Perry Ellis, originally from Virginia, began his career in department store retailing. From the start he approached his merchandising responsibilities in the most innovative way, providing design ideas to vendors that often lead to best sellers. It didn"t take long before he was hired away by one of his key resources and came to New York to begin the second phase of what was to become a most remarkable career.
After working as a Design Director for a well known sportswear firm, Perry was given the opportunity to create his own division, which he named Portfolio. He quickly earned a reputation for fresh, innovative ideas by creating sophisticated and stylish clothes that were to become the new classics that every woman had to have.
In 1978 his success enabled him to become the head of his own Women"s Sportswear Collection. Along with his team of talented designers, he produced distinctly individual clothes and accessories that changed the way American fashion was viewed. His extraordinary designs were sought after and admired by high profile personalities, key retailers, and the fashion press, all of whom responded to his witty take on classic American sportswear.
By 1980 he felt confident that his design sensibility would also be appropriate for men"s sportswear. This lead to the creation of the Perry Ellis Menswear Collection, which in turn revolutionized men"s casual clothing in America. He became known for his non traditional, modern classics, and was lauded for consistently creating innovative fashion with a twist.
A LASTING INFLUENCE
As Perry"s reputation as a great innovator of fashion spread, his company grew quickly and he was encouraged to apply his design talent to a long list of fashionable product. This lead to the creation of Perry Ellis International whose purpose was to oversee all of his business enterprises including: the Perry Ellis Collection, Perry Ellis Portfolio and Perry Ellis America labels. As a result of his great success as a designer, he was honored with many Fashion and Design awards, among them the prestigious Coty Fashion critic"s award for women"s fashion and the council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Award for Men"s Fashion Design.
Perry Ellis served as the first president of the fashion industry"s premier organization, the CFDA. His remarkable leadership and creative efforts are honored every year when the Perry Ellis Award is presented to the most promising new women"s, men"s and accessory design talent at the CFDA"s gala at New York"s Lincoln Center. Perry Ellis had a prophetic vision of fashion that is as vibrant now as when his company was first formed. As a result, his legacy continues in the timeless and modern clothes and accessories that bear his name today..
Perry Ellis is remembered as a creative force and as an individual whose style philosophy youth, beauty and humor are qualities that can exist at any age, has stood the test of time.
For Fall 2012 designers are inspired by a wide range of influences, from the elaborate details of brocade and metallic gold embellishments to the dynamic mix of military chic and power pantsuits. Colo