Gloria Vanderbilt child heiress turned jeans queen dies at 95

first_imgGloria Vanderbilt, child heiress turned jeans queen, dies at 95 ‘Poor little rich girl,’ heiress earned US$10 million from the jeans in 1980 but went on to make her living from her art and writing Bloomberg News She began producing gallery-quality art and wrote memoirs and novels. Her books included 1987’s Black Knight, White Knight, the story of her first two marriages; A Mother’s Story, a 1996 memoir about her son Carter, who committed suicide in 1988; and Obsession: An Erotic Tale, a 2009 novel she wrote at age 85. She also wrote about her romances with celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando and Howard Hughes.“I’m always in love, that’s one of my secrets,” she told the New York Times when the book was published.She and Cooper wrote The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love and Loss whose publication coincided with a 2016 HBO documentary about them, titled Nothing Left Unsaid.By that point she was living in an apartment on exclusive Beekman Place in Manhattan. Having sold off her interests in her fashion businesses in mid-life, she made her living through sales of books and art.Gloria Laura Vanderbilt was born in New York City Feb. 20, 1924, to Reginald Vanderbilt and his second wife, socialite Gloria Morgan.“Her mother had married the wrong Vanderbilt — an affable drunkard and spendthrift,” who died when Vanderbilt was 15 months old, according to the New York article. “Just 43, he’d frittered away his US$15 million inheritance and left behind a welter of unpaid creditors.”Her party-loving mother, who inherited nothing, often travelled to Paris and left the day-to-day upbringing of her daughter to a nanny.Sparked by her mother’s plan to separate her from her beloved nanny, young Gloria’s paternal aunt, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who founded New York’s Whitney Museum, successfully sued for custody of “the poor little rich girl.” A 1982 TV movie, Little Gloria….Happy at Last, retells the saga, which dominated Depression-era news reports.Under her aunt’s guidance, Gloria attended elite academies, including Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Conn., as well as the Art Students League in New York City.American heiress, artist, socialite, writer and fashion designe, Gloria Vanderbilt, with her first husband, agent and movie producer Pat DiCicco. Gloria Vanderbilt, the “poor little rich girl” at the centre of a scandalous 1930s society custody fight who put her Gilded Age name on the backsides of blue-jeaned teenagers 40 years later, has died. She was 95.She died Monday, according to a statement by CNN, citing her son Anderson Cooper, who hosts a news program at the cable channel.“Gloria Vanderbilt was an extraordinary woman who loved life and lived it on her terms,” Cooper said. Nine West files for bankruptcy, will sell some brands Why fashion brand success stories are so few and far between in Canada Are millennials trading in their fast (cheap) fashion for haute couture? A descendant of Cornelius Vanderbilt, a shipping and railroad magnate, she inherited about US$4 million at age 21, much of which was spent by the time she was in her 40s.Although her life was played out on a public stage from the outset, her fame spiked in the late 1970s when she teamed with apparel-maker and entrepreneur Mohan Murjani to pioneer designer jeans for women that carried her signature on the rear pockets.She appeared in television commercials and at department stores as part of a marketing campaign that sold millions of pairs of jeans from which she earned US$10 million in 1980. The humble denim pant had become a fashion phenomenon.“That’s when I really made a lot of money,” the so-called Jeans Queen said, according to a 2014 article in the Financial Times. “The money you make yourself is the only kind of money that has any reality.”In December 1988, the Gitano Group Inc. bought the Gloria Vanderbilt trademarks from Murjani Worldwide Ltd. for US$15 million. It sold the division in 1993 to a private investor group for an undisclosed price. Gloria Vanderbilt Apparel Corp. was acquired by Jones Apparel Group Inc. in 2002 for US$138 million.The money you make yourself is the only kind of money that has any realityGloria Vanderbilt in the Financial Times Share this storyGloria Vanderbilt, child heiress turned jeans queen, dies at 95 Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn AFP / Getty file photo Recommended For YouMDA Awarded Canadian Government Contract to Deliver Search and Rescue Repeaters for SatellitesSingapore-based company is buying the biggest shipping container terminal in eastern CanadaInagene Diagnostics Inc. Announces New CEOPRECIOUS-Gold drops as bets fade for big Fed rate cut fade; eyes on trade talks’John Wick 3′ dethrones ‘Avengers: Endgame’ with $57 million Facebook Email Twitter More Gloria Vanderbilt in January 2016.Reuters file photo Hulton Archive / Getty Images Join the conversation → Her jeans enterprise ended in acrimony. She sued her therapist and her lawyer, who had power of attorney, for bilking her out of US$1.5 million of her fashion earnings between 1978 and an 1986 and selling off some of her business interests without authorization. Vanderbilt’s lawyer had also become her “manager, adviser, agent, promoter,” according the New York magazine story.Vanderbilt won her civil lawsuit in 1993, but by then her lawyer, Thomas Andrews, had died and she was unable to collect her financial judgment from his estate. Meanwhile, her licensing royalties had dwindled even as her lavish spending continued. She had to sell her five-storey townhouse in New York and seven-bedroom home in Southampton on Long Island to pay US$2.5 million in back taxes she believed Andrews had handled. She temporarily moved in with her son, Cooper, telling the New York Post she was “not broke.”In 2004 the U.K.’s Daily Telegraph quoted her as saying, “I always spent money I had. And I always spent what I made. I’m not stingy.”U.S. actress and fashion designer Gloria Vanderbilt in 1954. Comment 0 Comments Patrick Oster Her fashion career began as a 15-year-old model in Harper’s Bazaar and she became the darling of leading portrait photographers such as Francesco Scavullo and Richard Avedon.She started creating paintings and collages, and, after seeing her work at a gallery in New York, Johnny Carson showcased them on The Tonight Show. The exposure led to offers to design prints for scarves and dresses. When that business flopped, she grabbed onto a hot new trend — designer blue jeans, Vanderbilt wrote in a 2004 memoir, It Seemed Important at the Time.In 1941, infatuated with movies, she married Hollywood agent and producer Pasquale “Pat” DiCicco. She divorced him in 1945 and married famed conductor Leopold Stokowski when she was 21 and he was 63. The couple had two sons, Christopher and Leopold, and divorced in 1955.She then applied herself to acting, appearing in television dramas such as Playhouse 90 and on Broadway in William Saroyan’s The Time of Your Life.In 1956, she married director Sidney Lumet, divorcing him in 1963, the same year she married Wyatt Cooper, an actor and screenwriter with whom she had sons Anderson and Carter. Wyatt Cooper died in 1978.Vanderbilt experienced what she called the tragedy of her life in 1988 when Carter, at age 23, committed suicide as she watched him jump off the balcony of her duplex apartment in Manhattan.“I have inside me the image of a rock-hard diamond that nothing can get at, and nothing can crack,” she said in Nothing Left Unsaid to explain how she had weathered the sorrows of her long life. “And I’ve always known that about myself.” Reddit June 17, 201912:38 PM EDT Filed under News Retail & Marketing last_img