Eileen Fisher (born June 6, 1950) is an American clothing designer and founder of the women's clothing brand Eileen Fisher, Inc. Fisher's designs are characterized by simplicity, and her company is known for using non-traditional models in its print advertisements, including its own employees.

Biography

Fisher grew up in Des Plaines, Illinois, the second of six children. When Fisher decided to go to college, her father explained that the family could not contribute to her tuition because they needed to save their money to send her younger brother to college as "he would need an education to support his family some day." Fisher explained in an interview to Inc. in 2013: "It didn't upset me — it was the times. I never expected a penny from my parents. I paid my way through the University of Illinois working as a waitress."[2] She started as a math major before switching to interior design. Fisher moved to New York City in 1973.[3][4] She worked as an interior designer and as a graphic artist before establishing her own fashion business inspired by style and longevity of the classic kimono. She has two children, Zack and Sasha, and she lives in Irvington, New York.[5]

Company

Eileen Fisher Inc. is an American privately held company founded by Fisher in 1984 with US$350 in startup money.[6] Her first order at a New York clothing design show was for $3,000, which was followed three months later with $40,000 in additional sales.[6] She opened her first retail store in 1986, on East 9th Street in Manhattan.

 

Eileen Fisher's humble design beginnings date back to 1984 when she created four simple clothing shapes, took them to The Boutique Show in New York, and was encouraged by $3,000 in orders she received. Her next line doubled to eight pieces, which brought in $40,000 in orders.

Since the beginning, it's been about clothes you don't have to think too much about. You wear them knowing the comfort, fit, and style is there to lend an air of confidence to your day.

Now, Eileen Fisher has brought that very same aesthetic to women's footwear, with a variety of flats, boots, sandals, sneakers, and heels to complement virtually any woman's style. [+]

 

In 2002, the company earned $144 million in revenue, and in its revenues were 2003 $154 million.[6][7] Estimated revenue in 2015 grew to over $300 million.[8] As of 2003, 35 percent of the company's clothing was manufactured in the United States while the rest was made in China in compliance with Social Accountability International's SA8000.[7]

The company has over 800 employees with over 56 retail stores in fifteen states.[4] In 2011, the company expanded outside the U.S., opening its first Canadian store in Vancouver, British Columbia and projecting the opening of two stores in London, England, in October 2012.[3]

Fisher's company emphasizes sustainability, with 70% of the cotton used in its clothing sourced from organic cotton. In order to reduce fabric and fiber waste, the company started a recycling program. Customers donate their "gently used" Eileen Fisher clothing in return for a $5 gift certificate per article. After dry cleaning, the garments are resold—with the income funding business grants for women and leadership programs for young women.[9][10]

 

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