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Perry Ellis


Perry Ellis was one of the first American designers to take a different approach to fashion, an approach that clothing and design should be functional and fun. From his first clothing line in 1976 to start his own brand, Perry Ellis International, in 1978, Perry Ellis innovated the fashion industry with wit and fun, creating a style that became known as a non-traditional and modern classic. Perry Ellis was born in Virginia in 1940, Ellis earned his master's degree in retailing from New York University in 1963. He became a buyer and merchandiser, as well as co-founder of a retail store in Virginia before moving back to New York, where he created a successful sports line of clothing for women.

Although Perry Ellis could not sketch, he understood design and impacted the evolution of the fashion world by creating new patterns and styles. The Perry Ellis brand designed womenswear, menswear, accessories, and shoes. In 1985, Ellis' first perfumes came to the market, Perry Ellis for Women and Perry Ellis for Men. The brand carries 41 different scents and the newest, Perry Ellis Cobalt, was released in 2014. Throughout his life, Ellis won multiple awards, including eight Coty American Fashion Critics' Awards and the 1982 Council of Fashion Designers of America's Designer of the Year award. In 1984, he became the president of the CFDA. Perry Ellis died in 1986, but the Perry Ellis brand continues to succeed and has been the home to numerous designers such as Isaac Mizrahi, Marc Jacobs, and Tom Ford.

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