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  • Writer's pictureEmma

Iconic Vintage Fashion Designers - Part Three

I hope you are having a great bank holiday weekend and are able to enjoy this lovely weather! It been another busy week for us but I'm back one again with another installment of my Iconic Vintage Fashion Designers fact file blog post, so I'm back with part two! This week I have hand picked another handful of the most influential fashion designers in history and my Top Five favourite facts about them! Let's not waste any time and jump straight in with...


Top Five Facts about Pierre Balmain...

  1. Balmain was commissioned to design air hostess uniforms for Singapore Airlines in 1968.

  2. Balmain never set out to be a fashion designer. He initially studied architecture in Paris before serving in the French air force. He then went on to work for iconic design houses such as Dior which ignited his passion for all things fashion!

  3. There have been other hugely influential and famous fashion designers at the helm of Balmain including Karl Lagerfeld and Oscar de la Renta.

  4. Pierre Balmain has always been about diversity and representation. Even in less progressive times they have used models from a variety of racial backgrounds and continue to do so.

  5. One of the biggest celebrity fans of Balmain was the late, great, Michael Jackson. In the 1980s he wore many of the women's outerwear collections as he loved the military style with more glitz and tailoring.


Top Five Facts about Emilio Pucci...

  1. Pucci was a huge sports enthusiast and was actually part of the Italy team at the 1932 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.

  2. He was also a very intellectual man and in 1937 graduated Reed College Oregon with an MA in Social Science, going on to earn a doctorate in Political Science from the University of Florence.

  3. Pucci's first clothing design job was actually for the Reed College skiing team.

  4. In 1949, Emilio Pucci opened a boutique in Capri, Italy, where his most popular item was a cropped slim fitting trouser - this is what we know now as Capri pants.

  5. Coming from an aristocratic family, it was considered shocking and taboo for Emilio to work as a 'dressmaker' rather than a diplomat or politician. He once said "I am the first member of my family to work in a thousand years"


Vivienne Westwood Iconic Vintage Fashion Designer

Top Five Facts about Barbara Hulanicki...

  1. In 1964, Barbara Hulanicki opened the first ever BIBA store with her husband Stephen Fitz-Simon, in the Kensington area of London.

  2. She was originally born in Palestine to Polish parents but moved to England in 1948 were she enrolled at Brighton Art College.

  3. Her first break was winning a beachwear design competition for the London Evening Standard newspaper in 1955.

  4. In the 1970s, Hulanicki designed her iconic skintight leather platform knee boots for Biba and instantly queues of fashionistas formed! She sold around 75,000 pairs in just a few months!

  5. Barbara absolutely hated the baby blues and pastel pinks that are normally associated with traditional baby clothes. So when her son Witold was born, she vowed to only dress him in purple and black!


Oscar de la Renta Iconic Vintage Fashion Designer

Top Five Facts about Ossie Clark..

  1. His real name was Raymond but he was nicknamed Ossie after the Lancashire town of Oswaldtwistle to which his family were evacuated during WWII.

  2. A painting of Ossie and his wife Celia Birtwell plus their cat Percy was gifted to them by the infamous David Hockney after they married.

  3. Actress Julie Christie once brought the great Warren Beatty to Ossie's Quorum boutique to show him the talent and brilliance of her favourite designer.

  4. His design aesthetic was summed up perfectly in an interview with the Sunday Times in 1970 when he simply said " I don't care how much anything costs as long as it's beautiful"

  5. Ossie Clarke was tragically stabbed to death in 1996 by his former lover Diego Cogolato in a drug fueled attack at his London home.

I hope you enjoyed this week's look at some more of the most iconic vintage fashion designers in history. What was your favourite this time around? And who would you like me to feature next time in the series?

As always, we have lots more amazing stock arriving on the website this week so keep your eye on our socials for pics, links and videos! And if you are local to Darwen then it would be amazing to see you - come and see us soon! Our opening times are shown on the homepage if you ever need to check them.

Until next time

Emma x

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