item 3 - Robert Abajian interview, 1985 January 19

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US NNFIT SC.FITA.3.20.4.9.1.3

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Robert Abajian interview, 1985 January 19

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  • 1985 January 19 (Creation)

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(1932-1995)

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Robert (Bob) Abajian received his training from the Fashion Institute of Technology. In 1978, he received the Mortimer Ritter Award, presented for outstanding achievement in design. He was a member and the president in 1992 of Fashion's Inner Circle.

In a 42-year career in the apparel industry, he served as design director for the apparel company College Town/Panther from 1980 to 1983 and spent 11 years as design director for Bobbie Brooks. He joined Liz Claiborne in 1984 as design director and, after a brief period away from the company, returned in 1987 as vice president of the Lizsport line.

As a senior vice president at Liz Claiborne, he was in charge of coordinating design for the $1.1 billion sportswear division, which consists of three lines. He took over the company's design direction when Ms. Claiborne retired as company chairwoman in 1989. He retired in 1994.

He developed a studio at Liz Claiborne where recent design graduates could work with an established director in developing their skills.

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(1924-1995)

Biographical history

"Mildred Finger Haines ... helped shape fashion tastes for four decades as a top buyer for department stores and a consultant to clothes makers and retailers.... From the late 1940's through the late 1960's, Mrs. Haines, known throughout her career as Mildred Finger, was a buyer of ready-to-wear at Macy's, Ohrbach's and Bergdorf Goodman, and was one of New York City's most often cited taste makers. At Bergdorf's, in particular, she was noted for bringing European styles to American consumers. She later became Vice President of Charles of the Ritz, headed fashion merchandising for Yves St. Laurent and became an independent consultant, with clients like the Limited and Arthur D. Little. Suffering from multiple sclerosis, she retired in 1986. In succeeding years, she frequently contributed her knowledge of the fashion industry to the oral history projects of the American Jewish Committee and the Fashion Institute of Technology...." New York Times Obituary, 1995

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  • Legacy audio ID no: AOH02
  • Legacy transcription ID no: T66

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