LIZ CLAIBORNE
SOME THOUGHTS ABOUT THE FUTURE, BEFORE HER NAME BECAME AN EMPIRE.

Byline: Margaret Mazzaraco, July 1971

I think the whole fashion influence is coming from the young market. I object to the word ‘junior.’ It’s certainly not coming from the couture.”
Youth Guild’s forward-thinking, 42-year-old designer, Liz Claiborne, ought to know. She’s contributed to that young influence significantly with her hot junior designs, to the estimated tune of $8 million volume annually+.
[She] explains her customer is neither an age nor a size. “She’s probably over 21 or 25. She’s what I call the contemporary customer.
“And even though I don’t come into contact with her often enough, she’s a junior in New York and more of a missy customer across the country. New departments are being set up as contemporary shops in the stores. They no longer have the tag of a junior or missy. I do try to have as much contact as possible, through my own environment and our key buyers….”
Liz believes there’s just as much as creativity here as in Europe, “but it is not evident because of the nature of the business. We are like Detroit — a big business — and can’t afford to experiment the way they do in Europe. They have a small business and they appeal to a smaller audience, and this goes all the way down the line…fabrics as well as clothes.”