Liz Claiborne was born in Brussels, Belgium on
March 31st, 1929.
After moving to the U.S. in 1939, when she
was 19 she decided to live in N.Y.C.
Her father did not approve,but she always
aspired to be a fashion designer.
The Early Years
In the 1950s Claiborne designed sportswear, dresses, and
She then became the designer for the junior dress division of
Jonathan Logan from 1960-1975.
Although she liked her job she saw a need for something new
and different in women’s clothing.
Claiborne wanted to create more comfortable, but professional
clothes for working women.
Liz Claiborne Inc.
In 1976, Claiborne founded her company, Liz Claiborne Inc.
Her clothes became instantly popular.
The company went public in 1981.
By 1985, the company was listed
on Fortune 500.
Her company being the first founded
by a woman to have this honor.
Claiborne Changes the Way Women
Dress For Work
Claiborne’s idea was to give women their
own identity through the clothing they
She created a look that was more
feminine and attractive, yet still classic
During this time period women were
just beginning to enter the business world,
they needed a style of their own.
How Women Obtained Their Own Style
Women needed a way to show they were different from men
and Claiborne helped them achieve it.
Before her women’s clothes consisted of dresses and skirts
with matching blazers or suits just like men.
Claiborne created new pieces for
women such as high-waisted pants
that flared at the bottom and
long-sleeved button-down shirts.
All her new clothes were
also reasonably priced.
Other Contributions Claiborne Made
to Women’s Clothing
the idea of separates,
pieces of clothing that
women could mix and match.
This idea lead to changes
in the displays of
Instead of having the pants
with the pants and the shirts
with the shirts, she had “outfits”.
Claiborne had the pants with
the shirts and color combinations
She also brought in bright, vibrant
colors, like bright red, yellow, and
royal blue which made her clothes more appealing.
Claiborne’s Successes and Awards
Claiborne and her husband founded The Liz Claiborne
and Art Ortenberg Foundation to protect wildlife
after she resigned from the company.
She then received the Humanitarian Award in 2000.
She was inducted into the National Business Hall of
Fame with her husband in 1990 and the National
Sales Hall of Fame in 1991.
Liz Claiborne In Review
Claiborne was a strong business
woman, she changed the way
women dressed for work.
She added new styles and color
to women’s clothing providing good
fit, color, comfort, and value.
Claiborne was an inspirational
fashion designer until her death on
June 26, 2007.
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wardrobes of career women; [FINAL Edition]." ProQuest. USA TODAY, June-July
2007. Web. Sept.-Oct. 2009. <http://proquest.umi.com/>.
Horyn, Cathy. "Can Liz Claiborne Get Its Groove Back?" ProQuest. New York
Times Magazine, Fall 2008. Web. Sept.-Oct. 2009. <http://proquest.umi.com/>.
Johnson, Rebecca. "Queen of the Separates." ProQuest. New York Times Magazine,
Dec.-Jan. 2007. Web. Sept.-Oct. 2009. <http://proquest.umi.com/>.
"Liz Claiborne Biography." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Web. 22 Sept. 2009.