Claiborne, Liz

Claiborne, Liz (Elisabeth Claiborne Ortenberg)

(1929–  ) fashion designer, business executive; born in Brussels, Belgium. She was raised in New Orleans, returning to Europe to study art instead of finishing high school. After 25 years as a New York designer she founded her own firm (1976), which she built into a billion-dollar-a-year business, first designing stylish, moderately priced sportswear that freed working women from plain, dark suits, then expanding into menswear, accessories, and perfume. She retired from active management in 1989.