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.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.