Happy Birthday Perry Ellis, a visionary of classic American sportswear!
Perry’s personal history is that of an everyday American dream. Born on March 3, 1940, Perry Ellis began his
career in department store retailing. After working as a design director for a well-known sportswear firm,
reputation for fresh, innovative ideas by creating sophisticated and stylish clothes that were to become the
"new classics" for every American woman.
By 1980, his confidence directed him to men's sportswear and the creation of the Perry Ellis Men’s Wear
Collection, which in turn revolutionized men's casual clothing in America. He became known for his non-
traditional, modern classics, and he was lauded for creating innovative fashion with "a twist". Perry Ellis had
a prophetic vision – His style philosophy , that "...youth, beauty and humor are qualities that can exist at any
age," has stood the test of time and remain potent in the brand that bears his name today.
The school of Perry Ellis International has been the training ground for some of America’s brightest
designers, too. Marc Jacobs designed for Perry Ellis Women’s from 1988 to 1993. (At age 15, Jacobs met
Perry while working as a stock boy in New York’s trendy Charivari boutique). Patrick Robinson, now the lead
designer at Gap, Inc., was creative director for Perry Ellis Women’s in 2003. Isaac Mizrahi landed a part-time
position at Perry Ellis while attending Parsons School of Design, and assumed a full-time role after
graduating. Mizrahi worked long hours with Ellis and was immersed in every aspect of the industry. Nina
Garcia, now the Fashion Director at Marie Claire, even began her career at Perry Ellis in the public relations
Today, Creative Director John Crocco, continues to enhance what is now commonly referred to as
“American Sportswear.” Crocco is the kind of designer whose intense focus has provided Perry Ellis Men’s
Wear with it’s timeless sophistication and understated appeal. The brand most recently showed the
Fall/Winter 2010 Collection at New York Fashion Week on February 15th. The collection is true to the classic
and easy nature of Perry Ellis sportswear, but Crocco’s tones and palates this season are richer, darker
and more seductive than ever before. As the Perry Ellis brand continues to evolve and define American
sportswear, we nod and raise a toast to the man who started it all and inspires us season-to-season.
Happy Birthday Perry Ellis:
We remember the American sportswear visionary
From Our Friends at LaForce+Stevens
POSTED March 3, 2010