collection SC.332 - Stephen Burrows collection, 1969-2012

Identity area

Reference code



Stephen Burrows collection, 1969-2012


  • 1969-2012 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

3 Linear Feet

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Stephen Gerald Burrows was born on September 15, 1943 in Newark, NJ. He attended the Philadelphia Museum College of Art from 1961-1963 and then attended the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T) from 1964-1966, where he graduated with a degree in fashion design. Successfully selling his garments to his friends or the "commune" as he referred to them, he co-founded "O" Boutique in 1968 on Park Avenue South.Burrows' use of color, color combinations, and fabrics was unheard of at this time. Burrows was influenced by rhythm and dance inspiring garments with a softer, slimmer silhouette that moved with the body and as a finishing touch, he originated the "Lettuce Edge", which is still in use today. In 1970, the fashion industry took notice of Burrows' innovative designs, where he was hired by Henri Bendel and given a boutique named "Stephen Burrows World". In 1973, Burrows was chosen to be a part of a collaborative fashion benefit between the United States and France at the Palace of Versailles, where Burrows and American fashion became an international sensation. Following his success, Burrows received the Coty award in 1973, 1974 and 1977. Burrows later left Bendel to open his own business on seventh avenue, marking his hiatus from the fashion industry until 2002. On February 13th, 2002 "Stephen Burrows World" reopened at Henri Bendel, reintroducing Burrows into the fashion world. In 2006, Burrows received the CFDA's Board of Directors Special Tribute after 40 years as a designer.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Gifted to The Library of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Department of Special Collections and FIT Archives by Stephen Burrows, 2013

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection contains fashion sketches (originals and digital facsimiles), fashion photographs, and press/promotional materials documenting the career of Stephen Burrows in the fashion industry from 1969-2012. There is a gap of press materials from 1990-2000 when he left Henri Bendel to open his own business on seventh avenue. His fragrance named, Stephen B., is briefly documented in photographs, press, and a silver wave necklace solid perfume. Ephemeral materials such as personal photographs and an E.R.A ribbon are also a part of the collection.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


Additional accrual in February, 2015.

System of arrangement

This collection is broken up into six series and further into sub-series. Series 1: Designs, 1973-2011, Sub-series 1: Fashion Photographs, 1970's, Sub-series 2: Press, 1969-2012, Sub-series 3: Perfume, 1974-1975. Series 2: Press, 1969-2012, Sub-series 1: Press, 1970-1981, Sub-series 2: Press, 2000s. Series 3: Promotional Materials 1974- 2010, Sub-series 1: Presentation Booklets/Invitations 1974-2010, Sub-series 2: Presentation Booklets/Invitations, 2009-2010. Series 4: Personal Ephemera, 1944-1978. Series 5: McCall's patterns. Series 6: Studio 54 Master Call List.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access is open to researchers by appointment at the Fashion Institute of Technology Library, Department of Special Collections and FIT Archives.

Conditions governing reproduction

The Department of Special Collections and FIT Archives does not own copyright for all material held in its physical custody. It is the researcher's obligation to abide by and satisfy copyright law ( when copying or using materials (including digital materials) found in or made available from the department. When possible, the department will inform a researcher about the copyright status of material, the researcher's obligations with regard to such material, and, wherever possible, the owner or owners of the copyrights. Any and all reproduction of originals is at the archivist's discretion.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Exhibition catalogue from the 2013 exhibition "Stephen Burrows : when fashion danced" at the Museum of the City of New York: The Library's catalogue for this collection is located:

Related descriptions

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used




Level of detail


Dates of creation revision deletion


  • English


  • Latin


Archivist's note

Arrangement, description, and/or archival processing by Ashley Kranjac, FIT, NY, NY, USA.

Accession area