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Fashion house founder Liz Claiborne has died, company says

Fashion House Founder Liz Claiborne Dies at 78

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

EW YORK — Fashion designer Liz Claiborne, whose styles became a cornerstone of career women's wardrobes in the 1970s and 1980s, has died, the company she founded said Wednesday. She was 78.

The cause of her death on Tuesday was not immediately known.

Claiborne, who retired from the day-to-day operations in 1989, founded Liz Claiborne Inc. in 1976 along with second husband Art Ortenberg and Leonard Boxer. Their goal was to create a collection of fashions aimed at the growing number of women entering the work force.

"In losing Liz Claiborne, we have not only lost the founder of our company, but an inspirational woman who revolutionized the fashion industry 30 years ago," said Bill McComb, CEO of Liz Claiborne, in a statement.

"Her commitment to style and design is ever present in our thinking and the way we work. We will remember Liz for her vision, her entrepreneurial spirit and her enduring compassion and generosity," he said.

Founder of one of the world's most successful women's apparel manufacturing companies, Liz Claiborne (born 1929) was a pioneer in designing reasonably priced, good quality clothing for modern working women.
Liz Claiborne, Inc. was founded on January 19, 1976, with approximately $250,000, including $50,000 of Claiborne's and her husband's savings. Ortenberg was the company's secretary and treasurer; industry executive and friend Leonard Boxer was in charge of production; and the fourth key executive, Jerome Chazen, joined the company in 1977 to direct marketing operations. Sales for the first year were over $2 million, as Claiborne's collection of pants, skirts, shirts, sweaters, and jackets was instantly popular.

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source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/