In 1976 Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg created Liz Claiborne, Inc., still one of the most well-known names in affordable fashion. As the first Fortune 500 Company headed by a woman, Liz was a role model for a generation of young women during a time of economic and cultural change. In the America of the 1980s, significant numbers of women entered the workplace and began reaching new professional heights - often dressed in Claiborne's clothes, which were designed to make women look and feel professional without having to dress like men.
The company was so successful that the pair was able to depart in 1989 for a decade-long series of adventures, including devoting time and energy to the conservation of nature through The Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation.
After being diagnosed in 1998 with peritoneal carcinoma, she spent the next nine years fighting an extremely rare disease that attacks the lining of the stomach. Her widower, Art, tells the story of how she came to terms with the malicious disease, and how it inspired her and people who knew her to live fuller, more productive lives. "Liz left us more than her work," Art concludes in his new memoir and love letter, Liz Claiborne: The Legend, The Woman (Taylor Trade, 2010). "Perhaps more than the consequences of her work, she left us herself. The making of that self, and the good she did for others, is the story I tell."
On bookshelves April 6, 2010, and available at Amazon.com.
- Lesley Scott