Showing 1478 results

Authority record

Bjornson, Karen

  • US.2018112-015
  • Person
  • 1952-

Karen Bjornson is a fashion model who has worked in the industry for about 40 years. Born and raised in the Midwestern U.S., Bjornson began modeling in the 1970s when Halston hired her and she became a "house muse." Along with a few other chosen models, Bjornson traveled the world with Halston. The designer was not greedy and encouraged the young model to walk for other designers. Bjornson retired in 1989 to raise her daughters but returned to the runway in 2002, walking for Ralph Rucci. After the Rucci show, Bjornson rejoined the Ford Models agency and has continued to model.


  • US.20180702.005
  • Person
  • 1965-

Björk is a singer and musician from Reykjavík, Iceland.

Blackwell, Elizabeth, 1821-1910

  • US.20200715.016
  • Person
  • 1821-1910

Elizabeth Blackwell was a British physician, and the first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States, as well as the first woman on the Medical Register of the General Medical Council. She was a large supporter and advocate for education for women in medicine.

Blahnik, Manolo, 1942-

  • US.20200314.025
  • Person
  • 1942-

Manolo Blahnik (b. 1942) is a designer and manufacturer of what were called “the sexiest shoes in the world"—beautiful, expensive, and highly coveted by many of the world’s most fashionable women.

Manolo Blahnik was born on 27 November 1942 in the small village of Santa Cruz de la Palma in the Canary Islands, where his family—his Spanish mother, Manuela, his Czechoslovakian father, Enan, and his younger sister, Evangelina—had a banana plantation. Manuela, a voracious consumer of fashion magazines, bought clothes on shopping trips to Paris and Madrid and had the island’s dressmaker copy styles from fashion magazines. She designed her own shoes with the help of the local cobbler.

Manolo Blahnik moved to Geneva at the age of fifteen to live with his father’s cousin. Here he had his first experiences of the theater, opera, and fine restaurants. He studied law for a short period but soon switched to literature and art history. Blahnik left Geneva for Paris in 1965 to study art and theater design. He worked at the trendy Left Bank shop GO, where he met the actress Anouk Aimée and the jewelry designer Paloma Picasso.

With Picasso’s encouragement, Blahnik soon moved to London. While working at Feathers, a trendy boutique, he continued to cultivate his connections to the worlds of fashion and culture and was known for his unique style. But Blahnik was still searching for a specific vocation; the search then took him to New York City.

Blahnik arrived in New York City in 1969. Hired by the store Zapata, he began designing men’s saddle shoes. In 1972 Blahnik was introduced to Ossie Clark, then one of London’s most fashionable designers, who asked him to design the shoes for his women’s collection. While the shoes were not commercially successful, the press noticed their originality of design. Blahnik had no formal training as a shoe maker and initally his designs were structually weak. He consulted with a London shoe manufacture in order to correct his lack of technical skills. Also during this time Blahnik met Diana Vreeland, who declared, “Young man, do things, do accessories. Do shoes” (McDowell, p. 84). This endorsement was seconded by China Machado, the fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar. Women’s Wear Daily proclaimed Blahnik “one of the most exotic spirits in London" in 1973, and Footwear News described the Manolo Blahnik shoe on its front page as “the most talked about shoe in London.” Blahnik purchased Zapata from its owner in 1973. In 1978 he introduced a line exclusive to Bloomingdale’s, a well-known American retailer. Blahnik opened a second free-standing store a year later on New York’s Madison Avenue.

Blahnik’s creations received considerable publicity in the early 1980s, but his business was not running smoothly. Searching for alternatives, he was introduced by Dawn Mello, the vice president of Bergdorf Goodman, to an advertising copywriter named George Malkemus. Malkemus and his partner, Anthony Yurgaitis, went into business with Blahnik in 1982. They closed the Madison Avenue shop, opened a store on West Fifty-Fourth Street, and limited the distribution of Blahnik’s shoes to such prestigious retailers as Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman, and Neiman Marcus. By 1984 the newspaper USA Today projected earnings of a million dollars for the New York shop alone. Manolo Blahnik shoes began to appear on the runways of designers from Yves Saint Laurent, Bill Blass, and Geoffrey Beene to Perry Ellis, Calvin Klein, Isaac Mizrahi, and John Galliano.

Manolo Blahnik’s shoes became more popular than ever in the early twenty-first century. They appealed to an increasingly broad audience, in part because of their star billing on the television show Sex and the City. With production of “Manolos” limited to 10,000 to 15,000 pairs per month by four factories outside of Milan, the demand for these shoes exceeded the supply.

Manolo Blahnik won three awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in the 1980s and 1990s. The first special award was given in 1987; the second, for outstanding excellence in accessory design, in 1990. The third award came with the following tribute in 1997: “Blahnik has done for footwear what Worth did for the couture, making slippers into objects of desire, collectibles for women for whom Barbies are too girlish and Ferraris not girlish enough. An incredible piston in the engine of fashion, there is almost no designer he has not collaborated with, no designer who has not turned to him to transform a collection into a concert.”

The December 2003 issue of Footwear News quoted Alice Rawsthorn, the director of London’s Design Museum, which had been the site of a recent Blahnik retrospective: “Technically, aesthetically and conceptually, he is one of the most accomplished designers of our time in any field, and is undeniably the world’s most influential footwear designer”.

Blass, Bill

  • US.20190730.005
  • Person
  • 1922-2002

Bill Blass was born William Ralph Blass on June 22, 1922 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Blass attended Parsons School of Design at the age of 17. Roughly around the same time, Blass worked as a sketch artist for David Crystal, a Seventh Ave manufacturer. He served three years in the U.S. army during WWII. After the war, he returned to design, first working as an assistant with Anne Klein and ultimately finding work at Anna Miller and Co. in New York. Bill Blass became the head designer for Maurice Rentner in 1959, LTD, after the firm merged with Anna Miller and Co. 11 years later, Blass became sole owner of Rentner and renamed the company after himself. By this time, Blass had already won acclaim in the fashion industry, winning a Coty award in 1968 for his menswear designs. Bill Blass would go on to win two more Coty Awards, the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987 and the Humanitarian Leadership Award in 1996. From 1979 to 1981, Blass served as the honorary president for the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Bill Blass sold his business in 1999 for a rumoured $50 million. Bill Blass passed away at the age of 79 in 2002.

Block, Kenneth Paul, 1924-2009

  • US.20180702.004
  • Person
  • 1924-2009

Kenneth Paul Block was an American fashion illustrator. He worked as an in-house artist for Fairchild Publications and was featured prominently in their magazines Women's Wear Daily and W. His personal clientele included fashion retailers including Bergdorf-Goodman, Lord &Taylor, and Bonwit-Teller. His long-term life partner was fellow artist and fabric designer Morton Ribyat.

Blodgett, Leslie A.

  • US.20200923.004
  • Person
  • 1963-

Leslie A. Blodgett (1963 - ) is the founder of Bare Escentuals, a chemical-free makeup company. Blodgett began selling her makeup on QVC because, as she says, she felt "an affinity" with the women who worked on and watched the channel. While the T.V. component of her campaign helped her achieve household name recognition, Blodgett emphasized the importance of personal engagement. Blodgett frequently meets with fans, listens to their wants and needs to better understand what her customers are looking for. In 2010, Blodgett sold her company to Shiseido for nearly $1.7 billion.

Bloomie's Express

  • US.20200530.002
  • Corporate body
  • 1986

In 1986 Bloomingdale's opened two small stores at JFK Airport in New York called Bloomie's Express.

Bloomingdale's (Firm)

  • US.20181109-016
  • Corporate body
  • 1861 (date of establishment)

Bloomingdale's began in 1861 as a hoop-skirt shop run by brothers Joseph and Lyman G. Bloomingdale on the lower east side of Manhattan. Eventually moving to its current location at 59th and Lexington in 1886, the store is now an upscale department store featuring men and women's ready-to-wear, furnishings, accessories, jewelry, and cosmetics. This interview takes place at the beginning of a period of drastic change at Bloomingdale's, including extremely high employee turnover, changes in ownership, and the effects of an overall retail slump at the end of the 1980s. After over a decade of major promotional activity at Bloomingdale's, the financial year and a half after this interview, in May 1988, Campeau Corporation bought Bloomingdale's parent company, Federated Department Stores in a highly publicized and notorious leverage buyout. It is interesting to note that at the time of this interview, Bloomingdale's President Marvin S. Traub was soon to receive the "Person Who Makes the Difference" award from FIT, even as the department store was heading into serious financial troubles. Saks Fifth Avenue found itself in a similar position when it received the same award four years later amidst its highly publicized sale.

Board of Trustees

  • US.20180702.070
  • Corporate body
  • 1951 (date of establishment)

The Board of Trustees of the Fashion Institute of Technology establishes policies governing the college. Subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees of the State University of New York, the Board appoints the college president, approves curricula, approves budgets, establishes tuition and fees within legal limits, and approves sites and facilities. It is responsible for the care, custody, control and management of the college’s physical facilities. The Board sets policies and delegates to the president or her designees the responsibility for implementing them, including personnel policies; the creation of divisions, departments, and administrative and academic positions; rules governing student conduct; the use of college facilities by outside organizations; the admission of students; and the preparation of the budget. The Board also has such other powers and duties as provided by New York law or prescribed by the SUNY Board of Trustees.

By State law, there are sixteen trustees: eight are appointed by the college’s local sponsor, through the New York City Panel for Educational Policy; seven are appointed by the governor, but must reside in New York City; and one, a student at the college, is elected by the other students of the college. Other than the student trustee, all trustees appointed after August 5, 2003 have seven-year terms; trustees appointed previously had nine-year terms. The student trustee serves for one year but has the same parliamentary privileges, including the right to vote, as the other members. The Board selects its chair from among its voting membership.The first Board of Trustees meeting was held on 1951 November 5 where all oaths of office were administered by Justice Charles D. Breitel, Justice of the Supreme Court, First Judicial District. Dr. Lawrence L. Jarvie served as the first and temporary chair and then Max Meyer served as the first elected chair. Also elected was Mortimer Ritter as President of the College. The first Secretary of the Board was Shirley Goodman. Minutes are produced as a result of each meeting. In the early days of the College, the Board met much more frequently, as often as once a month whereas now, the Board meets four (4) times per year.

Bohan, Marc

  • US.2018112.016
  • Person
  • 1926-

Marc Bohan was born in Paris on August 22,1926. His mother, a milliner, encouraged Bohan to go into fashion. Bohan's first design position came in 1945, when he began working as a design assistant at Robert Piguet. Throughout the late 1940s and 1950s, Bohan worked at a both Molyneux (1949-1954) and Patou (1954-1958). After leaving Patou, Bohan attempted to open his own house. Although notices of his first show were favorable, the venture failed due to lack of financial backing. The same year, Bohan began working for Christian Dior, designing their London line of suits. At the age of 35, Bohan replaced Yves Saint Laurent as Christian Dior's Chief Designer in 1960. Dior thrived under Bohan's direction and the company acquired a new generation of customers while maintaining its original, elegant base. Bohan left Dior in 1989 and from 1990 to 1992, he worked as fashion director for Norman Hartnell in London. As of late, Bohan lives in a 18th century house in Burgundy.

Bolton, Andrew, 1966-

  • US.20200715.017
  • Person
  • 1966-

Andrew Bolton (1966 - ) is a British-born Museum Curator. Bolton holds a degree in social anthropology from the University of East Anglia. Soon after graduating, Bolton was hired by the V & A Museum in London. Bolton worked at the V & A for nine years, before leaving for New York. In 2002, Bolton was hired as an Associate Curator of the Costume Institute. Three years later, he was promoted to Curator in Charge, following Harold Koda's retirement. While at the MET, Bolton has curated numerous shows, including Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2011), China: Through the Looking Glass (2015), Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology (2016), and Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination (2018), the later being the museum's third most visited exhibition ever.

Bonney, Thérèse, 1894-1978

  • US.20181012-017
  • Person
  • 1894-1978

Thérèse Bonney was an American photographer and journalist working in France during the 20th century. Bonney was born around 1894 in Syracuse, New York. She first came to France in 1919 as part of the first intercontinental student exchange program. Two years later, Bonney received her PhD from the Sorbonne. As a journalist, she covered both the Russian campaign in Finland and later, the Nazi occupation in France. She was a member of the French resistance. After the war, Bonney wrote a column for Le Figaro and founded the first American illustrated press in Europe. Thérèse Bonney passed away in Paris on January 15, 1978 at the age of 83.

Boodey, Web

  • US.20200923.005
  • Person

Web Boodey was a professor working in the Social Science Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Boodey began working at FIT in 1964 doing administrative work related to student community service.

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