Stephen Burrows, designer

Stephen Burrows is the first African American fashion designer to achieve international acclaim. After graduating from the Fashion Institution of Technology in 1966. Burrows began making clothing for the O Boutique, opposite Max's Kansas City in New York. Stephen's window displays literally stopped traffic, and the young designer was soon besieged with orders. With friend Roz Rubenstein, he launched a ready-to-wear collection for Bonwit Teller in 1969. Later that year Joel Schumacher, Henri Bendel's visual director (now film director), introduced Burrows to Bendel's legendary fashion director Geraldine Stutz and he was hired on the spot.

Burrows, influenced by music, dance, and the body, produced revolutionary clothing that was soft, comfortable and chic. His innovative designs which made use of color and technique were revolutionary during a time when American fashion was strongly influenced by the European design houses; very structured, heavy and lined. With the advent of stretch fabrics such as wool and rayon jersey, Burrows crafted a close fit and slim silhouette. He originated a finishing touch - the "lettuce edge" - that became a signature and remains in the collection today. His designs became a foundation for signature American style.

Stephen Burrows' World opened at Henri Bendel in 1970, and thrust Burrows into the limelight. It was an immediate success. His client roster included Cher, Diana Ross, Lauren Bacall, Liza Minnelli, Jerry Hall, Lauren Hutton, and Barbara Streisand. The industry took notice, and Burrows was nominated for a Coty Award, fashion's highest honor in both 1971 and 1972.

In 1973, renowned fashion publicist Eleanor Lambert organized a benefit fashion show at Versailles, France. The show was a collaboration between the United States and France. Participants included the most influential designers of the day -- Pierre Cardin, Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent and Emanuel Ungaro representing France; Halston, Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, Anne Klein and Stephen Burrows representing the US. An international sensation, the event brought acclaim to American fashion for the first time. Noted for his extraordinary segment, which introduced color in ways never before seen on the runway, Burrows received rave reviews.

Following this success, Burrows was recognized with Coty Awards in 1973, 1974, and again in 1977. Urged by Halston to set up shop on Seventh Avenue, Stephen soon left Henri Bendel and opened his namesake business, quickly licensing products such as fragrances, sunglasses and furs.

On February 13, 2002, "Stephen Burrows World" reopened in Henri Bendel with an event dubbed "the party of the season" by Vogue. The collection has been applauded by the New York Times, the American, French and Japanese editions of Vogue, Essence, and the New York Magazine, among others. Stephen has been welcomed back to fashion with a star on the CFDA's Fashions Walk of Fame on Seventh Avenue.

2006 marks Stephen Burrow's 40th year as a designer. In June of this year, he was honored with the CFDA's Board of Directors Special Tribute Award. Currently, Stephen Burrows is available at fine stores in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.

"BURROWS IN PARIS " Stephen Burrows presented his Spring Summer 2007 collection in October of this year as part of the French Fashion Week. Suzy Menkes of "The International Herald" remarked" He is the Master of matte jersey, and colour combinations!"

 

John Robert Miller, managing director

Educated in the United Kingdom in the early 1970's, John Miller earned his M.A. with honors in Fashion Design at the University of Derby. After graduation John worked in British Repertory Theater as a costume designer for West End shows such as "The Seagull" starring Alan Bates. After returning to the United States, John worked as design assistant to several leading designers including Halston, Yeohlee and Nipon. By the late 1970's, he had opened his own bespoke clothing company, where he dressed individuals such as Chaka Khan, Vanessa Redgrave, and Barbara Streisand in his made-to-order designs. Eventually John's success with custom clothing led to designing for television programs such as "Dallas" and "Knots Landing," and styling videos and print ads for many leading performers and companies including the group Hootie and the Blowfish, Sony, and Arista.

In the mid-1980's, John joined Henri Bendel as a private label designer, where he first met Stephen Burrows. Later in the 1990's he joined Denza International, a fashion recruiting company based in London, working with leading fashion and design companies internationally.

John worked as a freelance writer, for both Internet and print magazines, including Interior Design. It was his writing that led John to approach Stephen Burrows about collaborating on a book about his career and contributions to the international fashion world. Eventually this led to Stephen's return to the fashion industry and formation of SBX Holdings LLC. Stephen appointed John Managing Director of the company in 2002.