Eileen Fisher

Eileen Fisher

A highly simple woman in terms of her personal and professional life, Eileen Fisher is an apparel designer from America and the founder of a female’s fashion store named after herself. She was raised in Des Plaines and studied at a Catholic educational institute where she loved the easiness of her uniform. In high school, her favorite subject was mathematics but in examination she got only a D grade and this is when she figured that she needs a different area to study.

Fisher had one brother and five sisters. Her father did a job at Allstate Insurance with not a great monthly income. At the time when Fisher and her siblings were in 6th and 7th grade, the red shift outfit was in vogue and her mother stitched dresses for the girls in their nuclear family.

Later on, Fisher had to attend a college to further groom herself in her studies, however her father had limited savings and was not ready to spend them on his daughter’s studies since he wanted his son to graduate and earn for the family. Fisher didn’t mind this saddening fact because this is how people thought in those times. So she worked as a waitress in order to pay the fees and other expenses of University of Illinois. In her hostel, she had a roommate who was studying interior designing and out of curiosity and interest, Fisher flicked through the magazines and played with fabrics and colors.

In 1973, she moved to New York to work as an interior and graphic designer before setting up her business. After graduation, she began working at Abraham & Strauss, a home furnishing store in Brooklyn. Her graphic design work came handy in this firm with lots of Japanese clients and she had to travel to Japan several times. During this time, she liked their traditional dress “kimono”. Eileen Fisher got inspired by the natural and schematic aesthetics of fashion in that country.

She is recognized for her simplistic and minimalistic designing and the company has often used unconventional models for its print commercials. In fact, she has personified her employees as models as well.

Her company was established in 1984 with only 350 dollars in her bank account and a fundamental idea: women want simple yet chic easy-to-wear clothes. By 2003, Eileen Fisher Inc. earned a revenue of $154 million. In 1991, she opened her first retail shop and since 2003, thirty five percent of the company’s apparel are being manufactured in America while the rest is produced in China. The company operates in 15 states, comprising of more than 750 employees and owns over 54 retail stores. In 2011 and 2012, the company opened its outlets in Vancouver and London, respectively.

Fisher defended her simple clothing by saying that since she was an uncomfortable individual, she wanted comfortable outfits. The designer never did fancy parties, product launches or runway shows. She thinks that if the product is made right then money will follow and there remains hardly any need to go public.

Eileen Fisher has two kids, Sasha and Zack. When Zack was born, it was a hard job to manage the growing business. Balancing work with family was tough for the designer. In 1993, Sasha was born after a year since Fisher moved her business and residence to Irvington.


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