When Linda Allard stepped off a Greyhound bus and onto Seventh Avenue 40 years ago, a woman in her 20s with a suitcase in hand and $200 in her pocket, it wasn’t with stars in her eyes, but a feeling that this was where she belonged.

Growing up in Doylestown, Ohio, the oldest of six children, Allard had learned the basics of sewing from her mother, a first grade teacher, and made most of her own clothes throughout her formative years, an interest that she sensed might later lead to a career in fashion. She even picked up a few patternmaking courses at Kent State, where she had won a fine arts scholarship, and interned for a month at Mademoiselle in New York, after winning a guest editor contest.

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