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Fashion Icon Friday: Robert Verdi

He is the embodiment of the idiom, ‘jack of all trades,’ and probably is probably one of the most sought after personalities in TV and entertainment.  Robert Verdi seems to have done it all.

Born to a dressmaker and chef, no one knew that Robert would launch his career as a trained goldsmith.  With his vivaciousness, engrained business savvy and eye for beautiful things, he received a degree from FIT and allowed his life to take him into Manhattan’s most cherished fashion retailers — Bergdorf’s, Bloomingdale’s, Barney’s, and Bendel’s.  In the 90s, Robert set his sights on a career in TV with such shows as Full Frontal Fashion, She’s Got the Look and Surprise by Design, expanding his skills into interior design and the greater fashion realms.  He even starred in a self-titled series, The Robert Verdi Show.

Today, you’ll find Robert continuously intersecting fashion, events, and social media through his company Robert Verdi Inc.  Here he’s created one of today’s hottest spaces for the creative crossings called, 'Luxe Laboratory' where brands go to throw parties, grow connections, and make an impact.

Fashion Icon Friday: Elle Macpherson

Her nickname is “The Body,” and rightfully so. Elle Macpherson is still one of the most stunning women in modeling and entertainment. Born Eleanor Nancy Gow, this Australian lingerie goddess did not stop at the photo shoots, she has gone on to be the founder and creative force behind a number of business ventures.

Her rise to fame began in New York City when she signed with Click Model Management, which helped her land the covers of Elle (how fitting), GQ, Vogue, and Playboy. Eventually her body gained her superstardom when she first appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit Issue in the 80s. She helped mold a new outlook on supermodels by catapulting their image to celebrity.

Today, you’ll find her overlooking her businesses, which include a lingerie collection, Elle Macpherson Intimates, and a number of TV series, that includes NBC’s hit show, Fashion Star.

Fashion Icon Friday: Erin Wasson

It’s 1997 and a polaroid of “this skinny girl, all legs and short, curly hair” comes across the desk of Tammy Theis, then staffer at Fashion!Dallas and today co-founder of Wallflower Management.  This was the picture of current supermodel bombshell, Erin Wasson, and because we’re all about Texas this week, we’re giving an extra special shout out to the beauty from down south.  

She was born and raised in Irving, Texas and found superstardom in her mid-teens with campaigns for J.Crew, Tiffany & Co. Rolex, William Rast, and Michael Kors, amongst others.  She even followed in the timeless footsteps of the greats before her and modeled for Max Factor.  Still early in her career, there isn’t much to say about the blonde sex symbol, but one thing’s clear: she’s here to stay, expanding her career now into the film industry where she appeared as Vadoma in the 2012 horror flick, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.  So we’ll be watching, and for now, we’re giving her all the credit in the world to become the icon we know she will be.

Got a little bit more time?  Check out this piece from the Esquire video series, Waking Up Next to a Beautiful Woman: Erin Wasson.

Fashion Icon Friday: Jean Shrimpton

"Model of the Year." "World’s highest paid model." "Most Photographed In The World." "Most famous model." "The It Girl." "The Face." Those are all the accolades that have been received by none other than Jean Shrimpton, which is a far stretch from her former nickname of "the shrimp."  Perhaps the most interesting facet to this woman’s career is that little is actually known about Shrimpton’s personal life and yet she was on the minds of millions around the world for nearly two decades and beyond.

Born and raised in London, Jean quickly gained attention because of her wide doe-eyes, wispy eyelashes, and sexy pouty lips.  In the 60s she was at the top of her game gaining heed on the global level and quickly becoming the most sought-after face in the fashion industry. This guaranteed her a string of public romances that only fortified the world’s celebration of Shrimpton’s prowess.

Her fame and intoxicating good-looks are definitely what has made Jean Shrimpton a who’s who in the fashion books but it is her intense and fierce career that definitely made her iconic.

Fashion Icon Friday: Suzy Parker

Known for her carrot red hair and pale green eyes, Suzy Parker nearly missed her chance at super stardom.  The younger sister of renowned top model, Dorian Leigh, Suzy only met with Eileen and Jerry Ford (of Ford Modeling Agency) because Dorian arranged the meeting.  

Before agreeing to go to Ford, Dorian phoned in to the agency and said that she would only sign with them if her little sister was brought on as well.  And in an anxious move to secure Dorian, they agreed to include Suzy in the deal without even seeing her.  To their pleasant surprise Suzy was not only a bombshell, but her good looks and hard work made her more famous than her beautiful older sister.

At the age of 15 Suzy appeared in Life magazine and would go on to be in a campaign for DeRosa Jewelry, she would become the face of Coco Chanel, as well as be featured in the pages of Vogue, Elle, and advertisements for Max Factor, and Revlon.  She was the first model to earn $200 per hour and $100,000 per year — a true achievement of the time.  Parker would also be in such films as Kiss Them For me, opposite Cary Grant, and Funny Faces with Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire.  Suzy also did not hesitate to venture into the silver screen acting in The Twilight Zone, and Tarzan amongst others.  

With a career that spanned nearly two decades, Suzy Parker not only made a name for herself but ensured that her legacy would live on.  Her achievements combined pushed her into the fine pages of the fashion history books and today we regard her as a true symbol and icon.

Fashion Icon Friday: Christy Turlington

Not many models can say they were a designer’s muse for almost two decades but Christy Turlington sure can.  Representing Calvin Klein for about 20 years (1987-2007), Turlington is one of the most renowned models to have ever graced the industry. Period.  Appearing in not 100, not 200, not even 300, but over 500 magazine covers and a number of professional photobooks, Christy is the ultimate businesswoman and icon.  In 2008, known model casting agent James Scully had this to say about her: “The greatest model of all time!  You could combine every model to this day into one person, and they wouldn’t come close… [working with her is] about as likely as winning the lottery.”  

With an insanely successful career, a graciousness and a timeless beauty, one can find Christy working on her premier venture these days, Every Mother Counts (EMC).  It’s an organization dedicated to ending preventable deaths caused by complications during childbirth around the world.  EMC mobilizes and informs many audiences in ways they can take action to improve the health and well-being of women worldwide.  

Attagirl, Christy!

Got a moment? Check out Career Stylist, Kelly Studer’s, interview with Christy Turlington on Building Your Personal Brand!

Fashion Icon Friday: Natalie Wood

Probably best known for her role in West Side Story as Juliet like character, Maria, Natalie Wood got our attention because of her known tirelessness and the innate ability to make audiences fall in love with her characters time and time again.

Wood made her film debut in 1943 at the age of about 7 years old after she was discovered by director, Irving Pichel and immediately garnered the attention of Hollywood and the world.  Little did America know that she would have a career that spanned 40 years catapulting her to the top of the entertainment industry’s food chain. Other titles she’s best known for include Tomorrow is Forever, Miracle on 34th Street, Rebel Without a Cause (where she co-starred alongside another fashion icon in his own right, James Dean), The Searchers, and The Great Gatsby.  Because of her talent, fame, and fortune she was able to surround herself with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Christopher Walken and even the infamous Rock Hudson.

Today, Natalie Wood lives on through her daughter, Courtney Wagner, and the dreams and aspirations of young, rising stars.  Katy Perry, for one, recently told People Style Watch that Natalie Wood is one of her fashion icons because she’s one of the few women in Hollywood that was able to “adapt and evolve and change.”

Fashion Icon Friday: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
You know this fraternal duo from the TV series, Full House, where they were debuted to the world as infants. And while we love those cute moments, we’re not necessarily going to talk about that time in their lives. No, we’re going to talk about the empire that these ladies have built post- “You got it, dude!”
With their increasing popularity in the preteen market in the late 90s, early 2000s, their names quickly launched brands attached to books, fragrances, magazines, movies, and clothes. They even had their own line of dolls created by Mattel.
In 2002, the Olsens appeared in Forbes “Celebrity 100” list and then again in 2007 where there were ranked (together) as the 11th richest women in entertainment. Not too shabby for Michelle Tanner.
But their fashion & business contributions in this industry is what we love. With two major brands under their belts, The Row and Elizabeth and James, as well as a string of other, more affordable and accessible lines found in department stores like Walmart and JCPenney (Mary-Kate and Ashley: Real fashion for real girls and Olsenboye), this sister team has seamlessly made a name for themselves even influencing new trends referred to as, “ashcan” or “bohemian-burgeois” consistent with their loose sweater, oversized sunglasses look.
Today, the girls continue to make strides in the industry dominating clothing brands of girls in all age groups, even working on their first-ever line of “affordable” handbags starting at about $195, as well as becoming huge players in the fight for workers’ rights around the world. How iconic!

Fashion Icon Friday: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

You know this fraternal duo from the TV series, Full House, where they were debuted to the world as infants. And while we love those cute moments, we’re not necessarily going to talk about that time in their lives. No, we’re going to talk about the empire that these ladies have built post- “You got it, dude!”

With their increasing popularity in the preteen market in the late 90s, early 2000s, their names quickly launched brands attached to books, fragrances, magazines, movies, and clothes. They even had their own line of dolls created by Mattel.

In 2002, the Olsens appeared in Forbes “Celebrity 100” list and then again in 2007 where there were ranked (together) as the 11th richest women in entertainment. Not too shabby for Michelle Tanner.

But their fashion & business contributions in this industry is what we love. With two major brands under their belts, The Row and Elizabeth and James, as well as a string of other, more affordable and accessible lines found in department stores like Walmart and JCPenney (Mary-Kate and Ashley: Real fashion for real girls and Olsenboye), this sister team has seamlessly made a name for themselves even influencing new trends referred to as, “ashcan” or “bohemian-burgeois” consistent with their loose sweater, oversized sunglasses look.

Today, the girls continue to make strides in the industry dominating clothing brands of girls in all age groups, even working on their first-ever line of “affordable” handbags starting at about $195, as well as becoming huge players in the fight for workers’ rights around the world. How iconic!

Fashion Icon Friday: Kenza Fourati

We love it when companies are disruptive but we love it even more when people do the same.  Kenza Fourati, the first female arab model to pose for a magazine, is doing just that.  With deep roots in her Muslim heritage, this beauty has grabbed her modeling career by the horns and asserts that being a swimsuit model and respecting her religious beliefs can in fact co-exist.  

When the dust settled after the Tunisia revolution, Fourati sat down with Global Grind to remind the world that times are changing; she avowed that she and her people were free to conduct themselves as they please.  She said, “We should be able to portray art like this if we want to… That is a debate we want to create, but it must be a peaceful one.”

Currently, Fourati is with Elite Model Management and has outspokenly graced the covers of such magazines as Marie Claire and Vogue as well as walked in Valentino, Celine, and Westwood amongst others.  We know that her revolutionary attitude, her well-roundedness, her confidence and her timeless beauty will catapult her to the very top of the fashion industry. She has already proven that she’s worthy.

Fashion Icon Friday: Caroline de Maigret
Considered a CHANEL muse, in 2011, Caroline de Maigret has been a major player in the fashion industry for years.  The French model, music producer, and entrepreneur is the granddaughter of Prince Michel Poniatowski (former Minister of the Interior and Health in France) and the daughter of Count Bertrand de Maigret.  She launched her modeling career early on and quickly took the company of esteemed photographers like Terry Richardson and Mario Testino while walking for houses like Balenciaga and Marc Jacobs.
In 2006, Caroline, along with long-time friend Yarol Poupaud, created the French-based music label, Bonus Tracks Records, where they now boast a myriad of eclectic entertainers and musicians.  
Because of her contributions to music, she received a nomination by the Cesar Academy (basically the French Academy Awards) for “Best Soundtrack of the Year”.  Her dedication to a number of industries and her stunning demeanor seem to be what has gotten our attention. But what are the things we love the most? Her self-driven initiative to be more than just a pretty face; she’s a music aficionado, she’s intelligent, she’s forthright, and she’s definitely an icon.
Got a little extra time? Check out Caroline de Maigret’s Tumblr here.

Fashion Icon Friday: Caroline de Maigret

Considered a CHANEL muse, in 2011, Caroline de Maigret has been a major player in the fashion industry for years.  The French model, music producer, and entrepreneur is the granddaughter of Prince Michel Poniatowski (former Minister of the Interior and Health in France) and the daughter of Count Bertrand de Maigret.  She launched her modeling career early on and quickly took the company of esteemed photographers like Terry Richardson and Mario Testino while walking for houses like Balenciaga and Marc Jacobs.

In 2006, Caroline, along with long-time friend Yarol Poupaud, created the French-based music label, Bonus Tracks Records, where they now boast a myriad of eclectic entertainers and musicians.  

Because of her contributions to music, she received a nomination by the Cesar Academy (basically the French Academy Awards) for “Best Soundtrack of the Year”.  Her dedication to a number of industries and her stunning demeanor seem to be what has gotten our attention. But what are the things we love the most? Her self-driven initiative to be more than just a pretty face; she’s a music aficionado, she’s intelligent, she’s forthright, and she’s definitely an icon.

Got a little extra time? Check out Caroline de Maigret’s Tumblr here.

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