Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fashion Mogul Liz Claiborne Dies At 78

Apparel designer Liz Claiborne, who started the namesake U.S. company Liz Claiborne Inc., has died, a company spokeswoman confirmed on Wednesday.

Claiborne, 78, born in Belgium in 1929. Ailing from cancer she died at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Tuesday, her assistant said. She founded the company in 1976 with her husband Art Ortenberg (pictured together at left), a textile industry veteran, and two others, and retired in 1989.

Claiborne started out as a dress designer and founded the fashion house that bears her name in 1976. Her clothes were an important influence for career women in the 1970s and 1980s. She also helped shape department stores into what they are today by creating coordinating ensembles instead of separate pieces.

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