Here at JUICE, we don’t normally pay any mind to the art establishment, because we’re so so avant garde like that. But respect where respect is due, this lady was considered mainstream only because she’s been bucking trends for three decades and change, and that’s pretty solid by our, or indeed anyone’s, standards.
After years of thankless toil as a relatively unknown dress designer, Elisabeth Claiborne founded her own fashion label in 1976, based in cutthroat NYC. By 1985, Liz Claiborne Inc. became the first company founded by a woman to be listed in the prestigious Fortune 500 list, blazing the way for a host of female generals of industry.
Working with the simple philosophy of creating clothes for “the working American woman”, Liz Claiborne transcended market niches and appealed to preppy schoolgirls and their society-brunching mothers alike. Her determination and drive proved to be an inspiration not only to independent women everywhere, but to all individuals hoping to make their mark in the world against daunting odds.
Liz Claiborne passed away yesterday from complications caused by cancer. She was 78. May she rest in peace.