Blass, Bill(William Ralph Blass), 1922–2002, American fashion designer, b. Fort Wayne, Ind. Active for three decades, he was most noted for high-quality, high-priced, and quintessentially American clothing featuring a look of sporty sophistication and offhand glamour. His polished classic style, which was less severe than that of many contemporaries, attracted a wide audience. Winner of numerous fashion awards, his designs included sportswear, rainwear, accessories, and evening wear. Beginning in the late 1960s, he also designed menswear. After establishing Bill Blass Limited in 1970, he expanded his line to include such diverse products as airline uniforms, luggage, chocolates, bed linens, and perfumes.
See his memoir Bare Blass (2002).
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Blass, Bill (William Ralph)(1922– ) fashion designer; born in Fort Wayne, Ind. He began his New York fashion career in 1946, joining Maurice Rentner Ltd. (1959) (after 1970, Bill Blass Ltd.). Winner of eight Coty Awards, Blass created high-priced, beautifully cut and tailored women's wear, notable for its inventive combinations of patterns and textures.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.