When Leslie H. Wexner opened the door of his first Limited shop in 1963, he touched off an American retail revolution that still reverberates.
Wexner pioneered the art of replicating vertically sourced chains of specialty stores selling affordable fashion in an era when department stores dominated. In addition to the Limited, he populated the retail landscape with a mushrooming array of nameplates, including Express, Lane Bryant, Lerner New York and Abercrombie & Fitch. As the appeal of the apparel business began to wane, Wexner turned to the magnetic attraction of lingerie with Victoria’s Secret. Finally, in 1990, he stepped into the personal care and beauty ring, with Victoria’s Secret Beauty and Bath & Body Works. At age 76, Wexner, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of L Brands Inc., has been at the helm for half a century and counting, and he has opened nearly 10,000 stores. Company sales topped $10.4 billion last year.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"