Albert Capraro, a fashion designer whose rise to fame included designs worn by former First Lady Betty Ford, died Saturday at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, N.Y., following a short illness. He was 70 years old.
Capraro, known for his dresses and evening gowns, was a native New Yorker who studied at what was then Parson’s School of Design. After graduating, he worked for milliner Lilly Dache for two years before moving on to work as associate designer for Oscar de la Renta’s boutique collection in 1966. In 1974, he branched out to form his own company, Albert Capraro, on Seventh Avenue.
When Capraro initially entered the fashion scene, only store buyers and a few fashion editors were aware of his imminent rising success.
Ford saw an article and photographs of Capraro’s designs in a Washington newspaper, in which he talked about his use of only American fabrics. She was so impressed by the 31-year-old designer’s prices that she had him summoned to the White House and subsequently ordered 12 styles. She also asked him to create five state gowns using fabrics selected by then-President Ford during a visit to the Far East.
Capraro once noted, “I like to think of myself as a gentleman-designer whose first concern is the femininity of the woman I design for. This I express through the simplicity of the look and the lavishness of style I have created.’’
Capraro built his business via a made-to-order clientele in the social, political and entertainment worlds. He retired around 2005 but remained active as a consultant in the fashion industry.
Capraro is survived by a sister, Louise Ann Capraro Ferraris, and his longtime partner, Eddie Star.
Services will be held today at 10 a.m. at Johnstons’ Funeral Home in Lindenhurst, N.Y.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty