William Ralph “Bill” Blass was born on June 22, 1922 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was an American designer and the recipient of many fashion awards, including seven Coty Awards and the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Bill Blass was among the first American designers to attach his name to his brand. With licensing deals, he was also one of the first designers to attach his brand to a variety of products, including luxury items such as perfumes, linens and even cars.
Blass began sketching in his youth and enrolled in the Parsons School of Design. At the start of the Second World War, he was one of a thousand men who served in the “Ghost Army,” part of the 603rd Camouflage Engineers that used visual trickery, including phony bridges, fake artillery positions, and trucks with massive speakers that played the sounds of a whole battalion, all a hoax to throw off the German army. The 603rd Camouflage Engineers stayed near the front of battle during most of the war and saved many Allies (Allied Forces) lives.
After the war, Blass returned to fashion and made both his name and brand with the help of his mentor, Baron Nicholas de Gunzburg, who was also a mentor to Oscar de la Renta and Calvin Klein. Blass later found additional success with sophisticated women’s sportswear…
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