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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (3) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 23 April 1932Des Moines, Iowa, USA
Date of Death 26 March 1990San Francisco, California, USA  (AIDS)
Birth NameRoy Halston Frowick

Mini Bio (1)

Born Roy Frowick Halston on April 23, 1932 in Des Moines, Iowa, Halston was a product of America's heartland. He led a classic Iowa childhood playing in soap box derby races, fishing, visiting farms, and the like. Halston took an interest in sewing from his mother, and from an early age he showed a special interest in making hats. Halston would make his own for his mother and sister (his first hat appeared on the cover of Harper's Bazaar in 1960). Halston attended Indiana University in 1952 for one semester. The family moved to Chicago in late 1952 where Halston enrolled in a night course at the Chicago Art Institute and took a day job as a window dresser. Halston continued to design hats and finally obtained his break when a small story on his fashionable creations appeared in the Chicago Daily News. It was at this time that his middle name Halston, would become his professional moniker. His hat sales took off and he began designing for a celebrity and show biz clientele. In 1957, Halston opened his first major shop, the Boulevard Salon, on the second floor of 900 Michigan Avenue. In 1959 Halston left Chicago for NYC to work for the famed French milliner Lilly Daché, where he proved to be a hardworking and dedicated employee. He was named co-designer at Daché after only one year. Following that Halston accepted a position at Bergdorf Goodman, a fashionable New York department store, where he charmed his clients and made a grand name for himself. After two-years at Bergdorf he succeeded in becoming the store's first designer to have his name placed in the hats he designed. He became adept at courting and manipulating the press at Bergdorf's. In 1962 he designed the famous pill box hat worn by Jackie Kennedy at the President's Inaugural making the Halston name a household word. Later that year he was bestowed the Coty's Fashion Critics Award. In 1966 Halston designed his first ready to wear collection for Bergdorf Goodman and while there Halston continued creating magic with his hat creations. Women's Wear Daily heralded him as "New York's Top Milliner". He opened his own salon in 1968 and became the toast of New York's fashion society. His close circle of friends and clients would come to include some of the most alluring and fascinating men and women in the world, among them Liza Minnelli, Barbara Walter, Martha Graham, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Andy Warhol and Elizabeth Taylor. Halston's career sky-rocketed during the 1970's and his designs set the standard for American designers. He was the undisputed high priest of fashion. The Halston name became synonymous with classically cut, simple, spare and elegant designs, a phenomenally successful fragrance line Halston by Halston for women X12 and Z14 for men, and the fabric known as "Ultra suede". His designs became ubiquitous as we went on to design and license his name on thirty-one different licensing products including a range of home linen, uniforms for Braniff International Airlines and a line of luggage for Hartmann. Throughout most of the seventies he epitomized the glamour, as well as the decadence of the era, becoming a central figure in the nightlife scene of New York's Studio 54 disco.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Kelly Wiebe <senhue@mts.net>

Trivia (3)

One of the most successful fashion entrepeneurs in history.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1978 Tony Award as Best Costume Designer for "The Act."
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 355-356. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.

Personal Quotes (2)

A designer is only as good as the people he dresses.
[on Oscar night, 1975] This is glamor! The stars, the palm trees, the weather, the glitter. I came with a dream of what the Academy Awards were like, and I'm going home with a full stomach.

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