with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. The CFDA also honored her in 2004 with its Women's Wear Designer of the Year award.
Calvin Klein (Sportswear)
Calvin Klein is recognized globally as a master of minimalism and has spent his career distilling things to their very essence. Whether in fashion, fragrance, beauty, or his collections for the home, his work is always subtle, sophisticated and possesses a clarity that has redefined modern living. Born in New York in 1942, award-winning fashion icon and marketing pioneer Calvin Klein honed his style at the Fashion Institute of Technology. He launched his first collection in 1968, going on to revolutionize the designer denim and underwear businesses with his overtly sexy ad campaigns.
Narciso Rodriguez (Sportswear)
Born in New Jersey of Cuban-American parents, Narciso Rodriguez received his formal education at Parsons School of Design. Following freelance work in New York's garment industry, he joined Anne Klein as Women's Design Director under Donna Karan, later moving to Calvin Klein where he worked on the Women's Collection. In 1995, Rodriguez became Design Director of TSE, where he presented ready-to-wear collections for men and women in New York. Simultaneously, he was appointed Design Director of Cerruti in Paris. While at Cerruti Rodriguez received international acclaim for his design of the bias-cut sheath wedding dress that his friend Carolyn Bessette wore when she married John F. Kennedy, Jr.
In October 1997, the first women's ready-to-wear collection under the Narciso Rodriguez label, in partnership with Italian manufacturer AEFFE, was presented in Milan. Rodriguez was awarded Best New Designer at the Vogue/VH1 Fashion Awards in New York and the Perry Ellis Award for Best New Designer by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The same year, Loewe appointed Rodriguez Design Director of the women's ready-to-wear collection, a position he held until 2001.
Rodriguez returned to New York where he established his atelier and presented his Fall/Winter ready-to-wear collection in 2001. He became the first designer to receive the Women's Wear Designer of the Year award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in consecutive years 2002 and 2003.
Deborah Lloyd (Sportswear)
Deborah Lloyd is co-president and creative director of kate spade new york for Liz Claiborne Inc. where she oversees all creative aspects of the kate spade new york and jack spade brands, including product design, merchandising, creative services and public relations. Lloyd joined the company in November 2007 after spending six years as executive vice president of Design and Product Development at Banana Republic.
Before Banana Republic, Lloyd spent five years at Burberry. Her work there was integral in the re-launch of the Burberry Women's London Collection: bringing the idea of English dressing to the forefront of fashion again. Lloyd honed her skills as a designer at international fashion houses such as Aquascutum London, Kenzo Paris, and Daniel Hechter Paris.
Lloyd earned a master of arts degree with distinction from the Royal College of Art in London and a B.A. (first class) from the Ravensbourne College of Art and Design, London. She has received several British Fashion Council awards, including Contemporary Designer of the Year for Burberry in 2000 and Classic Designer of the Year for Burberry in 1998 and 1999.
Flora Nikrooz (Intimate Apparel)
Flora Nikrooz creates intimate apparel that combines feminine fantasy with sophisticated glamour. Nikrooz interprets fashion trends in silk charmeuse, fine georgettes, chiffons, and Chantilly and Levers lace. Her designs are known for their perfect pleating, delicate embroideries, and lacy bodices.
The Flora Nikrooz Company was founded by Nikrooz and her husband in the 1980s, establishing itself as a premier designer of bridal intimate apparel. In the 1980s, Nikrooz was the first sleepwear designer to launch a bridal sleepwear shop at Saks, a concept that quickly spread across the country. The company was acquired in 2003 by Age Group Ltd., where Nikrooz remained president of Design and continues to develop product.
Norma Kamali (Sportswear)
Norma Kamali has established a legacy as one of the fashion industry's most prolific and original designers, and as an astute entrepreneur. After graduating from FIT in 1964 as a Fashion Illustration major, Kamali began designing and sewing her own fashions without ever having made a pattern. Her prodigious talent produced one legendary creation after another, including her famed sleeping-bag coat, fashions made from Army surplus parachute silk, and high-heeled sneakers. She revolutionized women's swimwear with bold designs and strong colors, and her seminal sweatshirt-fabric collection introduced the concept of activewear as everyday clothing. Today her fashions are available at every level of the marketplace.
Tom Scott (Knitwear)
Tom Scott's designs are characterized by architectural constructions that are simultaneously modern and understated, sophisticated and feminine. He frequently explores clothing and design archetypes, dismantling vintage pieces that he reassembles with unconventional results, often relying on accidental discoveries. Basing his ideas in a concept, Scott incorporates elements of garment, accessory, and interiors. Many of his pieces are designed so that wearers can manipulate them in ways that are like the clothes themselves unexpected. Scott's collection is produced artisanally in New York and Bolivia in small workshops and cooperatives, each piece imbuing a handmade touch.
Scott was selected in 2010 as one of twelve designers to be part of an inaugural initiative founded by the CFDA in conjunction with the New York Economic Development Corporation. This two-year initiative, CFDA Fashion Incubator, provides each designer with a studio in the Garment District, as well as business mentoring by leading industry experts. In December 2006, Scott's work was featured in the National Design Triennial at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York. He is also the recipient of the 2007 Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award, and in 2008 was the only American designer to be nominated for The Australian Merino Woolmark Prize, in Paris.
Tom Scott's collection is carried in leading boutiques in the U.S. and around the world, including Barneys New York, Ikram in Chicago, Susan in San Francisco, Couverture in London, Journal Standard in Japan, and Club 21 in Singapore.
His work also has been featured in many leading international Publications, including Vogue, W, T/The New York Times Style Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and Elle.
Michelle Smith (Sportswear)
Born out of Michelle Smith's lifelong conviction that fashion was her calling, The Milly by Michelle Smith collection has been known since 2001 for exquisite prints and colors, luxurious fabrics, and attention to detail. Smith's collections embody modern sensibility with a vintage vibe.
Smith earned an art school scholarship to study fashion illustration, later following her passion for fashion design by attending FIT. While a student, Smith worked at the Hermes boutique in Manhattan to help pay for her studies. Upon graduation from FIT, she wrote to the President of Hermes requesting an internship at the Paris headquarters, making Michelle Smith the first American Hermes employee sent to work in Paris. While there, Smith continued her studies at the design school ESMOD and interned at Louis Vuitton, Torrente, and Christian Dior Haute Couture. After three years, Smith returned to New York, intent on establishing her own design business.
Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham, Beyonce, and Thandie Newton are counted among Milly's fans. The collection is sold at specialty and department stores worldwide, including Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrods, and Takashimaya.
In Spring 2011, Milly will mark its 10th anniversary with several exciting new endeavors: the opening of Milly's flagship boutique on Madison Avenue; the debut of its handbag and fashion jewelry collections; and Milly Minis, clothing for young Milly aspirants aged 2-7.
Reiko Waisglass (Knitwear)
Reiko Waisglass graduated from McGill University with a degree in Cultural Theory, before moving to New York to study fashion at Parsons School of Design. She worked with Carolina Herrera and Jeffery Chow before joining Theory in 2004. She is the knitwear designer for Theory, as well as for Theyskens' Theory, under the directorship of Olivier Theyskens.
Susan Lane, BY and the Duck