This Designer’s ‘Historical and Significant’ Moment
When I started doing fashion in the mid-’80s, I thought I was going to be a designer. As I grew older, a trend evolved where women who came up in the fashion industry would come to me, and I would give them advice on how to make a career in fashion. I had a pretty good idea what I was doing, and I was pretty sure I would be a designer for a long time.
Unfortunately, I was wrong. I did get a job as a buyer for a big clothing retailer, but I don’t think it was very important for the job itself or the role I was given. I was never really able to figure out what I was doing there, nor was I able to find another job that satisfied me. I wasn’t really good at selling, and I was told I was a “natural” with women because I could dress women. I don’t know if this is true, but I like to think it is. I also wore women’s accessories and clothes and made a lot of mistakes when I was wearing women’s clothes.
At the same time, I was reading a lot of women’s magazines, and I was always looking for inspiration. One of the magazines that influenced me most, though, was Glamour. When I started reading the articles, I realized how far women’s fashion had come.
First, in the early ’70s, women’s clothes were just starting to have a more modern look (in a conservative way). Second, women’s clothes were very different from men’s, and I could tell there was a ton of potential for a fashion-forward movement in women’s clothes. Third, in the ’80s, women’s clothes started to “come together.” That was when designers like Vivienne Westwood and Diane von Furstenberg revolutionized the look of women’s clothes by making them more exciting and more comfortable.
I was not an avid fashion girl. I had a lot of clothes, but I didn’t have a lot of style.