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Modern-day women know that they can count on Liz Claiborne to deliver a versatile wardrobe that transcends throughout the whole day without losing comfort. Feeling pretty and in control is what the Liz Claiborne label brings to the table, and the collection never fails to be bright, colorful and comfortable. Claiborne wanted her wearers to be able to accessorize outfits from a variety of pieces, and that’s exactly what the label does today, offering an extensive selection of tops and bottoms.

Anne Elisabeth Jane “Liz” Claiborne was an American fashion designer best known for launching the clothing label, Liz Claiborne Inc. A name synonymous with comfortable female fashions, Liz Claiborne was the first company founded by a woman that made the Fortune 500. She was the first female chairperson and CEO of a Fortune 500 company, being a competitive energy in a male-dominated market.

Instead of finishing high school, Claiborne relocated to Europe and began studying art informally. She got in touch with her creative side by working in painters’ studios, and at the age of 20, she won the Jacques Heim National Design Contest. Excited to start her career in fashion design, Claiborne moved to New York and began working in the Garment District as a sketch artist at a sportswear house. Although she enjoyed her work as a fashion designer, she knew the market was lacking poised, feminine attire for working women.
In 1976, Claiborne launched her own label, Liz Claiborne Inc., in an effort to fill a niche in the industry. It was apparent that females shared Claiborne’s vision for comfortable clothes for the workplace, as the brand generated sales of $2 million in its first year. By 1988, the label had already obtained one-third of the American women’s luxury sportswear market. It didn’t take long for the brand to expand its product line and Liz Claiborne Accessories was established in 1980.
Claiborne was interested in more than just having a successful fashion label; she wanted to connect with her customers and offer fashion-forward clothes that were both trendy and comfortable. To achieve this goal, she often posed as a saleswoman and gauged how women felt about her clothing collections. A feminist by heart, Claiborne listed her employees alphabetically in order to prevent male hierarchies. She also changed the face of the average department store, by demanding that her clothing collections were placed on the same floor instead of separate categories.

This idea from Claiborne sparked a new technique for merchandising clothes. Instead of having consumers going from one department to the next, clothes were marketed in one section and shoppers could mix and match pieces. This is exactly what Claiborne wanted her customers to do; choose entire outfits from the Liz Claiborne collection while shopping in the same department.
In 1981, Liz Claiborne went public and made the Fortune 500 with $1.2 billion revenue in 1986. In 1989, Claiborne stepped down from actively managing the label and had already obtained other companies that produced her accessories. During her time off, she started a foundation that worked with environmental issues. With her heart in the right place, Claiborne continued to fund environmental causes and natural conservancy projects across the globe.
Claiborne passed away in 2007, after a long battle with cancer. Since then, her label continues her legacy and provides a lifestyle collection for women that include apparel, fragrances, accessories, bridal wear and household items. The label has also launched a menswear collection, yet drops the “Liz” in order to give the apparel a more gender-neutral approach. Although an upscale brand, Liz Claiborne doesn’t sport a designer price tag and is available through department stores.
When Isaac Mizrahi became a designer in 2007 for the Liz Claiborne New York brand, he designed such accessories as shoes and home goods specifically for Target. The following year he became Creative Director for the brand and debuted his collection in 2009 that was sold exclusively at Macy’s and Dillard’s. The Liz Claiborne line was also sold on the QVC network, expanding its collections to a variety of consumers.
However, in 2009, JCPenney Co. announced that they would become the sole retailer for Liz Claiborne merchandise. Many changes were put in progress, such as removing the brand’s clothing from other stores and phasing out JCPenney’s current Liz Claiborne line, Liz and Co and Concepts by Claiborne. This contract may last for 10 years or more and is designed to reverse the losses that the company experienced in recent years. Today, the company has an extensive portfolio that includes Juicy Couture, Kate Spade and Lucky Brand Jeans.
At the heart of the collection are trendy and suited separates, sportswear, sleepwear, outerwear, footwear, accessories and fashion basics. All of the collections are the perfect balance of comfort and style, as the Liz Claiborne label believes that a woman should never have to choose between the two. In order to be accessible to women of all budgets and lifestyles, the Liz Claiborne label features affordable price tags with the New York label that captures the youthful energy of city living.
Sold exclusively through JCPenney, Liz Claiborne relies heavily on its casual separate pieces. Sweaters are chic and trendy, offering an extensive color palette that includes stripes and argyle patterns. Knitted and textured cardigans are worn over light tees, while tunics and smocked shirts are staples for the summer. Prints are lively and vibrant, incorporating a variety of pink and orange hues. Scoop necks and V-necks flatter the cuts that effortlessly embrace the female body.
Trendy-cut denim jeans and cotton pants can be paired with any top or knitted sweater from the collection, and cotton pullovers and hoodies are the perfect alternative to stiff outerwear. For the summer season, printed dresses, long skirts and shirt dresses grace the collection, and dainty white sundresses are perfect for day or night. With flawless cuts and impeccable style, the Liz Claiborne label can dress any modern-day woman, regardless of age, body type or budget.



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