Liz Claiborne

(Elisabeth Claiborne Ortenberg)
fashion designer, business executive
Born: 1929
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium

Raised in New Orleans, she studied art in Europe rather than finish high school. She worked as a designer in New York for 25 years before founding her own firm in 1976. The company began designing stylish sportswear for working women, then expanded into men's clothing and accessories, ultimately commanding a billion dollars a year. She retired from active management in 1989.