GEOFFREY BEENE: A LIFE IN FASHION “The unimaginable always becomes the unforgettable.”
One of America’s true design pioneers, Geoffrey Beene challenged the American fashion establishment by creating haute couture for women and classic, superbly tailored styles for men that married comfort and luxury.
Winner of eight Coty Awards, three CFDA Awards, an honorary doctorate from the Rhode Island School of Design, Mr. Beene has also been designated an “American Original” by the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.
Today Geoffrey Beene, LLC is a fashion empire comprised of men’s ready-to-wear, men’s and women’s accessories and fragrance. Journey through the 40-year exploration of designer Geoffrey Beene’s life in fashion – visionary, witty, irreverent, iconic and timeless.
2000S “I hate clothes that look saleable. I love when they look desirable.”
2000 – Geoffrey Beene is inducted into the Fashion Center Walk of Fame and is honored with a plaque reading, “A Designer’s Designer, Geoffrey Beene is one of the most artistic and individual of fashion’s creators…”.
2002 – Geoffrey Beene is received by First Lady Laura Bush, who awards him with the National Design Award from The Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Museum.
2003 – Awarded the first National Arts Club Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement.
2004 – Geoffrey Beene dies on September 28, 2004.
2005 – “Beene By Beene,” written by Marylou Luther, Laura Jacobs, Pamela A. Parmal, and James Wolcott — is published by Vendome Press.
2008 – “Geoffrey Beene: An American Fashion Rebel” is written by Kim Hastreiter and published by Assouline.
1-10: Jack Deutsch 2002
Grey wool jersey dress with draped and quilted hip bands
2-10: Jack Deutsch 2004
Lyre-shaped quilted bodice and hem in robin’s egg blue charmeuse, black double-faced satin midriff and black crepe skirt
3-10: Jack Deutsch 2004
Vest in black rubber and net
4-10: Jack Deutsch 2003
5-10: Jack Deutsch 2003
Grey boiled wool jersey coat
6-10: Jack Deutsch 2003
Yak wool gown with horsehair midriff and hem
7-10: Jack Deutsch 2004
Black-and-white cotton sweater and cotton faille skirt with appliquéd grosgrain stripe
8-10: Jack Deutsch 2004
Red-and-white dot-printed silk faille with silk satin appliquéd circles
9-10: Jack Deutsch 2004
Black-and-white organza, rose-embroidered shrug
10-10: Jack Deutsch 2004
Black-and-white curvilinear printed silk crepe dress
1990S “Very immodestly I say that I did awaken Europe to the idea that Americans could design more than blue jeans.”
1992 – Receives honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts Degree from the Rhode Island School of Design.
Honored as a Master of American Design with a Retrospective Exhibition and book, “Unbound,” celebrating his 30-year career at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York.
1995 – The Lieutenant Governor proclaims April 27 “Geoffrey Beene Day” in the state of Louisiana (his birthplace).
1996 – Honored as featured designer at the Gala premier of “Elegance After Dark: Evening Wear in Louisiana 1886-1996” at the Louisiana State Museum.
Receives The Chicago Historical Society’s Award for Design Excellence.
1-10: William Laxton 1993
Shocking pink and coral double-faced wool melton zipper front bolero; wool jersey hooded jumpsuit
2-10: Jack Deutsch 1998
Black lace gown with black silk chiffon back
3-10: Jack Deutsch 1996
Black-and-white double-faced zig-zag wool coat
4-10: Jack Deutsch 1992
Black cotton faille jacket with white cotton satin contrasts. White linen pants
5-10: Jack Deutsch 1999
Ivory wool jersey dress with orange and grey zippers
6-10: Jack Deutsch 1994
Ivory wool melton bolero with clear plastic tubing knotted at shoulders; black silk crepe dress
7-10: William Laxton 1995
Black silk sponge crepe cocktail dress with black tulle insert; black tulle and horsehair “harness” vest
8-10: William Laxton 1993
Multi-colored striped quilted hooded evening jacket
9-10: Jack Deutsch 1992
Polynesia; one-piece halter dress in black-and-white polka-dot silk crepe with red-and-white polka-dot bra
10-10: Andrew Eccles 1995
1980S “Plastic is perfect in its own way, so is a diamond. Why shouldn’t the two go together?”
1986/1987 – Wins CFDA Designer Of The Year Award.
1987 – Launches Men’s Fragrance: Bowling Green.
1988 – Celebrates 25 years in business with acclaimed fashion show: “25 years Of Discovery” to benefit HIV-AIDS Project Los Angeles.
Museum Retrospective at Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio and The International Academy of Design, New York.
In the same year, he shows his first collection in Munich, Germany and receives the Designers of America Special Award for Fashion as Art.
1989 – Opens retail shop on 5th Avenue in New York.
1-10: Jack Deutsch 1987
Orange and blue printed silk faille quilted with lavender-and-white shirting bolero. Gown in matching shirting and faille with pale blue midriff
2-10: Jack Deutsch 1988
Quilted, printed cotton faille jacket with sequined rose on cotton shirting back
3-10: Jack Deutsch 1983
Grey silk crepe dress with released pleats and bias trim
4-10: Andrew Eccles 1987
Black double-faced wool satin bolero; matte tomato red sequin-embroidered bustier with silk faille box-pleated skirt
5-10: Andrew Eccles 1986
Serpentine dress: Black wool jersey and silver panne velvet evening dress
6-10: Guzman 1989
Black silk crepe sportback jumpsuit
7-10: Jack Deutsch 1987
Green-and-white striped cotton jacket quilted with silk taffeta; green silk taffeta skirt with navy silk taffeta petticoat edged in lace
8-10: Jack Deutsch 1988
Black linen jacket with colored silk button embellished dot print; white cotton barathea waistcoat with cotton men’s shirting bows and black silk buttons
9-10: Jack Deutsch 1989
Black wool and acrylic jersey evening dress with nude-colored silk chiffon inserts
10-10: Guzman 1989
Black silk crepe evening dress with nude silk chiffon insert
1970S “There are no rules to the designs: there are standards, and my standard is taste.”
1971 – Introduces his Beene Bag Collection, a less expensive, sportier line; a big success.
1975 – Launches Grey Flannel Men’s Fragrance. Wins the Marshall Field Distinction of Design Award.
1976 – First American Designer to show his collections in Milan, Italy. Follows up with Rome, Paris, Brussels and Vienna.
Wins sixth Coty American Fashion Critics Award for giving impetus to American Fashion abroad. Presents the Geoffrey Beene Collection at the American Embassies in Rome and Paris.
1-9: Jack Deutsch 1973
Wool jersey big pants with wool jacket
2-9: Jack Deutsch 1976
Bikers jersey in sequins
3-9: Jack Deutsch 1976
Gown of cotton fleece sweatshirting material
4-9: Andrew Eccles, 1975
Taupe and silk rayon matte jersey dress with back-to-front stayed and released tucks
5-9: Jack Deutsch 1972
Apple green wool melton coat with elbow patches
6-9: Jack Deutsch 1971
Black double-faced silk satin dress with inset trompe l’oeil white silk satin collar and cuffs and shocking pink tie
7-9: Jack Deutsch 1974
Taupe ombréd triple-layered silk chiffon evening dress
8-9: Jack Deutsch 1972
Silk chiffon evening dress embroidered with sequins in environmental highway motif
9-9: Jack Deutsch 1971
Yellow silk crepe evening dress with sequin-embroidered “Felix the Cat”. Blue silk crepe evening dress with sequin-embroidered “The Little King”
1960S “My career has nothing to do with money. It has to do with self-expression.”
1963 – Opens Geoffrey Beene, Inc. on Seventh Avenue.
1964 – Wins the first of 8 Coty Awards.
1965 – Wins the Neiman Marcus Award.
1966 – Brings grey flannel and wool jersey fabrics to ballroom gowns. Shows dresses printed in a houndstooth plaid inset with undulating bands of lace, a fresh approach that invigorated the use of lace.
1967 – Designs famed Sequined Football Evening Gown.
1968 – Designs his “Mafia” Collection, pin-striped suits which he dubs “Alice Capone” as a joke.
1-10: Jack Deutsch 1967
Football Jersey 74: Pop art sequin-embroidered silk chiffon evening dress
2-10: Unknown 1966
Screen Printed Cotton Silk
3-10: Jack Deutsch 1968
Black wool crepe dress with ostrich feather hem
4-10: Jack Deutsch 1964
Brush stroke black and yellow printed silk crepe dress
5-10: Jack Deutsch 1967
Black and white printed floral piqué gown
6-10: Andrew Eccles 1967
Black wool crepe dress with wide leather belt
7-10: Robert Randall 1968
L to R: Black-and-white menswear worsted wool check two-piece dress with white silk blouse; black-and-white menswear worsted wool check dress with white silk blouse and black patent leather bow tie; black-and-white menswear worsted wool check dress with re-embroidered lace scallop cuffs and hem and black patent leather belt
8-10: Robert Randall 1968
L to R: Black-and-white cotton jacquard suit; menswear-striped cotton suit with long jacket
9-10: Jack Deutsch 1967
Shocking Pink double-faced wool gabardine dar dress. Chartreuse satin lining
10-10: Jack Deutsch 1968
Silk chiffon tank top evening dress with embroidered sequin roman stripes and white ostrich leather trim. Designed for the Supremes