Jun 27, 2007
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Liz Claiborne, designer of chic office wear, dead at 78

Jun 27, 2007

Liz Claiborne
NEW YORK, June 27, 2007 (AFP) - Designer Liz Claiborne, 78, whose popular ready-to-wear fashions eschewed trendiness for comfort, practicality and affordability, has died, her company announced Wednesday.

Claiborne, who suffered from a rare form of cancer, died Tuesday, june 26th at New York Presbyterian Hospital, according to her foundation.

Born in Brussels in 1929 and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, Claiborne got her start as a young New York designer in the 1950s working for various fashion houses.

She founded Liz Claiborne Inc. in 1976 to create a fashion collection aimed at style-conscious professional young women, many of whom were entering the work place in droves for the first time.

Her focus hit the mark: she turned a half-million dollar investment with a handful of friends into a multimillion dollar industry juggernaut.

The company's CEO, Bill McComb, hailed Claiborne as a visionary spirit for her time.

"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," McComb said 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.

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