Gloria Vanderbilt, who died Monday at 95, sold a piece of the American dream through her eponymous design brand, which launched during the 1970s. The actress, socialite and beneficiary (who was the extraordinary incredible granddaughter of nineteenth century railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt) was one of the first fashion designers to offer customers an optimistic brand dependent on her glamorous image.
“Vanderbilt was among the first East Coast blue blood beauties to wear made-to-measure finery by Hollywood costume and fashion designer Howard Greer, who created her wedding dress for her marriage to agent Pat DiCicco,” said fashion expert Bronwyn Cosgrave. “At places like L.A.’s Ciro’s and the Cocoanut Grove, Vanderbilt donned Greer’s so-called ‘table top’ dresses — gowns designed to look glamorous from the waist up while photographed sitting at nightclub tables — which made Vogue and Harpers Bazaar take note and look to Hollywood.”
Vanderbilt positively influenced American fashion by appearing what was ostensibly the first designer denim brand. In the wake of functioning as an on-screen character, beginning during the ’50s, moving from theater creations to TV dramatizations, Vanderbilt tried different things with material and home plan during the ’70s, likewise designing a few dresses. This at last prompted an organization with Mohan Murjani of the Murjani Group to plan pullovers and afterward to dispatch her eponymous Gloria Vanderbilt fashion brand in 1976 with a line of name-brand women’s jeans, identified by her handwritten name embroidered on the back and a signature swan logo on the inner front pocket that winked at her first theater role in The Swan.
Vanderbilt, who started modeling when she was an adolescent, filled in as the substance of the name. The pants were showcased with a $1 million TV promotion battle, touting their ideal decreased fit that took into account ladies’ bends, making smooth fashioner denim a chic closet staple. The pants were likewise exhibited by female stars, for example, Debbie Harry of Blondie (who made an advertisement for the brand)and on the sitcoms Three’s Company and Mork and Mindy and the ’80s soap opera Dynasty. The line ultimately expanded to include additional women’s apparel, footwear, jewelry, fragrance and home accessories.
In 2002, the Jones Apparel Group obtained the rights to Gloria Vanderbilt Apparel Corp. After three years, the company issued a reboot of the first ’70s plans with a promotion crusade including supermodels Gisele Bundchen, Kate Moss and Daria Webowy.
“Gloria was an icon,” Tommy Hilfiger told The Hollywood Reporter. “I met her in the early ’80s through the Murjani family, who owned the Gloria Vanderbilt Jeans business. We were launching the Tommy Hilfiger business with Murjani around the same time. She was a lovely, sophisticated woman with warmth and kindness.”
In 2017, Vanderbilt joined Instagram (revealing to W magazine in a meeting on the subject:“I love following Mia Farrow, DVF, Aurelia Thiérree is lovely and fascinating, Andy Cohen of course, and Kelly Ripa, Sarah Jessica Parker…”).
Following her death on Monday, many stars offered tributes on Instagram. Ripa called her “a true lady and pioneer who lived life to its fullest,” while actress Debi Mazar posted: “R.I.P. to the amazing #GloriaVanderbilt. I admired her since I was a teenager….from her jeans (which I wore in high school), to Gloria’s beauty, strength &wit. She was one of my favorite style icons. What an incredible life!”